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Ready for some meaties but?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by de kippendame, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. de kippendame

    de kippendame Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2011
    South Central IA
    I still have a few questions that I haven't been able to find answers for in searching, there is so much good info on here that I've gathered thus far though! We've had layers for the past 4 years now and like chicken raising goes, we are ready to start raising some meat. Funny how that happens! [​IMG] I think we'll start small with 15...Or maybe 25...Oh chicken math! My questions are:

    What meat breed do you prefer? I'm looking at Cornish Roaster and Jumbo Cornish X right now as I'd like to have birds that resembled what we are used to from the meat case.

    Where are you getting your birds from? I use McMurray for my layers as they are relatively close and I've had no issues with the chicks I get from them, however, I'm a bit hesitant to pay $2.38/bird when I know the farm store sells 'em for $.99. [​IMG] I guess that's just the cheap-o in me. That said, I've never bought a farm store bird and have always paid the hefty price for my layers that I know will ship happy and healthy.

    Do you vaccinate meaties for Marek's? I have with all my other birds hatchery or broody hatched.

    Do you prefer males or females? This would be temperament, taste and tenderness. I plan on making our first order straight run so we can test for ourselves, but would like to know what others think.

    When it comes to processing--What do you do with the blood? I understand you can give the innards back to the chickens, compost the feathers and the dogs and cats are looking to get some nummy treats as well, but where does all the blood go?

    I plan to raise them free range along side our layers and use FF. I've read even Jumbos can handle the free life, but I'm wondering how Jumbo is Jumbo? Does anyone have a side-by-side of a Jumbo vs. regular Cornish? I suppose I should also add, I'd like to be able to fry some of these and not have them be tough...We had some legs last night and I now know why they were on sale...They should have been for soup.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  2. Nexxus6

    Nexxus6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2014
    I have 6 Buff Orpington and 6 Silver Wyandottes. All hens I got from a local farm, Longhorn Farms. They were vaccinated with Mareks. Blood goes into the garden. They are at 16 weeks and I am going to butcher starting this weekend.
     
  3. de kippendame

    de kippendame Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2011
    South Central IA
    Well isn't that fascinating! I never even thought about blood for the garden! Thank you! :thumbsup
     
  4. JacobH

    JacobH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I'll try to answer all your questions as best as I can. This is our first go around with CX, so I'm by no means an expert.

    I prefer the CX over heritage for the same old reasons. Less time to get attached, faster from hatch to table, actually cheaper than some heritage breeds, faster feed/weight conversion, etc. Plus, it's almost easier to process them. They have a very nice personality, but they're just plain ugly. My wife told me before I got meat birds that it would have to be "plain old white meat chickens." So that's what we got.

    I got my birds from Schlecht(?) hatchery. They were $1.25, plus shipping. Around $1.89 with shipping I think. They sent 4 extras, had 3 die after they got here. All were alive when they arrived. I think the three were just runts. It happens. Their service was great though.

    I'm not sure if they hatchery vaccinated or not. I think most do.

    I prefer males. I know some people say you should get straight run so that the hatchery doesn't have unwanted females to deal with.
    But males grow faster, and they're also easier to process than females for me.

    I've processed some EE Roos, never any CX yet. I let the blood drain down the hill into the woods and washed it out with water. I figured the rain would eventually do it's thing and deal with it fully.

    They're big, it's what they're bred to do. At 8 weeks, they tower over standard chicks of the same age. I've seen weights from 5-10lbs.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

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