My own meat project.

5 Acre Rooster

6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
North Missouri
So for last couple years I been thinking and talking about breeding some meat birds from my own birds. 1 way or another it wasn't happening. This spring though I have 4 CX pullets that are laying 3/4. I know that they won't be a CX since I have no roos, and that the hybrid nature wouldn't let them anyway. But I have BA, BSL and BA x LH roos I plan on rotating with them to start. Their eggs ARE fertile since I have at least 1 in bator now with my BYM and duck eggs and are developing.
1 issue with the birds are that 2 are huge, and 2 are kind of runty. But since its just 1st year of my test I am seeing how things turn out. I have more CX coming this week and may save a few of these this year to try and breed back, or with other birds. I decided to save pullets last year rather than roosters even though they say that CX can't lay well. Other than a couple false eggs (No shell, or crushed.) they are doing well now. I don't feed them commercial feed at all. they range and get shelled corn but that's it. So I have been lucky to not have any size/bone/heart attack issues. As soon as I can get chicks on range/corn I do. Might cost me a week before processing (and have a thicker budget then). Haven't had any issues with my birds in the past with this feed style. Compared to a lot of peoples experiences, I do rather well.
Will keep this post up if I don't get to busy with all I have going. Just can't wait until I can see the 1st chicks.
Last night I was able to set 13 CX eggs in incubator. Not pure they have had 2 X breed roosters with them for a day each. I checked the original egg in incubator last night (The 1 I know is CX and its still developing well. So might as well have a full go of any until I see if I get some to hatch.
I'll be following this closely, we have a few CX (buckeye roo) in the incubator too. I'm hoping to eventually end up with something meatie like the Cx but with better foraging abilities and slower growth.
Same here. Not 100% sustainable but if I can get a few dozen meaty birds a year from prior year birds I would be happy. And maybe I can keep some prodigy from these and breed later to keep some of that CX blood in a meat project.
Hoping for a better processed bird than a mature DP by a slight margin. Just a little more meat for length of body. I am kept on a tight budget with my birds, and finally making some even books with them. As long as I meet a few request with what I am budgeted I have free rein on what I do with them. Wife secretly does want me to do something like this if it works. 60-80 birds per year last few digs deeper in her pocket than she likes to admit. But she can eat my birds and eggs. Not store bought.
My guy is more into the birds than I am lol. We are experimenting with a few dixies this year too, and I really like how they are growing. We have crossed the buckeyes with rocks, marans, Cx, a red sex link.... the plan is to keep the nicest for next years breeding and keep working twards a nice home grown meatie. I love the end result with the Cx, but not the health issues and lack of foraging we see. If you'd like any eggs or anything let me know!
I stumbled on this article somewhere, that could have been the start of the CX of today. At least partly. If you have access to the breeds and time/funds for a pairing like this it may help you, with a more sustainable meat bird. Although I guess it would be 2 flocks of breeders to cross for meats. History Worth Repeating.htm

I found this after I actually started collecting meat eggs. And didn't even go into hatchery websites looking for the breeds because my budget. Anyway I love to be able to do what almost everyone says impossible. Even if its not perfect.

As a side note my 4 CX pullets were intergrated into my main flock last fall. They did very well in a short amount of time and learned to forage as well as my DP birds, even though the winter which was extra harsh this year. There are 2 extremely large pullets and 2 smaller. The biggest of them is roughly 12lbs. Odd stroke of luck I don't usually have any health issues with my meat birds. If I get 1 starting to go lame I cull them and process early if they are of any size. If not I humanely end their suffering. Even at their large size they tend to try getting on roost I have (1-1/2 foot from ground) in 1 of the breeding pens I leave open. And although they are not 100% perfect feathering they do all have full feathers (No bare breasted birds). Only small issue I still have with them is they tend to get extra dirty in the vent feather area.
1st for sure CX egg is still developing well in incubator I checked quickly last night. And to my great surprise the eggs I set on the 18th I could already see great development at D3. Which is 1/2 the time it takes MY eyes to see definite development in brown tinted eggs. Since I don't have a lot of commercialized poultry equipment.
When my new males get mature I plan on trying cross one or more of these with the CX since roosters I had with these CX all have BA blood in them. I was thinking BO or even a RIR. By then I will also (I hope) have this years pardoned birds to maturity. Since they are about the same age to the day. Might take a little longer but there is always hoping.
Great article! Thanks for posting the link.

Actually it starts with four separate flocks to produce today's CX. Each of those four flocks produce a specific grandparent of the CX. So you wind up with seven different flocks, the four for the grandparents, two to make the parents, and the final flock that lays the hatching eggs that become the CX chicks. The cost and genetic knowledge to develop those four flocks is well beyond me.

It's not surprising that they lay pretty well either. Their purpose is to lay a lot of hatching eggs to produce the CX chicks. One of the traits they develop for is good egg laying. Why would a hatchery want to pay to feed a lot of birds that don’t lay well?

Good luck with your project. I suggest you decide what traits you want in your flock and be ruthless in culling for those traits. Eat the birds you don’t want to eat and breed the birds you’d prefer to eat. You will never match the CX chicks you can buy, but in just a few generations you can probably get close to what you want.
I know the CX are a 4 way. But that cross in the article was probably a starting foundation. For an idea people to try because NOBODY can get the 4 breed secret. Maybe start with that cross and figure out another. Gets you 1/2 way to the secret maybe.
I have some white Cornish that I plan on crossing with some heritage Delawares and Barred Rocks to see if I can get a big bodied good laying and eating cross.
That's what I see thru many threads that a lot of people want. Since DP breeds have been neglected for meat and bred for egg laying enrichment. Even most heritage breeds have still generations to get back to what they once were. I remember my grandmother's RIR roo. He was a monster, but big baby. Swear he was 1/2 ostrich and 1/2 hippo. Wish I had his blood in my birds gene pool.

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