Questions about raising chickens for meat


8 Years
Jan 26, 2012
Folsom, Louisiana
I had chickens many years ago as pets but now I'm interested in raising some for food.

What is the best breed for food, how long does it take to raise them from a chick to table size, where can I find out how to clean them once they're grown and what temps do they need to be raised in?

Thanks for your help.

If you're raising them strictly for food, Cornish X would probably be the best way to go. You'd butcher them around 6-8 weeks of age. They don't seem to do well in the heat though. They pretty much laze around and eat all day, and grow very fast. Its very common to see them with bald patches, since their bodies seem to grow faster than their feathers! We don't do Cornish here, instead we opted for dual purpose breeds (Chentechlers, Sussex, Australorps, ect). They take quite a few more months to grow out, but they also provide us with eggs and we don't have to have them butchered by a set date. With Cornish, they grow so fast that eventually their legs can't support them and they can have health issues if left to grow on their own, I don't think they're free breeders either and I like to be able to hatch out our own chicks to keep our flock going.
Anyway... There's a meat bird section here on BYC, its an excellent learning tool. Its where I got a refresher on butchering. I used to help my grandparents out with that deed as a child, but wasn't feeling so good about the whole ordeal on my own. I found a thread in that section with step by step pictures, it helped a ton.

Good luck!

Agree to check out the meat bird section. There are several threads there about using different dual purpose breeds for meat, plus some of the "slow broilers" like Rangers and Rainbows. Plus threads about Cornish cross, of course.

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