What breed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by beakkeeper, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
    Well I am remotely interested in raising some meaties next spring/summer (maybe three or four--more if I'm good at it! [​IMG] ) and I was wondering--

    1. What breed of chicken is good? other than Cornish X? I would like a good heritage meat breed, one with good feed-meat conversion.

    2. Meat ducks are an option too.

    3. Organic feed? I really like this idea, but is it more expensive? less "productive"?

    4. What kind of housing would they need--June/ July in MN? Free range and small run?

  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    Really any of the dual purpose breeds work for meat. Everyone on here will have their own preference but if your looking to get something that grows slower than the cornish and bit faster than the dual purpose look into the red and black broilers. They have a better meat to bone ratio than the dual purpose but you don't have the "special needs" from the cornish x.

    I'm sure you will get all kinds of answers on this one.

    As far as the run that's up to you... do you want them to free range or grow in a pen? They will grow about the same especially if you use dual purpose. June/ July.... make sure they have plenty of water and keep them cool.

    Meat ducks are easy to raise and basically maintence free....

    Organic feed in my opinion is a waste. You can get a non-medicated feed without any problems and with out having to sell your arm for it. If your worried about animal protein... don't be... chickens eat dead animals and bugs any chance they can... it's good protein and their digestive systems are built for it. Again this is a preference and it's up to you on how much you spend.

    Jeff .
  3. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Haven't raised them yet, but done a ton of research and I'm sure many BYCers will agree, Free Ranger type meat birds from JM Hatchery.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Search the forum for "heavy breed". This gets debated weekly. The bottom line is non-broilers take 15+ weeks and consume a lot of food. It will be cheaper to buy organic chicken than raise dual purpose/heavy breeds for yourself.

    If you want to go the dual purpose or heavy breed route, you need to make some hybrids through crossbreeding.

    Quote:Ducks are the easiest animals to raise on our farm. Second maybe to the geese.

    Quote:It's significantly more expensive. Unless you are certified organic, you cannot claim to be organic anyhow. So, don't consider that route until you've gained certification (if ever).

    We take the middle ground. I use a certified vegetarian feed for our broilers and hens. Yes, I know chickens are omnivores. But, in teh same breath, I can tell my customers with 100% certaintly that my chickens were not fed chickens. That means a lot to most people.

    A lot of people ask me why we aren't doing organic on the chickens. Why? Because, I sell every freakin' bird we produce as it is. People buy our birds knowing they were raised on pasture and humanely. We don't need the next step to organic in order to sell our meat birds.

    Quote:Chicken tractor would be what you're looking for. It gives them both shelter and protection, but also takes daily labor moving the tractor.

    I use a tractor/hybrid, allowing them out of the tractor into a electric poultry netting pen.
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    All breeds of chicken were developed from the jungle fowl by man to meet certain characteristics in a particular environment. Study each breed and why it was developed and grown under what conditions. Select the breed that closely meets your particular niche in the environment that you will provide as well as your skill to provide for their daily care. The old saying is very true... The eye of the master will fatten the cattle. Then you will be successful.
  6. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
  7. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Freedom Rangers are cool. Not sure if they're sold anymore, but they're cool.
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Yeah, they're just called Colored Range Broilers now, from JM Hatchery. And yes, they are cool. I wouldn't be doing broilers if it weren't for them.
  9. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    JM ???
  10. chickorama

    chickorama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    I suggest Black Australorps. The are fat, meaty, friendly, and lay tons of eggs.

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