Sustainable backyard broiler flock?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Godiva, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    880
    1
    161
    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    I was wondering if someone with more experience than me could educate me on which purebreds I could use to create a reasonable backyard broiler flock? I have tried BO and they are ok but certainly not particularly meaty. I was wondering about trying dark cornish over orpingtons or even cochins (I have a small flock of giant standard cochin pullets...) What have you tried and found to be useful. We really want to get away from ordering chicks or eggs every year so that we can be more self sufficient... I would love to hear what crosses are good even on a backyard scale...
     
  2. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    my birchen blue marans boy is probably the meatiest out of all my boys and i have alot of boys. if you feel his chest, it is full and he is quite stocky all the way around.

    next is probably my blrwyondotte boy. he's probably the biggest boy in my whole flock. but the slowest growing. he was skin and boys until he was probably over a year old. my cochin boys don't have much breast meat compared to the marans or the wyondotte. but that could be because they are the most athletic out of all of the boys. you'll see them RUNNING EVERYWHERE trying to catch those girls, while the other boys don't. if you feel their chests, it's more fluff than meat. my next big boy is probably my RIR then my blue/black orpington boys. although my orpington boys are bigger than my RIR boy, the RIR has more breast meat than my orps.

    BUT

    none of these guys are hatchery birds. they are from breeders that show. so they're not your run of the mill RIR or marans. if you put a hatchery RIR next to my flock, you'll see that my RIR's are a whole size bigger than the hatchery birds. the conformations are totally different.

    i had a delaware hen once and she was very nice. very meaty...but of course, nothing like the meat birds. i think my meatiest girls are my cross breeds. ones that have my RIR as a dad and either a white rock or orpington. i know that makes sex-links which aren't usually fat, but for some reason, my girls are bigger and fuller.
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Cornish sire on any hen will work for you. My best results are breeding the Dark Cornish to any retained broiler I have (Freedom Ranger or JM Redbro's). The next best result was breeding the Cornish to my Black Sex Links.

    But, having a standing flock of breeding birds to make broilers really makes no sense to me. I recommend that you simply do your broilers as "crops" a couple time per year, then pack your freezer with them. This way you're not dealing with redundant chicken flocks with different feeding requirements,w hich requires separation and more labor.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by