My predicament :(

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by gal_amy, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. gal_amy

    gal_amy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2009
    Yakima Valley WA
    This year we bought 5 RRReds, 5 silver wiydenottes, and 5 Cinnamon queens. We were very happy. Then DH wanted to amortize the cost of the coop and yard and decided to get 14 white cornish cross and 10 brown cornish cross.

    The whites developed fast, but I found their smell and personality was disgusting. Even butchering was gross.

    Then a month and 1/2 later the brown CC's were ready, as the rooster's were crowing and I can't have that in my neighborhood. I found the smell was ok, but their size was smaller. They were 16 weeks old when proccessed.

    We did the math and figured out we probably need 20 more meat birds.

    What do you think of buff orpingtons, white jersey's and brahma's (as pullets only) as a meat bird. I realize they are egg laying also. How long do they take to fully develop and when do they lay eggs?

    Any other breed suggestions would be appreciated.

    Amy from wa
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  2. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I am doing light brahmas and delewares. They are supposed to develop at a decent rate but definitely not as fast as the cornish. We should be ready to eat them between 20 and 24 weeks.
  3. gal_amy

    gal_amy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2009
    Yakima Valley WA
    Quote:Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really would like to get away from Cornish Cross.

    Do you plan to butcher all of them, or keep some for layer's?

  4. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I've butchered some reg barnyard mixes and one Cuckoo Marans and they are truly scrawney. That was at 5 months and 10 months old. I was all for raising DP birds till I raised the cornish. There is no comparison.

    WOW their personality was disgusting?? I really found just the opposite. They were actually the most friendliest chickens I've ever owned!! Smell yes.. You really can't expect anything that grows as fast and poops as much as they do not to smell. But it does help if you tractor them and move them daily!!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    One hurdle you may run into raising heritage birds for meat is that you will likely have to deal with crowing for quite some time before they are big enough to process.

    I agree with barred that I find our cornish to be fairly charming. Tractoring them and moving the tractor daily is essential to keeping them from being too smelly. We have ours on pasture that still has big patches of dirt for them to scatch and bathe in and the smell is practically non-exisistent.
  6. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I really like the Cornish meat birds. There fast growth is worth the effort and smell. I also think they are the most friendly birds, for not ever handling them at all. [​IMG]
  7. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    What about trying a different "broiler" bird like Freedom Rangers (red broiler type)?

    I have my first batch right now.
  8. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I wouldn't raise pullets only as meat birds. Processing your older layers for stewing fowl I can understand but not young pullets. Pullets simply won't have much meat on them and why eat good layers? They will be laying around 5 to 6mo and the breeds your looking at are considered slow growers. Jersey's and Brahma's won't be fully grown till 2yo. Also, if your buying from a hatchery which I assume you are, those birds are bred for laying eggs, regardless of breed, and most are way under standard weights and produce a rather scrawny carcass.

    If you absolutely can't have crowing, try different broilers. I love my duel purpose breeds but if you can't have crowing and want a bird that looks like a supermarket chicken it just isn't going to happen with DP birds. There is lots of info on here about different broilers and different methods of raising them, I'm sure you'll find something that suits your situation. [​IMG]
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I totally missed the part about pullets only when I posted earlier. I agree that laying pullets will take an awfully long time to make a decent sized eating bird.
  10. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Quote:[​IMG] I am sorry your experience with Cornish was not good. I've found with daily cleaning my meaties don't smell any worse than anyother animal.

    OF course, I only had 10 last batch, and 25 this time. Were I doing a larger batch, perhaps I would have a different perspective on smell etc. I'm the first to say there are many many variables in raising these guys, and everybody's experience is a little different based on those variables. ..housing, location, climate, feed, time available to clean, different hatcheries, season, number of birds etc etc etc.

    My last meaties were sweet, but skittish. This batch are some of the sweetest chickens I have ever had, curious, friendly and incredibly active. I really think free ranging, or minimally allowing them outside of the tractor/coop really makes a huge difference in their cleanliness and personality. When I come out with treats, they come running over to me just like my layers do, and most of them will eat right out of my hands. I hope if you ever decide to do them again, that you have a much more fun, pleasant experience!!


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