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Meat bird breeds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mama Rae, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Mama Rae

    Mama Rae Hatching

    Apr 22, 2012
    I'm planning to raise 25 cockerels for meat and trying to decide what breed(s) to buy. I've heard mixed reports about both Freedom Rangers and Cornish X. Anyone out that had any luck with dual purpose breeds? I'm considering Buff Orphington and Speckled Sussex. Any advice would be great! Thanks.

  2. just2rosey

    just2rosey Songster

    Jan 7, 2011
    New Kent
    I would love to hear what others have to say about this. I am raising Cornish X for the first time, and they are so gross, I just can't stand it!! They are dirty and stinky, and their bodies feel so disgusting when I move them to clean the brooder. I want a better DP, I currently have Ameraucanas, but they just aren't big enough. I logged on to day to start researching an alternative.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  3. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

    Mar 4, 2012
    My Coop
    I have some hatchery Speckled Sussex and the excess cockerels are going to be ready to eat in early July. At eight weeks the biggest of them are just a bit shy of 2.5 pounds....As compared to the Cornish X which can be in excess of 10 pounds by now. Granted, they are on standard chick feed and I'm not worried about growing them out quickly.

    If you want dedicated meat birds, I would try the Freedom Rangers. For dual-purpose birds you'll want to go with breeder-quality stock. Hatchery birds are selected for egg-laying abilities, not meat. Delawares are good, Sussex are good, Orpingtons, Cornish...heck, a lot of breeds are good for meat, if they've been kept to a true dual-purpose breeding program.

    I'm personally not 100% captivated with any of the options, so I decided to just have some fun and develop my own little line of birds over the next few years. But this is definitely the last time I buy a hatchery dual-purpose bird. If you want a final update on the Speckled Sussex weight/quality at 20 weeks, I can try to remember to shoot you a pm.
  4. ScottnLydia

    ScottnLydia Songster

    Jul 16, 2011
    We raise Delawares. We process them at about 11 or 12 weeks for fryers which are totally tender and deliscious! My wife and I are from an older generation than most and grew up in a time when fryers were probably Delawares or Delaware crosses and usually weighed in between 2 and 3 pounds. Ours are usually in that range. We find the drumsticks longer, and the breasts longer but not double as in CXs. Their breast meat, though a little smaller, is so delectable! We find it moister and more flavorful than the double breasts. My wife thinks it "more forgiving to being overcooked!"

    Also, the Delaware hens are VERY respectable laying hens, shrugging off our 100 plus degree summers as well as our occasionally sub-zero winters without much change in lay. The best part is that when the freezer starts to look a little low, all we have to do is collect eggs for the incubator for a few days and start a new batch!

    I've heard some breeds don't fill out until their older but we've culled Delaware chicks at 6 weeks that still made a good meal.

    My 2 cents.

  5. daveb3

    daveb3 Hatching

    Apr 22, 2012
  6. CorinneP

    CorinneP Songster

    Apr 19, 2012
    Up State New York
    I am raising Jersey Giants for that purpose. I understand from study they can get over 12 pounds .
  7. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Songster

    Apr 15, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    I was going to try dark Cornish but I have read that they have more muscle tissue etc.and take a bit longer to cook tender, so it has stopped me from ordering some. I just need something around 6 lbs give or take and tender.....however I wonder if the dark cornish are truly like that?

  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Maybe you don't need a different meat breed, only a different method of raising those you had. I'm on my second round of CX and do not find them a bit stinky or gross, nor are they dirty. They just need room to roam, clean grass and forage, not given free choice feeds and given some probios when chicks, to change the whole scenery of raising CX. Mine are more mobile and active than any free range breed I've ever had, they are clean smelling and their coop is also and they are clean looking as well.

    They wouldn't even come into the coop today for food and their crops are bulging with the food they found outdoors...they went to bed, on the roost I might add, and were quite content.
  9. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Songster

    Aug 27, 2010
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Sorry if this is a bit off topic. Beekissed, I've heard you say you should get a videotape of your birds walking around so people can see how true it is. It sounds like you really have something good going. You really should try to borrow one to show people. I for one would love to see them. Your methods sound great.
  10. wingstone

    wingstone Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    mount joy, pennsylvania
    i raise freedom rangers and do not find them stinky or gross, but they are not cooped up they have about half acre of pasture area and many times do not eat very much of what i provide for them, I do find that in the summer lots of shade is a must have.

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