Couple questions, when I'm on websites selling Cornish X they have roasters and fryers. Then theres different weights for males and females at what time to butcher and what they are used for... Me and the DH are personally breast meat lovers, we don't do alot of frying and such, and I'm just not sure which breed/sex we need to get for the best results... Right now we are raising Barred Rocks, RIR, Hampshires, and they're not going to produce the meat we're looking for as fast so we're looking into getting meaties but I'm sooo lost on those websites
Anyone who can put what they buy and where and what meat you get from the birds the most and the survival rate from said hatchery is greatly appreciated
p.s. we slaughtered our first Buff Orp cockerel... too young, NO MEAT!!!
Some of the hatchery websites give pretty good information on their birds, I think McMurray and Townline had some information. Grab an iced tea and start reading this forum. There is so much good information already here, Im sure if you do read this, many of your questions will be answered, and maybe more questions will be raised.
For breast meat and early processing nothing can beat the CX . Here is the cheapest I've found for prices and the quality is good also : http://www.schlechthatchery.com/chickens.htm
Were getting into summer and if your area temps are high you should order ASAP or wait for fall IMO . They can be used for gamehens [ regardless of sex ] as early as 4 to 5 weeks and held for roasting at 7 or 8 weeks ........ maybe longer and larger if you manage growth carefully and don't hit high temperatures .
Well that's the thing, I was on McMurray's (never heard of Townline) but they have so many different types to choose from and they all sound good but I'm not caponizing and I just wanted to know what other people get and from where... I've been reading the posts and just wanted others opinions on meaty types and how they turned out. I was thinking of getting McMurray's Jumbo Cornish Rock Females, but didn't know if the males get just as big as the hens and could get straight run, and the barbeque special sounds good but they send 2 different types as broilers and fryers and I'm acctually unsure what a broiler is for? Like I said I wanted more breast meat because we use it for alot of stuff when we cook... And then every other hatchery has a different discription of the Cornish X they sale...
I'll keep looking but thanks for the support, I just didn't want to buy a bunch of chickens and it be the wrong use for them... if that makes since... o well...
Thanks for the feedback, I'm gonna check out all the sites I havn't heard of... and Steve don't worry I'm not ordering this summer it most likely be this fall because I've got 40 heritage breed chickens that will be going to freezer camp in like july/august and won't be buying any more chickens until I downsize. And I'll probably order from a hatchery that's closer to TN for hope that they all survive...
The males get bigger than the females on average . Hatcheries that offer sexed chicks always have a surplus of [ so called ] dual purpose and laying breed males which they may offer in catchy phrased packages like " barbeque special " or " frying pan special " ; look to see what breeds are included . Since meaties are different in that males sell at a premium because they are bigger at the same age , the females are offered cheaper . The difference between a fryer , a broiler , or a roaster is size ; fryers are smaller . Slower growing CX are easier to grow under more difficult conditions , and more likely to survive to an older age for bigger birds at processing time [ especially for those just learning how to raise their own ] . Usually the hatchery will include info about how many weeks their meat strains are likely to take to develope to a certain weight so you can just use that as a guide .
The Cornish X are the only breed where the roosters will actually cost you more from the hatchery than hens - that's because the roosters get bigger faster. I always buy the straight run as that is the in between price and I'm liable to get l/2 roosters and l/2 hens. If raised for the same amount of time (usually 7 to 8 weeks) the roosters will be nice big roasters about 7 - 7-1/2 lbs while the hens will run about 4 - 5lbs each. It makes a nice variety as you can use the smaller hens for cutting up as fried chicken or on the grill and save the big ones for a big roast chicken family dinner with all the trimmings. One 7lb Cornish X rooster will feed a lot of people with tons of moist breast meat to slice. I bought 25 from Meyer Hatchery last year for $1 each when they had an online sale and I thought that was a good deal but the shipping was about $l5 which added another .60cents per bird. I have no complaints - their birds were healthy and attained heavier weights than some I bought at our local Tractor Supply and butchered at the same age.