My husband and I are new to the hobby and I'm pretty green. We butchered our first roosters a few weeks ago, they were around 7 months old. They were beautiful, big birds. They dressed at weights from 4.5 to 5.5 pds. So I decided to cook in oven in a roasting pan, just with salt & pepper, onions, and some water covering the bottom. The bird took quite longer than what I was used to (store bought i.e. meat king) so it ended up drying out a bit because of that, plus I neglected to add water so that didn't help lol. The white meat was ok but dry, and I found the dark meat to be awful dark (again, compared to store stuff) and stringy? And it almost tastes more like turkey.. So I tried another one 2 days ago, decided this time to cook in the crockpot. The white meat was a bit better, but hubby preferred the dark meat cooked like the 1st time, in the oven. But bottom line, I'm a bit disappointed. So here are my questions: 1) Is it the breed? The age? Or the gender? that explains the dark string leg meat.. 2) What could we raise and breed ourselves at home that tastes more like what we're used to but still be a 'healthy' choice? What we're afraid of with the meat kings or CornishX is that you can't breed them so you have to buy the chicks every time and who knows what the mother was fed and passed down to the chicks. I'm sorry for the long winded story Any tip would be much appreciated.