Trying to decide what breeds to use for our meat birds. Got some ????s

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dandydoodle, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    Okay, I was asking about what kind of birds I should use. I was asking about Marans and Orpingtons etc. Someone told me I should use a mix breed, does anyone know what the reason would be for this??? [​IMG]


  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I have no idea what the reasoning might be for using a mixed breed. Any of the dual purpose breeds will work for a meat bird, but you'll get the most meat from a cornish cross or similar from a hatchery. They have the most meat per feed and time of anything else. If you want something sustainable, that you wont' have to buy chicks for every year, any dual purpose breed should really work. The cornish crosses and such don't because, among other harder to explain reasons, they are hybrids and their offspring wont' breed true.

    Edited to Add: I'm assuming you mean barnyard mutt when you say "mix breed." If you mean a cornish cross or freedom ranger or whatever by that, then it's the best choice because those have been bred to give you the most meat for the amount of feed and time you put into them. They are like hybrid tomato plants: That particular cross whose parents have been developed for years will make what you want, but the offspring of that cross will not.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  3. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Crossbred birds grow faster and mature earlier (generally speaking) than purebreds. Thus they make the best utility birds. [​IMG]

    Purebreds have varying degrees of 'inbreeding depression', which crossbreeds don't suffer from. Normally we describe this the other way by saying crossbreds have 'hybrid vigor', but that's not strictly true; it's just that purebreds have lost some vigor through close breeding.

    Having said that, you could take two purebreds from different strains of the same breed, cross them and see some improvements in growth, maturity, vigor etc.

  4. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    Thanks, so it could be a cross of the same breed, it doesn't have to be two different breeds. So if I had Cornish and I had a roo and a hen if I breed them their offspring wouldn't be good meat birds?
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    What Erica meant is that if you want to use purebred dual purpose it can be done but would work best by using birds from two different lines or strains. You can do this by obtaining birds from breeders and getting two different sets and choosing the best to keep from each. That way you get the birds with the strongest characteristics you desire from each strain. Cornish would work fine on it's own but Cornish Rock cross do not breed well and so would not work as a sustainable meat bird choice. If you are okay with having to buy chicks each year than they will work fine for you, but if you would rather get a bird breed that lays eggs and hatches offspring for meat than any of the DP breeds will work.
  6. kfacres

    kfacres Songster

    Jul 14, 2011
    read my byc page

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