Wanna help with a genetics project?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Urbanfarmerkc, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Ok, here is the experiment that I'd like your advice on.


    Mother Earth news announced in one of it's mags last summer that the breed Le Fleche won the best tasting chicken contest they held. So, I did what any chicken addict would do, I bought Le Fleche chickens to try out on my own. As could have been predicted by anyone who works with heritage breeds, they grew very, very slow and never got very big. So, I began to ponder... What if you crossed the delicious Le Fleche with the ever robust, fast growing, Delaware...


    I kept 3 Le Fleche Roosters back to breed with my 6 (used to be 11 but predators hit hard) Delawares. I know 1 roo to 2 hens is a daunting number but hey, I had more when I started... I also have about 5 Le Fleche hens that I plan to keep with the pack to ease the numbers on the Dels.

    Those of you who know genetics will probably be able to predict my outcome and if so, I'm interested in your advice or opinions. I'm wanting the Le Fleche flavor with the Delaware growth pattern and size. I do not care about coloration as the Le Fleche have light skin despite their dark feathers and the Delawares have light skin as well.

    If I'm successful with the cross breed process, I hope to eventually breed in a Cornish to get the breast size up to par...

    If you haven't figured this out yet, I'm hoping to create a better flavored broiler.

    I look forward to your opinions.

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I think broilers from factories don't taste good because of their feed. IMHO.
  3. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    Do you have a link to the ME article? I would like to read that.

    Delawares do not really grow out very quickly, FYI. They are about on par with other heritage breed grow out rates. You can get a good carcass from 20-25 weeks, as I recall from my roos last year.

    Have you read through the various meat bird breeding projects in the Meat forum? You might have better luck getting folks on this bandwagon there.
  4. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    The problem is when you want to select your animals on nice taste, that you have to keep the animals alive, to breed from them.
    I would go for better feed as well.
  5. gumbii

    gumbii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2010
    bell gardens, ca
    Quote:that's what i was thinking when i read the post... you're breeding for taste right...? how are you gonna hold back the tasty ones...? LOL...
  6. blackdotte

    blackdotte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2008
    Very short life, restricted mobility, unlimited refined food = very little taste, i.e. commercial broilers in supermarkets, max 6 weeks old, 10,000 in a shed, up to 37 per sq yard.

    Longer life, free range, varied feed = much greater taste.
    Google the required feeding regime for French Bresse fowl
  7. tadkerson

    tadkerson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    Quote:Why not buy commercial chicks (they are cheap) and raise them on special diets. Then eat the birds and see if diet makes a difference in taste.

    If you want a fast growing bird- it will takes years to get any significant difference in growth rate and when you do it will not be very much.

    I have been working on a free range broiler for 6 years but I started with "cornish cross" and scaled down their growth rate.

    Good luck

  8. JohnGalt

    JohnGalt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Galt's Gulch
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  9. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    I will help with the tasting part!!! [​IMG]
  10. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    I really appreciate the advice even the tongue in cheek advice. LOL I am going to go ahead with my experiment but on a small scale as nature has only left me with 5 Delaware hens. Of course, there are PLENTY roosters. I free range and I do like mine to eat a high quality feed. Mostly, I think birds taste better on grass as well as a good high quality feed.

    As for raising the typical broilers well, never again for me. I've done the Cornish X twice and they disgust me. Even the slow growers are pretty gross. I have tried the Freedom Rangers and I liked them pretty well but they got tough before I was able to get them processed about 16 weeks.

    HaikuHeritageFarm, my Delawares have always outgrown all my other heritage breed chickens. They also taste pretty good too. I usually recommend these birds to any novice or beginner back yard grower. They are personable, lay like crazy, talk to you like you are another chicken and are down right pretty... I may be a bit parcel. LOL

    Thanks again all,


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