Need info on starting meat birds

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
I am purchasing my first round of laying hens that should be here in a few weeks. I am interested in getting started with some meatr birds as well.
What would be the best breed for meat?
Also, what is a good breed for fryer chickens weighing about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. thank you!
 

AgroUrica

Songster
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
133
21
104
I am purchasing my first round of laying hens that should be here in a few weeks. I am interested in getting started with some meatr birds as well.
What would be the best breed for meat?
Also, what is a good breed for fryer chickens weighing about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. thank you!
I've only worked with the Cornish X's and have to admit that they're amazing birds. Very docile and grow rapidly. I've had some reach 6 pounds in 36 days. A fryer at 2 to 2 1/2 lbs seems really small to me but then that's probably about the size of bird served in most fried chicken chains. I had the lead chef for Popeye's tell me that their birds were slaughtered at 21 days. At the time they also owned Church's and he commented that they liked bigger birds....24 days.
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BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
Thank you guys! Do you usually go to a specific week to butcher them or just at around 6 lbs or a preferable size? I've heard lots of good things about Cornish! I just don't know if I could butcher them I have such a big heart for animals! Lol we butcher our beef and fresh meat is just sooo much better than store bought so I guess I just need to suck it up because I would love some fresh chicken!
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
The cornish X really are super freaking cool. I mean they grow like crazy...
They are a couple days past 6 weeks old, and they are larger than a few barnyard mixes we got last year...Like bigger by a lot...Probably 4-5 lbs...
If you wanted them to be only 2 lbs, then you could process them when they are maybe 3-4 weeks and be good to go. Or most of the Dual Purpose breeds would work, and you wouldn't have to wait forever for them to get large enough to eat if you only want them a couple of pounds...
I think everyone should see a Cornish X grow though...I mean the time that people must have spent engineering such a creature blows my mind...
They grow fast like Leghorns, but giant like I don't know...a giant breed of chicken...They even look like they are part chicken and part, well Bulldog...Lol.
With dual purpose you can keep turning out your own and never have to buy another chick The females will lay eggs for you and your roosters will feed you...barring that you are allowed to have roosters where you are because you can hatch the chicks and eat the roosters...
We do that, but I wait until they get a little larger, and it takes so long...
Which is a long time to feed a rooster just so you can eat it...
And the older they are the tougher they are...Perhaps I just need to hatch more chicks and kill the roos when they are smaller...and just have an everyone gets their own chicken for dinner night one night a week or something...
You just have given me a great idea...
I wanted to hatch and raise chicks to sell, but of course you always want to keep a few...so here is my answer to that...I could even possibly make even more money by waiting til I can tell the sex and then selling the females off and just eating all the males...
Hmm...
I figure if I can cause my hobby to make me enough money to buy the things to support itself then my husband can't say no to a much larger bator...
So I could sell off small batches of day old chicks to save up for a larger incubator...anyway..blah blah blah I always get rambley at this time of night...
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
The cornish X really are super freaking cool. I mean they grow like crazy...
They are a couple days past 6 weeks old, and they are larger than a few barnyard mixes we got last year...Like bigger by a lot...Probably 4-5 lbs...
If you wanted them to be only 2 lbs, then you could process them when they are maybe 3-4 weeks and be good to go. Or most of the Dual Purpose breeds would work, and you wouldn't have to wait forever for them to get large enough to eat if you only want them a couple of pounds...
I think everyone should see a Cornish X grow though...I mean the time that people must have spent engineering such a creature blows my mind...
They grow fast like Leghorns, but giant like I don't know...a giant breed of chicken...They even look like they are part chicken and part, well Bulldog...Lol. 
With dual purpose you can keep turning out your own and never have to buy another chick The females will lay eggs for you and your roosters will feed you...barring that you are allowed to have roosters where you are because you can hatch the chicks and eat the roosters...
We do that, but I wait until they get a little larger, and it takes so long...
Which is a long time to feed a rooster just so you can eat it...
And the older they are the tougher they are...Perhaps I just need to hatch more chicks and kill the roos when they are smaller...and just have an everyone gets their own chicken for dinner night one night a week or something...
You just have given me a great idea...
I wanted to hatch and raise chicks to sell, but of course you always want to keep a few...so here is my answer to that...I could even possibly make even more money by waiting til I can tell the sex and then selling the females off and just eating all the males...
Hmm...
I figure if I can cause my hobby to make me enough money to buy the things to support itself then my husband can't say no to a much larger bator...
So I could sell off small batches of day old chicks to save up for a larger incubator...anyway..blah blah blah I always get rambley at this time of night...


Oh no it's perfectly fine! My husband and family thinks I'm crazy because chickens are all I talk about! Haha I really appreciate the information. I will have to invest in some Cornish. I have Barred Rocks for my layers... Well they're on their way to me anyways and I want some Silkies just to look at! Lol they're adorable!
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
153
211
Colorado mountains
I raised 35 Freedom Rangers last year and really liked them. I wanted a more "natural" bird that wouldn't die of heart failure or lose its ability to walk due to what I saw as an unnatural tendency to eat itself to death. I ordered 35, received 36 in the mail and lost one during the first 2 weeks. Other than 4 I lost one night to a predator that broke into the tractor, all the rest made lovely, tasty roasters, other than a few I cut into quarters and the 2 I made into sausage (very nice). I'd do them again in a heart beat. Unfortunately, I've had to make a deal with my hubby that I would never have more than 18 at any given time. So, I purchased 10 CX chicks that were about 5 days old. I lost one at 3 weeks, one at 4 weeks and 1 at 5 weeks. That may not sound like a lot, but it is a 30% loss. The remaining 7 look good...but then again so did the three that died. Two I found dead in the morning after having checked on them right before bed. The third was looking really bad when I checked on them in the morning and I ended up "putting it out of its misery" after consulting folks on this thread. I have 18 Red Rangers coming in early May. I hope they are as good as the Freedom Rangers.
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
I raised 35 Freedom Rangers last year and really liked them.  I wanted a more "natural" bird that wouldn't die of heart failure or lose its ability to walk due to what I saw as an unnatural tendency to eat itself to death.  I ordered 35, received 36 in the mail and lost one during the first 2 weeks.  Other than 4 I lost one night to a predator that broke into the tractor, all the rest made lovely, tasty roasters, other than a few I cut into quarters and the 2 I made into sausage (very nice).  I'd do them again in a heart beat.  Unfortunately, I've had to make a deal with my hubby that I would never have more than 18 at any given time.  So, I purchased 10 CX chicks that were about 5 days old.  I lost one at 3 weeks, one at 4 weeks and 1 at 5 weeks.  That may not sound like a lot, but it is a 30% loss.  The remaining 7 look good...but then again so did the three that died.  Two I found dead in the morning after having checked on them right before bed.  The third was looking really bad when I checked on them in the morning and I ended up "putting it out of its misery" after consulting folks on this thread.  I have 18 Red Rangers coming in early May.  I hope they are as good as the Freedom Rangers.


Thank you for the new breed input! I don't know if I've ever heard of that breed! I am so scared to lose babies. I know I'll be so sad! Lol I will definitely have to look into that breed. About how fast do they grow?
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
We got 9 Cornish x on the 6th of march and they are all doing great...one of the cockerels actually made it out of the brooder the other day...it's only 2 feet tall, but you know the large women that wear spandex pants at Walmart? That's what these chickens make me think of
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
153
211
Colorado mountains
Thank you for the new breed input! I don't know if I've ever heard of that breed! I am so scared to lose babies. I know I'll be so sad! Lol I will definitely have to look into that breed. About how fast do they grow?
Freedom Rangers, from my understanding, were developed in France as a more natural, healthy alternative to the CX. I processed my Freedom Rangers in batches, starting with the 6 largest birds when they were 9 weeks of age. Those first 6 ranged from one pullet who was not thriving at just under 2 pounds to the largest at about 4 1/2 pounds, but most were right around 4 pounds fully dressed. At week 10 I did 6 more that ranged from 4 - 5 pounds. Week 11 I did the rest and there weren't any below 4 pounds and several above 5 pounds. I actually kept 2 pullets and 1 rooster, hoping to hatch out some nice first generation FR babies in the spring. However, the rooster turned out to be a brute who was hurting my hens, so I butchered him at about 6 months of age. He was over 8 pounds dressed who made an awsome Coc au Vin dinner with leftovers to freeze for several more dinners. One of the hens I butchered at maybe 10 months of age and she was over 7 pounds dressed (and made 2 delicious Chicken Fricassee dinners). I still have the remaining FR hen, who is approaching a year. She is easily twice the size of my EE hens and 1.5X the size of my BPR hens. I will be adding her to the freezer when my remaining CX reach butchering age. Only one of the 35 seemed to develop any leg problems and he was the first to go at 9 weeks.
 

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