Meat bird comparison

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SowdersHomestead, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. SowdersHomestead

    SowdersHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    Fostoria, Ohio
    This is a comparison between a batch of meat birds purchased from Meyer Hatchery in Polk, Ohio last year and a batch purchased from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Cincinnati, Ohio this year.

    The Meyer batch was 15 chicks mail ordered. We live off the beaten path in Tennessee and it took 4 days for delivery. 1 chick was DOA and 3 others died within the next 48 hrs. We dressed 11 chicks.

    The Mt. Healthy batch was 50 chicks and I was able to pick them up while traveling through Cincinnati. 1 chick died within 48 hrs and 1 chick died at 4 weeks. We dressed 48 chickens.

    For the first 5 weeks the Mt. Healthy chick's had these huge butts. Most people that saw them thought they were turkey's. Once they were dressed it's where the gizzard was located.

    The Meyer chicks had their gizzard more up inside the cavity.

    The Mt. Healthy chickens finished better. Much fuller breast than the Meyer chickens.

    The Mt. Healthy chickens seemed to be much more aggressive. Especially at morning feeding after being on restricted feed. The last 2 weeks I had to wear gloves during feeding to protect my hands from being pecked.

    Both chick's were very active.

    Plucking the Mt. Healthy chicken was more difficult. The feathers on the wings was very difficult to remove. Lots of pin feathers remained. This was with an automated chicken plucker. We rented one and I do not believe the motor spun the pluckers fast enough. Which could of lead the the plucking problem.

    The Meyer chicken was hand plucked and the feathers came out with ease.

    The innards of the Mt. Healthy chickens seemed to come out easier in one hand full. The bottom cavity was more difficult to clean. Very boney.

    The Meyer chicken cavity was much easier to clean.

    They were all raised cage free in our barn. Feed the same feed. They were both given grass to eat. The Meyer batch had pine shavings as bedding compared to shredded leaves for the Mt. Healthy batch. The Mt. Healthy batch seemed to be cleaner and smelled better. I attribute this to the leaves as bedding.

    The Mt. Healthy bird ate the same amount of feed and dressed out at a pound more. Most carcasses from the Mt. Healthy batch weighed between 5.5 lbs and 6 lbs. The Meyer batch weighed between 4.5 lbs and 5.5 lbs.

    The Mt. Healthy chicken cooked better. Was juicier than the Meyer chicken.

    It was obvious that these birds came from 2 different stocks.

    In my own opinion, I liked the Mt. Healthy chicken better. I feel it was a better bird from start to finish.
  2. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    Interesting comparison. Thanks for posting this!
  3. henloverinmaine

    henloverinmaine Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2008
    Downeast coastal Maine
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. We ordered 15 CX from Mt Healthy and received them last week. All in very good shape hungry and ready to get busy eating! In fact they sent 1 extra chick. This is our first time ordering from them and so far we are VERY pleased.
    The only question I have is how many weeks did you let your birds grow?
  4. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I have ordered two batches from Mt. Healthy and both times they sent 1 extra chick.

    Mine are doing great so far.
  5. SowdersHomestead

    SowdersHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    Fostoria, Ohio
    We did our first processing at 8 weeks. I have about 12 left that we are processing from day to day to see how they grow each week. I plan on saving a couple hens to get the notorious double, triple and quadruple yolk eggs I've heard about.
  6. lisaequine1

    lisaequine1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2012
    Milford, OH
    We also did Meyer broilers last year. I was very impressed with them, they all survived with no problems and dressed out to an average of 9 lbs at 9 weeks old. The breast on them were huge and absolutely delicious! I'm trying Mt Healthy this year because Meyer didn't have any available when I wanted them. Just got thirty plus one extra about five weeks ago. So far they are doing well except one appears to be having leg/joint issues as of last night. I guess it will have to go early.

    I'd also like to point out that Meyer is much cheaper than Mt Healthy or anywhere else that I'm aware of.

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