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Meat bird breeds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Jennifer319, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Jennifer319

    Jennifer319 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am soooooooooooooooooooo new at all of this and although I do not think I can do the actual processing of the bird I would like to have my egg birds and then would also like separate meat birds. I have looked through the threads and would like to know if there is a list or everyones input as to the breed of bird that gets to maturity quick, produces a nice sized bird with tender meat and also a care for guide. I will keep looking but thanks to all for your input!!!!
    Jennifer
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The fastest to size and most tender (because they're so young when processed) is the Cornish/Rock cross. They're butchered at 3 1/2 weeks as Cornish game hens or 6-8 weeks as broilers.

    Then there are red broilers and freedom rangers that grow almost as fast. About 2 weeks longer to get to the same size.
     
  3. Jennifer319

    Jennifer319 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think for me I love the idea of knowing where my food came from and what they ate to get them ready for processing. For me I recognize that I don't want to get close to them if you know what I mean. My egg layers I can see me naming them but the meat birds I do not want that bond so having a great bird that gets to weight quickly and produces a good product is something I am shooting for. Thanks for your thought!!!!
     
  4. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    If you want to keep and manager two separate flocks. One for eggs and one for meat then the CornishX is a great choice for a solely meat animal. 8 weeks from egg to table is hard to beat. Not much time to grow attached either.

    I haven't found a "care guide" specific to a breed yet but if your curious to how to keep dual purpose breeds for meat and eggs in a pastured system PM me.

    How do you plan to have separate flocks?
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Almost ALL of the backyard / small farmers are loosing money in their ventures according to USDA farming statistics and need an outside job to support their food producing ventures. .The so called " dual purpose " or " heritage " birds may be fine for some in their way of thinking, however they are also mediocre at producing eggs and meat. To get the most bang for your buck, consider what the pros are doing and go with the specialists . The Leghorn for egg production and the Cornish X for meat. These two are without peers in their production of converting feed to eggs and / or meat. Neither is good at producing eggs AND meat. As for knowing where one's food came from ... it takes a chicken to lay an egg and an egg to produce a chicken. You buy a day old chick, then it is up to you to raise them to egg production age or to meat harvest . Good luck !
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried seperating my CX and was absolutly disgusted by them in a small pen. Lazy birds that lay by the feeder/waterer and have golfball sized poo.

    I shared my disgust on a BYC thread and was surprised to learn that it was MY fault my CX were lazy disgusting birds! I gave them another shot, per advice of a BYC elder, and now I have 19 lovelyy and active CX plus a few Rangers and Broilers that I free range them with my regular flock!

    They are all about 6 weeks old now, and doing great. They are growing a bit slower which is good for their leg development, and I plan to butcher my CX by 10 weeks and the rest by 15.

    [​IMG]
    CX above
    [​IMG]
    Rainbow ranger
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good point.
    CornishX + small pen, recipe for a mess.
     
  8. Jennifer319

    Jennifer319 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Bossroo!

    I would agree that it is not cost effective at least in the beginning to my way of thinking but it is the idea of knowing what they eat, and are processed humane in the end. My plan is to have two separate birds for egg production and one breed for meat production. SInce I am an extreme newbie and have no flock as yet I am reading and learning as much as I can about how to properly care for these creatures. I so value the advise of those of you who are doing all of this successfully and since I am a Nurse Practitioner I of course want them healthy at the end of the day. I will research to death and read as much as I can but experience counts!!!!!! I bought a property with 3 acres and no HOA to be able to have chickens. So once the house is built a site for my girls will be done. Thanks to all of you for giving me your thoughts it is soooooo appreciated!

    Jennifer
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you planning this as solely food for yourself and your family? Or, are you thinking of selling eggs?

    In the past, I've been able to keep all the animals in feed with egg sales as well as keep the family in eggs.

    It's very difficult to make money on egg sales and impossible to make money on raising birds for meat. For less than what it costs me to raise meat birds, I can buy organic pastured Amish chicken at Whole Foods Market.
    I have a closed flock, hatch a lot of a DP breed from Spain and eat all my extra males so I don't have to buy birds. It works for me and I accomplish what you are striving for. Humanely raised birds and I know how they were fed.

    When I was a kid we had about 100 leghorns all the time for egg sales. I remember my father deciding we would raise our own broilers and save money. Didn't happen. Even in the 50s it wasn't possible to save money on poultry meat over what it cost at the grocer. The economy of scale at work. One can't buy 50 lb. bags of feed and compete with companies that own their own mills, buy grain and legumes by the trainload and vitamins and minerals by the ton.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jennifer319

    Jennifer319 Out Of The Brooder

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    I want the eggs for the family but will sell them to keep the feed bill down. The meat birds are for the family and perhaps a few friends. I have someone who will process them in trade for a couple of birds. I will not get rich that's for sure. I want to be realistic though and in my head it is simply knowing my food source. If it means costing a bit more for that I think at the end of the day I am OK with it.
     

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