Murray McMurray's "all heavies" birds questions...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by rmcclure, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. rmcclure

    rmcclure Out Of The Brooder

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    These are the breeds included in the chicks for the "all heavies" package Black Australorps; Lt. Brahmas; Dark Cornish; Black and White Giants; Buff and White Orpingtons; New Hampshire, Rhode Island Reds, Barred, White, Partridge, Buff Rocks; Sussex, Turkens; White, Silver Laced, & Columbian Wyandottes, Red Star and Black Star.

    They are all roosters and I am wondering how old do these breeds need to be before butchering and will I have to worry about them crowing prior to reaching that age? I have read varying age ranges and some people do it by the birds weight I guess? I will be raising these guys for meat for my family, each household has like 4+ kids so we go through a ton of chicken lol! I would like to raise meat birds that are not the really rapid growing ones but if these guys are going to be crowing before I can butcher them that might be a problem, we are not allowed roosters in my area but I don't think it will be a problem as long as we don't let them get into crowing! I have read that most of these breeds will make butchering size around 20 weeks? Also does anyone know what kind of food consumption I can expect? I would like to estimate how much this is going to end up costing me! Thanks in advance
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    You can butcher them at any age you want, but they will probably be of the best weight at 20+ weeks. By that time, most roosters will be crowing. You could butcher earlier (8-10 weeks), when their meat is more tender, but you won't get nearly as much meat, and even then, some roosters will have begun to crow.

    If you want meat birds and can't have crowing roosters, then the best option is probably the Cornish X.
     
  3. rmcclure

    rmcclure Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks I will be going for the cornish :) thanks!
     
  4. ApiaryandAviary

    ApiaryandAviary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish rocks are miserable.
    I got them thinking what lovely sweet creatures. They grew fast. The flopped down at the food and grazed. They waddled over to the water and flopped down. They grew so fast the other chicks I had hatch at the same time were quickly over taken. One morning I went out to them because I was in the process to separate them, they were so big and I found a squashed Ohiki baby chick under one that was laying down as it ate out of the feeder.

    These birds are a mixed breed of a cornish and a barred rock. They grow fast. They eat alot. They are messy. I felt sorry for them and how miserable they were existing. So sad. They stopped jumping and climbing around very early on. I would never do that again. I told my husband to find a neighbor to give them to and I did not want to hear they were succulent either. He got them and stopped feeding them till at night and told them to go forage in the morning no more feed bowls in the morning. I was feeding them morning noon and night.

    I told my hubby I would not make that mistake again. An edible bird must have had a good life prior to a table. Except the egg for an omlet of course. A cornish Rock does not have a good life prior to a table.
     
  5. rmcclure

    rmcclure Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah I have heard they do grow crazy fast and that can lead to all sorts of problems, from what I have read though you can cut down on some of those problems by not feeding them at night once they reach I think its 4 weeks? Everything I have read though says they have a pretty good food to meat conversion rate though? Would the hens of the above breeds reach butcher in 20 weeks too? I would imagine they would take longer but not sure.... ideally I would like to hatch and raise my own birds from local farms but the roosters could be a big problem for me if they were to get anywhere near crowing age
     
  6. cmchickens

    cmchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is nothing wrong with Cornish X. Under proper management they are great birds for the table. Treat them like chickens and they will act like chickens, just faster growing ones. Please take a look at this tread when you have time:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-your-cornish-x-meaties-tractors-do-not-count

    I restrict my meaties feed starting at 3 weeks. I feed them as much as they can eat in about an hour twice a day. The rest of the day, when they get hungry they forage for food in the yard. They are great birds. After raising both Freedom Ranger type birds, Cornish X, and duel purpose birds for meat, I prefer the Cornish X. They will always be my go to meat chicken.



    My Cornish X at 9 weeks, processing day:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As far as duel purpose cockerels for meat, they don't get good sized until 16-18 weeks or so. I've had cockerels crow at 8 weeks. If you can't have crowing roos, DP birds may not be your best choice. If not Cornish X, perhaps Freedom Rangers?
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. rmcclure

    rmcclure Out Of The Brooder

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    awesome we ended up ordering some cornish x females, I will try out the feeding for an hour twice a day and see how that goes :) how much feed do yours usually go through? What I have read suggests that by the time they finish at 8 weeks youll have gone through like 14lbs of feed for each bird....
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  8. ApiaryandAviary

    ApiaryandAviary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not 20 weeks for what I had.
    8 to 10 weeks were what these were destined to live to before butchering. Bresse can go up to 20 weeks but prefer 16 weeks.
     
  9. ApiaryandAviary

    ApiaryandAviary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I must have fed too much. I had self feeders and waterers and I struggled to keep them full. I had never seen chickies eat that ravenously. My Cochin Bantams, Phoenix Bantams and Ohiki never ate that way.
     
  10. ApiaryandAviary

    ApiaryandAviary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and another thing I forgot to say. I ordered from a hatchery for RIR, RIW, & Barred Rock. I already have the Australorp. Preparing to create sexlink chickens for dual purpose birds that I will be able to separate at birth because I learned long ago how to create sex linked chickies. With some breeds it is difficult for me to separate. The wing tip feather trick does not work on cochin Bantams bc they are too fluffy. Looking up the skirts does not work on Ohiki bc they are too small. I do better with PB but still Sometimes. Always, Always there is a method that will work on every chicken but I am not the vietnamese man living in texas with the knack. I needed a little help and I know they dual purpose birds are very good.
    My question to you experienced and wise chicken people out there is this, what about Bielefelders? Have any if you tried them for dual purpose. It is another case if auto sexing so I can not make mistakes. I am capablen of making mistakes and I freely admit I am not perfect that I have made mistakes. Do any of you have any Bielefelders?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

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