What are the best breeds of chickens to raise for there meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Jessicalynn927, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Jessicalynn927

    Jessicalynn927 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im thinking about raising some meat chickens but I dont know which is the best breed to use. I have RIR plymouth rock and a bunch of mixed hens I raise for the eggs to eat.
     
  2. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:hands down, the best chicken to raise for it's meat is the cornish cross... keep your hens for eggs, and buy new Cx chicks every year... and be dollars ahead...

    In most cases, the egg sales and consumption are the only things keeping flocks running profitably. When you start taking eggs away from that... and then try to raise your own birds to eat... you get two things..

    one, less eggs to sell.
    two, birds that take more than 2x longer to get ready for butchering.
     
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Three, the rest ( other than CornishX ) consume 2x, 3x, 4x or more feed + other production and other holding costs to yield similar , but more often than not, less tender and lesser amount of meat for your dining pleasure.
     
  4. Jessicalynn927

    Jessicalynn927 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im going to look into getting me some Thanks![​IMG]
     
  5. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not to disagree but I have to. For some of use we think it is beneficial to have a DP flock.
    We raise both but if everything keeps working this year the only hybrid meat birds on the property will be for the fair meat pen.

    A dual purpose chicken raised to 20 to 26 weeks will eat about the same amount of feed that the Cornish X does in 8 weeks. I have empirical evidence that backs up this statement too. See the link: http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/feedingchickens.pdf OSU also has similar charts.


    If you just want two separate flock or just meat the CX or plain Cornish might be the best for you, but if you want a sustainable dual purpose flock-- get good breeding stock from a breeder for Rocks, Buckeyes or another heritage breed.


    Our experience has been that the Rocks are better layers than the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes we have like to go broody. We were not impressed with the strain of Delawares we raised either; our Rocks and Buckeyes grew much quicker than these.

    Buckeyes are not just a dark meat bird; they can easily dress out at 3.75 to 4 pound in 20 weeks free ranging probably quicker and more weight if fed strictly high protein rations. They have a wide decent breast 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch thick. Our strain is making a great meat bird all by itself. My experience with the two breeds is that the Buckeyes and White Rocks get to a usable age for meat faster then the Delaware's I had.


    Other ideas for sustainable meat are Pekin ducks -- ready in 7 to 8 weeks. Grow them out to 12 weeks if you want them larger. Easy to incubate,raise, etc...

    Rabbits are also another good source of fast meat once you get started. Rabbits can also be ready as fryer in 8 to 12 weeks.
     
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  6. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:A dual purpose chicken raised to 20 to 26 weeks will eat about the same amount of feed that the Cornish X does in 8 weeks.

    So why risk the extra time alive against potential predators and potential health problems... Personally, the quicker you get them, and the quicker you kill them the better off you are. Who cares if they eat the same ammount of feed? Time is money.

    Buckeyes are not just a dark meat bird; they can easily dress out at 3.75 to 4 pound in 20 weeks free ranging probably quicker and more weight if fed strictly high protein rations. They have a wide decent breast 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch thick.
    and this would be compared to a turkey sized Cornish x at the same age...

    Personally, I think rabbits, or BBW turkeys are the way to go... man those turkeys smoked everything we've ever raised except the CX chicks... turkey isn't for everybody, and they're stupid... but they had the meat on them.. Biggest one we butchered at over 50 lb.


    .
     
  7. Jessicalynn927

    Jessicalynn927 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info:D Im not sure what im going to get I have never raised chickens for there meat I always just raised for the eggs. Im excited to try it out though to see the difference between store bought and the ones im going to raise.
     
  8. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Some of us prefer the DP because we like the model

    #1 Sustainable -- I don't have to buy chicks when I want chicken -- the cost of Cornish X chicks can range from fifty cents to three dollars

    #2 Free Range & Forage -- I don't have to buy 20 pounds of feed per bird.

    #3 Taste -- A bird raised more than 8 weeks will develop the rich flavor that chicken is supposed to have which our family expects.

    #4 Cost -- I have little cost in any of the meat we raise since ours free range and we use the culls.

    #5 Time -- I spend no more time raising a few extra since when you are breeding you are going to end up with extras anyway.

    I sell extra eggs and meat -- so our little farm basically pays for itself. I have no trouble selling meat from these DP chickens either.

    Now, if you by commercial chicks that the industry uses and feed commercial feeds then what is different than just buying supermarket chicken for $0.89 per pound? If time is really money as you say, then wouldn't it just be simpler to go to the store? No, you have apparently determined that there is value in raising your own.

    If I wanted to raise chicks to sell and make a living with, then yes, the commercial hybrids are the way to go. I'm looking for the taste that you just cannot get with a fast growing bird.
     
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  9. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:#3 Taste -- A bird raised more than 8 weeks will develop the rich flavor that chicken is supposed to have which our family expects.
    .

    I can't get over how people keep talking about taste....

    What you people call "TASTE".. I call age, tough, and more gamey like in taste...

    if you want old, tough, dark meat... eat guinea, or old hen...

    If you want tender to cut with a knife, succulent, juicy in your mouth.. eat young birds... and to me young birds, means less time on this earth... CORNISH X

    I compare it to grassfed beef... Yup it's leaner, but it doesn't have the marbling that cornfed does... Marbling means taste... lean means tough, stringy, and LEAN>>>

    Trust me I've ate every kind, including the darn ole Holstein lean beef.

    as my mom always told me.> PERIOD< END OF STATEMENT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I prefer DP birds

    I never have to worry about them keeling over from a heart attack or have them go crippled if i am not out there to process them on time

    plus I don't want to have to butcher 25 or 50 birds at one time (my back wouldn't be able to handle it)

    DP birds are perfect for someone who doesn't want to be forced to butcher a bunch of birds all at once and no worries about health problems of the birds forcing me to do it
    plus I can raise my own and keep the best birds for breeders and send the others to freezer camp


    so Cornish X may be fine for those that prefer them.. but i will take a good ol DP bird ANY DAY over a darn Cornish X


    and before anyone starts complaining about the money it takes to pay for their feed.. heck.. i don't care! I would have chickens anyway.. so if I can raise up some of their kids and invite them in for dinner that's fine by me [​IMG]
    we even cull extra bantams and silkies for the freezer.. and we raise quail, turkeys and getting started with muscovys
     

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