Please help with this!!! Sex Link Meat Bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Dyran, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Dyran

    Dyran New Egg

    Nov 2, 2014
    Ok i ordered chickens, yet after doing more research i dont know if its best. I wanted to do Dark Cornish / Barred Rock black sex link, yet i heard that the hens typically dont lay often, big and want to eat a lot of food. So my question is this, does anyone know a good sex link for meat, I plan to sell hens for laying eggs and butcher roosters young so need a lot of meat young.
  2. Braxton Brigade

    Braxton Brigade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2015
    Braxton, Ms
    What about a good old heritage breed? Australorps, Orpingtons and New Hampshires could all be a good match for what you're asking in a chicken. The only sex-linked mix that I think would be a great layer and meat bird (though they will still take longer than meat birds) are a Australorp X Barred Rock, males will be born with a white spot on their heads and grow up to be barred and the females will be mostly black. They would be a excellent layer and the males could be fattened with a little work.
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich True BYC Addict

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I was going to suggest ANY DUAL PURPOSE breed. In short time you can tell the difference between pullets and cockerels. Raise and sell pullets at or near POL. and get good price for such. The other 50% of hatch, give or take, will be cockerels, raise to young tender meat stage and process or sell live, for that expressed purpose.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In that black sex link cross, the father would be the Dark Cornish and the mother would be the Barred Rock. Cornish are not known to be great egg layers but since that is the rooster, who cares. Roosters don’t lay eggs. Barred Rock hens normally lay pretty well, especially BR from hatcheries. So you should get plenty of hatching eggs from those parents.

    The male offspring from that cross should make really nice meat birds with large breasts compared to most dual purpose crosses. My one concern is that the dark feathers will show up if you pluck the carcass instead of skin it. Whenever you pluck you leave pin feathers behind. Light colored feathers like white or buff don’t show up that well so you get a prettier carcass with them compared to a dark red or black bird. As far as a meat bird cross that should do well.

    The concern does come in with the pullets from that cross. With any dual purpose cross the pullets should be bigger than leghorns or the commercial hybrid egg layers. That means they are not going to be as efficient at turning what they eat into eggs since they have to eat more to maintain that big body. The Cornish (also called Indian Game) are bigger than most dual purpose birds so this could be a problem.

    Also since Cornish are not known to be great egg layers the pullets will probably inherit some of those tendencies from their fathers. The rooster contributes just as much to egg laying genetically as the hen. Hatchery birds tend to lay better than the breed norms, so the pullets from this cross may not be terrible at laying eggs but that’s questionable.

    Also hatchery birds are not normally as big as breed standards either. Breed just doesn’t mean as much with hatchery birds as it does with someone that is breeding to breed standards. You may not have done as well for meat or as poorly for eggs as you think. It’s really hard to say with hatchery birds. That makes it hard to make recommendations based on hatchery birds.

    Before the advent of the Cornish Cross, Cornish X, hybrid broilers (whatever you want to call them) in the 1950’s the standard commercial meat birds were New Hampshire, Delaware, and some flocks of White Rocks. Since then hatcheries or much of anyone else have not been breeding to meat standards so a lot of the qualities that made them such great meat birds have been lost. There just isn’t that much difference in today’s hatchery New Hampshire, Delaware, and White Rock and any other hatchery dual purpose breed.

    Most breeders for these breeds are breeding for show. If you get your birds from them they will be bigger (and a lot more expensive than hatchery birds) but most are not breeding for all the traits that made them great meat birds to start with, plus they are probably not breeding for good egg laying either. You also get the bigger bodies so they are not as efficient as turning feed into eggs as many smaller birds. There are a very few people that do breed for production but most people breeding for show are mostly breeding for what the judge sees and the judge does not see how fast a cockerel puts on weight or how many eggs a pullet lays. There are no magic chickens out there. They all come with some qualifications.

    The quality of the stock you get will have a huge influence on the quality of the offspring, but if I were following your goals I’d look hard at a New Hampshire male over a Delaware female. You should get a reasonable dual purpose carcass from the males but they will not have the bigger breasts you might get from a Cornish. The pullets should lay really well. The offspring will be red sex links, very easy to tell apart at hatch. The males will be mostly white so you should get a pretty carcass if you pluck.

    With hatchery quality stock I don’t know that these will be that much better than most other dual purpose crosses, but I think it’s a reasonable approach. Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  5. Dyran

    Dyran New Egg

    Nov 2, 2014
    Wow, thank you for all the info Ridgerunner. I actually am taking your advice and changing my order. Thank you very much
  6. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Post #4 is pretty much on the money. We use a Dark Cornish cock over Delaware pullets. Sexlink results are the same. Silver down for the cocks, golden down for the pullets. White feathered males, reddish brown females. I use the Dark Cornish for the double breast. I also agree with Ridgerunner to start with the best stock you can find. Good Luck

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