My first time getting Meat birds...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PineBurrowPeeps, May 22, 2008.

  1. Ok, I'm about to take the plunge to get some meat birds.
    I wanted to confirm some things that I have been reading:

    Cornish and Cornish X birds need to be slaughtered at 8 weeks of there will be health problems.

    Broilers can be slaughtered later but will mature (i.e. The Roos), crowing, etc.

    Broilers do not convert feed to meat as well as Cornish birds?

    I'm trying to decide which type of bird works for us.
    I am wondering if the 8 week old Cornish Roo's crow and everything?
    Roosters in my town are supposed to be illegal though many people have them on their farms, it's the type of laid back place where as long as no one complains your safe. Well it just happens that I have the neighbors from hell living next door to me who have tried every way to get us ticked off at them since we bought our farm 4 months ago(They HATE kids and we have 3 lol)... No doubt they would complain if they heard a roo crowing loudly. BUT, it's not like I'm going to get arrested for it, they would warn me to get rid of the crowing bird of be fined and I would cull it, no problem...
    Soooo, it seems like I would have less problems with the Cornish since they are butchered sooner, am I correct?

    I have a good sized family of 5 with three dogs who eat a mix of kibble and raw meat. When my family and I buy a roaster chicken at the store we buy a 5-6 pounder for about $7-$8 and if my husband is home for dinner it barely feeds everyone.
    Do the Cornish get big enough to be a dressed out weight comparible to the store bought roaster?
    I would only be giving the dogs the livers and hearts and things, not the good meat.
    I'm thinking about starting with 50 day olds to see how we do for this fall/winter. By next spring I will have a nice bator so I can hatch some of my own for what I'm guessing will be cheaper than buying the day olds.

    Another question I had...

    Say you have a Cornish that all of a sudden keels over at lets say 6 weeks due to heart failure... If you saw the bird die or got to it while it was still warm/fresh could you still eat it safely? I guess there is always the doubt of what the bird actually died from huh?

    I was just trying to basically see the pros and cons of Cornish Vs. Broilers. Is there a difference in the meat quality or something?

    Thanks for putting up with me!
     
  2. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish are a breed used in a cross. They don't themselves need to be butchered at any age, they are healthy "normal" chickens.

    "Broiler" can be use for any chicken you will eat.

    Cockeral chicks can be eaten but mature more slowly and are less breasty than cornish x. They are also healthier, and can forage some. You may find them as a "fry pan special"

    ETA If you ever cut up chickens you can feed the backs and butts raw (to the dogs).
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  3. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So which type bird can have the health problems?
     
  4. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:cornish cross
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:Cornish are a breed of chicken used to cross breed with a Plymouth Rock to make the 'Cornish X Rocks' which are a broiler chicken = meat bird.

    True and not true on health problems. Poor management and you will have troubles from day 1. I raised 27 last fall and did not loose any birds, never had any health problems and no leg problems at all.

    Some people say it is the luck of the draw that you will get some irds that die easily and other times you will get heartier birds. I think it is more about the care gieven and the atten paid to the details in keeping them alive and healthy.

    I grew many ofmine out to 12 weeks without any problems of any kind. At this age they weighed in at 10 - 13 lbs each. They were clean fattened birds with very tender delicious meat.

    Quote:A cornish cross is a broiler. You can buy pullets, cockerals are a straight run mix of the two. at 12 weeks none of mine were crowing. they were fat sweet boys with great dispositions.

    Quote:A cornish is a pure breed of chicken. Broilers do convert food well to meat. the trick is feeding them what they need and not letting them gorge and waste the food. Also as they grow their appetite grows and you will begin to feed them more food then their meat ratio might worth in a market style chicken. meaning the feed they eat costs more than going otu and buying an organic raised chicken.

    Quote:Mine did not crow at 12 weeks. They still peeped and made clucking sounds.

    Quote:A pure bred cornish will not give the same meat you are used to in a commercial bird. If you want the big breasted thick thighs like you get from a chicken at the grocery you will want the cornish cross broiler. A pure bred chicken will disappoint you.

    Quote:No. The cornish x broilers do.

    Quote:A bird will not keel over and die from weak leg problems. They will die of heart attacks. you cannot be certain of the reason the bird dies in that case. Do not eat a bird you did not cull. You have no idea unless you had it tested if it died from a heart stress related death, kidney failure or other problem.

    On a related note the combs and wattles would start turning purple-ish blue warning you of a heart condition.

    Quote:Once again a cornish is a pure bred chicken used in the cross breeding to make a cornish x rock broiler.

    If you want a chicken with the meat to bone ratio as the birds you buy in the grocery store you will want to buy the cornish x rock broiler chicks. A pure bred cornish will not give you the same meat.

    The cornish x rock chicks you will buy from the hatchery are broiler chickens. They have been bred to have a large breast and thighs buy 8 - 10 weeks.

    The birds you buy int he grocery store have been selectively bred to give you a big bird in 5 - 6 weeks. You can't get your hands on those. They are an industry secret.

    If you want the meatier chicken, again, buy the cornish x rock broiler chickens from the hatchery.
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    For your first time, you want to use Cornish Crosses (aka Cornish X, Cornish Rock, Jumbo Cornish). Raise them, learn the ropes. These hybrids grow phenomenomally fast and have great FCR's. No purebred chicken comes close to their growth, muscling or body conformation.

    Depending on how much you enjoy/do not enjoy the experience with them, you may / may not want to look at alternative birds for your second batch.
     
  7. Thank you guys very much.
    I was under the impression from looking at the Ideal site that "Broilers" (red broilers and black broilers) were the name of a certain breed of meat chicken different from the Cornish X.
    The wording was confusing me. I did not know that a Cornish chicken was a pure bred type of chicken crossed with the Rocks to make the Cornish X's, etc. Very neat!

    I am going to give it a try and see how we do!
    Thankies [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  8. Do you all think 50 is too many to start with for a first time? Now I'm thinking about cutting that in half and trying 25....
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll probably be surprised at how quickly 50 birds will get eaten. But, there is something to be said for easing into 25 to start.
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Raising them is easy. I can see doing 100. Now, processing them is another thing. No one near use processes so we do it ourself. That is a huge job!
     

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