Meat bird to put the smoke to Cornish cross and all dual purpose breeds.


10 Years
Jul 14, 2011

Butchered that black laced cockerel I showed above today. I figured it's about time to share what I've got going on here. We've put the axe to probably 40 of these in the past 2 years, and have a whole hatching to do later this fall. This guy is the only one from the earliest group that I haven't sold, or will be retaining for myself. He was hatched in May. He weighed right over 9 pounds live- and the dressed out hanging carcass weight was just over 5.

Third picture shows the carcass next to two rabbits I also butchered today. Quite a size difference.

Satisfied with my backyard meat bird project.

For reference, that knife has a 4 1/2 inch blade, and a total length of 9 1/2 inches.
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What about them makes you prefer them to cornish cross or other dual purpose breeds? Is looks like a cornish to me, is it pure or mixed with something (or something else altogether)?
I'd be interested in how the meat tastes, how long it took him to get to that weight, the rate that he gained weight, feed consumed per pound of weight, etc. That carcass is still a little long compared to some of the heritage Wyandottes I've seen--something that doesn't bother me, but that would bother customers. Average consumer tends to want a very round "butterball"-type carcass like they find in the store. For a backyard table bird, I'm sure your Cornish works out very well. But for selling on the market, Cornish is still the only thing I can please people with.
I agree. Without knowing feed conversion rates, it's hard to say they are better than commercial breeds. For personal use, I think heritage dual-purpose breeds are great. For selling purposes, you can't beat cornish cross.
This bird is mostly pure Cornish, but has a shot of Brahma in there to get the lacing color that I'm after. :I would guess they are about 7/8 Cornish in blood. Contrary to name, the Cornish Cross birds really have nothing in common with a true, real Cornish- other than name. Think of it like the Browns, or Smiths of the world!

These birds are self sustaining, self reproducing (almost to a pain of being broody), mature as quickly as any regular DP type of bird, without the problems most often associated with Cornish Rock cross birds, and pound for pound-- I'll put the breast and thigh agains any CX.. The real best thing about these birds that I say is they are 'functional' poultry!

I don't keep track of feed: gain, but I'll tell you it's far better than the turkeys we have (bronze). I can say that my pens of breeder birds, which do not get free ranged will go through about a pound of feed a day through breeding season. This is anywhere from 3-6 birds in a pen. Keep in mind this is nothing more than a guessing average.

We raised a batch of CX birds this spring for a side to side comparision, and I wanted to keep a couple pullets to breed to my white cornish cock. With confidence I can say nothing beats a CX as a table bird-- but when it comes to the actual production of them-- good luck. We lost one CX out of 10. The thing about my meat birds in my backyard-- is they'll put every bit as much meat on the table with a more 'DIY) atmoshphere.

Read my BYC page for more details!

To me, it's about pounds of production. There isn't a flock of chickens anywhere that will come close to consuming as much corn as the cattle or sheep that we have-- and so feed costs aren't an issue for me. I want production and eating experience to come from my birds.
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