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Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by jimmybigboss, Feb 25, 2016.
Can they be bred?
Broilers are chickens that are specifically designed for quick meat production. I think you may be referring to the ubiquitous Cornish Cross broiler. They can reach 6 lbs in 6 weeks, and are used in nearly all commercial meat chicken farms. Each hatchery often has its own strain of Cornish Crosses.
CX broilers cannot naturally mate, their legs are too far apart. Also, because the bird is designed to grow meat excessively fast, it is not able to grow its organs fast enough to meet the demand. Most Cornish Crosses would die of organ failure if allowed to live past slaughter date (usually between 6-9 weeks).
There are plenty of other breeds of meat birds, which are slower growing and can mate naturally, such as Pioneers or Freedom Rangers. Many hatcheries also have different strains of slow growing broilers.
Technically a broiler is a bird that was butchered at young enough age to be able to broil it. It's merely an age appropriate bird for specific cooking technique. In order there is broiler, fryer, roaster and stew bird.
Hybrid meat birds are called broilers as most of them (specifically the Cornish X) are not meant to live past 12 weeks. The fastest growing is the Cornish X and people have limited feed and forced exercise to get them to breeding age. Breed them sucsessfully too. It's just a bit arduous a task and males of that hybrid would crush any bird it tried to breed. Only the females are attempted to get to breeding age by those doing meat bird projects.
So what birds do i need to make my own broiler chicks?
Your best bet would be to find someone whose already in a project of that making. Try and get eggs from them.
There are two ways to come up with a sustainable meat bird. One would be running two different lines and matting them for your meat birds. The other is to work on a meat bird project and continue working it to your goal of birds that will mate unto selves and produce virtual clones (as much as that's possible in matings). With either of those routes you still have to have realistic expectations. You'll never produce a Cornish X. You'll never get to making hybrids or a single line that would even produce 4 lbs dressed weight cockerels in under 10 weeks. It's simply not an attainable goal. If it was the Hatcheries/broiler industry would have made it in the last 60 years of this industries extensive research. If you want a bird that grows that fast then purchasing them from hatcheries each round of meat birds is what must be done.
agree. However, the name "broiler" has become a catch-all for referring to meat chickens in general. By the way @Egghead_Jr , I love your forum signature
Also, I'm not sure if CX breeds true. You're right, artificial insemination is required to breed the females.
People who breed the female Cornish X use another breed. They breed a bird like a New Hampshire or pure Cornish sire over the Cornish X. What results that first year is fairly consistent. If your goal is a meat bird line then those F1 birds should be bred together for F2 birds witch will be all over the place in size. Careful notes and leg bands would help in determining the earliest maturing females and males to breed forward. F2 can also breed back to F1 third year. It's a 4 year plus project but you'd end with a relatively fast maturing double breasted bird.
There's been many a thread with Cornish X mothers and another breed as sire. The key is to get the best stock which means the larger breeder stock and choose a breed to use that makes sense not hatchery stock RIR. Here is a thread I'm on and a person that is on second year of Cornish/CornishX project. Photo of their F1 pullet is on page 2 or 3 I think.