Pasture potatoes

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChickenDavid123, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. ChickenDavid123

    ChickenDavid123 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 30, 2011
    Central MI
    We have a friend that raised 100 meat birds this summer, 16 weeks to butcher. I have heard that some of the heritage breeds take a little longer but are more robust. Our friend had lots of leg problems. I heard heritage breeds are less likely to have these problems? What breeds do you suggest and where can I find them next spring?
     
  2. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    5,404
    21
    243
    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I've done them all and in my experience...

    Standard Cornish cross meat birds will be your fastest growing, but they can have health problems.

    Heritage birds grow much slower and aren't as meaty, but don't have the health problems.

    There are some that are "in the middle" and my favorite out of these are the Freedom Rangers, good growth, low health problems and are all around easy to do.

    You can get those at; http://www.jmhatchery.com/free-range-broiler/freedom-ranger-chicks/prod_5.html
     
  3. ChickenDavid123

    ChickenDavid123 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 30, 2011
    Central MI
    We cannot have roosters in our neighborhood, how long to butcher and will the roosters start crowing before that?
     
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    5,404
    21
    243
    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    If your doing a fast growing breed like a Cornish cross you can butcher anywhere from 6 weeks to about 10 weeks, you don't really want them to go much longer, they get too heavy and have more health problems.

    A heritage birds will need at least several months, you could potentially get crowing here.

    Freedom Rangers should be done at around 12 weeks.

    I generally butcher long before I ever get crowing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  5. ChickenDavid123

    ChickenDavid123 Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    32
    Oct 30, 2011
    Central MI
    Thanks so much for the info.
     
  6. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    26
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    When I had red broilers, the boys were all crowing long before they were beefy enough to make a good meal. We now only raise cornish and will get the odd one (one or two at the most out of a batch of 65), that crows a little before processing (7-8wks for us), but even their crows aren't as loud or long as the other roos around here.
     
  7. Matrix Escapee

    Matrix Escapee Out Of The Brooder

    79
    1
    31
    Mar 21, 2011
    My two cents: the health problems everyone speaks of when rating cornish vs heritage was non-existent for us.
    We raised just under 1,000 this year, and we rarely lost any once out to pasture. Any problems we had was in the brooder, where we need to make improvements.
    So, how you raise your birds (on pasture, stress free environment), and what you feed them will be the big factor in your success. There is nothing wrong with the breed, they just need to be raised with the best efforts possible.
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I added nutritional yeast to my second/third small batches of Cornish. My first batch of 17 had several with leg problems, these two have been much healthier, more energetic and no problems. Will be butchering 6 next week. I'm also raising some red broilers from Ideal. I love the way they look, they look like they'll be ready to butcher at about 12 weeks. Very active chicks. I only wish they would sell Pullets sexed because if they start crowing loudly I will have to butcher early because I live in town. I have one banty rooster and I'm lucky he's pretty quiet.
     
  9. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    156
    1
    101
    Aug 27, 2010
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    I like the heritage breeds because I'm a bit lazy. The cornish definitely require constant attention; i.e. moving, cleaning poo relentlessly. The DPs require alot less work, even if more feed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by