New to meat birds .

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Strummer, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Strummer

    Strummer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2012
    Edna tx
    I have had chickens for years . I'm looking to add meat birds to the mix . I bought some Cornish rocks from tsc. Just butchered them . What I was wondering what breed would be best that I could have to lay eggs to hatch and birds to raise for meat ?
     
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Delawares. Period, end of story - actually the beginning of the story [​IMG]
    Delawares were the cornish cross of the meat industry for 20 years before the cornish came on the scene. They are not only much prettier, but they are (from what I've heard) great layers of large brown eggs, and they have calm temperaments to boot. They are also a rare breed in need of conservation, so maybe you would consider getting some quality stock? I want some SOOOO bad!!! If you get some, write a review!
     
  3. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    N. Illinois
    people like white rocks, dark or white(hard to find) cornish and naked necks.. this year I saved a CX hen and have 4 chicks that hatched the week before halloween from my unknown mix roo. We will see if they increase the growth/size of my flock. and how long they will live.. The cx hen is still ok, but if she makes a year it will be unusual
    you might want to check out these threads
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/845018/breeding-for-production-eggs-and-or-meat
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/896158/first-run-of-cornish-cross-meat-birds-and-super-excited
     
  4. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Ah, yes. I spaced the turkens. They are pretty awesome too. I want one so bad, But Mom says, "they're SO ugly!" I don't care, they are beauiful in their own right [​IMG] You could cross turkens and delawares, those would be some amazing meat birds!
     
  5. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Make sure that she gets PLENTY of excersise, and limit her food. Cornish x can live for around a year, but they don't have such a great life. The longer you keep them, the bigger their chance for beaking a leg or something else that's really painful. I would eat her before that happens.
    I haven't heard of any cornish x crosses besides the turken/cornish which has no feathers at all. I wouldn't worry about that with your roo unless he's part turken. They should live full lives [​IMG]
     
  6. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2015
    N. Illinois
    Oh I got the idea from BYC threads, I posted before, to hold her for hatching eggs.. several people using rangers, BR , DC, NN and others... I feed FF 2x a day all they can eat in 10 min.. in between they have to go forage. I had to pen them because they were going east 150' into the neighbors yard instead of south back into my 10 acres. When the CX or the BBB hen loose quality of life they will be sent to freezer camp. I think that may be before the BBB starts laying though.

    Pen is divided into two 70 x 70' ish that the chickens can get into both, but the turkeys can't get into one... and a smaller 16x 20' ish for when jakes are pulling snoods..jakes are a bigger pain than cockerels... no blackhead reports in my area BTW
    The 1/4 ranger and 3/4 CX seem to have the cx longevity issue .. so I am going heritage/CX route.
     
  7. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Ok, just making sure. The people across the street from us got about 15 of them and they only ate half. They all free-ranged, so they lived for about a year, but they all died in a freak cold-snap.
    They didn't know how many health issue cornish x's can get, so I tell everyone about them to be safe [​IMG] Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Maeschak

    Maeschak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I got some Delawares from Whitmore Farm just for this purpose. I had one cockerel reach about 5 lbs live weight at 18 weeks so I kept him for future breeding. (Im hoping to get a good sized 16 week bird at some point). All the other cockerels were eaten at 20 and 24 weeks. The 20 week cockerels averaged 3.6 lbs dressed (no neck, feet, giblets,etc). Waiting the additional 4 weeks only garnered about 1/4 lb per bird and thus does not seem worth the wait. The two pullets that survived multiple predator attacks started laying eggs at 20 and 21 weeks. They lay very well (probably 5/6 eggs a week?). I now have 12 Del pullets with my laying flock (due to start laying early Feb I believe) and 10 cockerels in a grow-out pen. I am going to start culling cockerels this time at 14 weeks starting with the smallest bird. (Someone on BYC made a good case for eating tiny 14 weekers - mainly feed efficiency and tenderness for the grill so I am going to give it a try. I am guessing it will be game-hen size).

    I am not sure if I could have gotten better stock but these were close to me and I really wanted to be able to pick up hatching eggs/pick up chicks so that I could check out their operation. Farm is beautiful and extremely well tended to. I am hoping with my own selective breeding I can get a fuller breast as is shown in SOP and quicken the weight gain... really its just a project but I am all for a good healthy hobby that produces some food and fun! If one of my current cockerels shows oustanding growth he will replace my current Del roo... we shall see! I must say that I do love these birds- I didnt think I would like the mostly white bird but they are really very pretty. The Del roo is extremely timid (which I like as he is a good balance to my nasty little production RIR). By the way, the great part about having Delawares is that you can keep a spare red bird (production RIR, NH, etc) and make great little sex-link hybrids. So for me- that is the best of both worlds. I can work on size for my meaty males and get great laying sex-links with the spare red roo, even though the Del pullets on their own are pretty good layers.

    Hope this helps! I think most places you get Delawares you will have to work with, but that is really half the fun.
     
  9. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    Maeshak, I don't know of anyone else who has Delawares besides Whitmore. You've got yourself some good breeding stock there, and I am jealous [​IMG] Today Dealwares probably need to be selected more for the fast growth rate they used to be known for, as some breeders tend to selct for show and growth weight falls on the waaaayy back burner. Good luck!
     
  10. Strummer

    Strummer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2012
    Edna tx
    Where can I get these ? I can hatch them if need de .
     

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