Meat breeds for someone who doesn't want to raise Cornish X?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Fredster, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    I'm looking to raise some chickens as meat birds this year, and was hoping for some suggestions. I'm looking for a traditional breed, not Cornish crosses.

    I bought 12 white orpingtons for meat earlier this month from McMurray, but none of them survived the great AE epidemic of 2008, so I need to order some more. I thought rather than just pick one all willy-nilly (like I did with the white orpingtons) I'd look to people who have more experience than I do.

    I'd like something that grows relatively quickly, tastes good, and will reach a butchering weight before sexual maturity so I don't have to deal with fighting / separating roos...if there is such a breed. [​IMG]

    And, what might be a dumb question: will feeding any chick broiler ration make it grow faster than normal chick starter?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    Just get some Coenish Roasters. They are ready to go as roasters in 8 weeks, fryers in 5-6. You will really like them. Just feed them turkey starter for the first 6 weeks then a flock raiser. All other real breeds arent ready untill like maturity+
  3. theMickster

    theMickster In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    N.W. Ohio
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    check out hatchery sites most have a black or red broiler too, they do not mature as fast, the freedom rangers look good, but if I remember right you have to get 100 chicks. most hatcheries also sell frypan special which will be a mix of roos, but then you have to deal with roos till they are often 6 months old.
  5. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have had the Cornish X's and I really didn't like raising them. Some had leg problems, others picked out feathers, not much moving around, etc.
    This time I bought Red broilers from Ideal. I like them very much. They are growing slower than the others. Another thing that is important for me is they forage around. I am feeding them meat bird formula.
    It has been only 8 weeks since I have had them. I cleaned two and stripped the meat for dinner. They tasted great
    Most of the hatchery traditional breeds are raised for egg production. So I would think the duel purpose that they advertise is not really true That is my experience. I have butchered some extra roos and there wasn't alot of meat. By the time they were ready they was sexually mature.
    Someone else will answer soon. I am curious about there experiences also.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  6. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Quote:Yeah, those are some of the reasons I didn't want the Cornish crosses. I was just afraid I'd start a flame war if I said that in the first post. [​IMG]

    Ideal is out of red broilers now, but it looks like I can get some from Welp. They've been pretty highly recommended by someone whose opinion I trust.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
  7. lynsey

    lynsey Hatching

    Mar 30, 2008
    i am trying the freedom rangers this go around. so far i am very pleased. they are only 3 weeks old and i can tell a difference from my cornish. i have both right now. the freedom rangers were shipped from WI to me in southwest MO. all 50 were alive and still are. which i was surprised beings they were in the mail for 2 days before i got them. i bought my cornish locally and have lost 8 so far and am nursing one to health presently. the rangers are much more active and are getting their feathers much quicker. The are also not near as messy as the cornish. i am very anxious to taste them. barbara assured me i would never eat another corish after i had had a freedom ranger. good luck
  8. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    Buff Orpingtons are a good dual purpose bird. While you're waiting for them to get a nice size you would get some good eggs.
  9. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have heard that Buff Orp. were good to eat. I should try them sometimes. Thanks.
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    There is simply no breed of chicken which will be very satisfying as a meat bird. You'll find the larger breeds put on a lot of skeletal growth before muscular, so you're stuck waiting until 16-18 weeks to slaughter. By this time, they are very much cockrels and will expend most their energy chasing the women folk. If you track carefully the ammount of feed you put into a purebred rooster for meat, you'll find you would have been better off buying the most expensive organic, free range chicken from Whole Foods.

    As suggested above, there are some great options for people who want to raise meat birds, but are fed up with Cornish Crosses (as I am, and I raise meat birds to sell at the farm market). Freedom Rangers is simply a fantastic way to go, as they are using heritage breeds to create meat birds suitable for organic and free range production. I've heard similar complements to the red/black broilers out there, but have no personal experience with them. I've been dabbling in my own breeding, but will continue to order Freedom Rangers for my customers for the forseeable future.

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