1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

what breeds to cross for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fishy steve, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. fishy steve

    fishy steve Out Of The Brooder

    i currently have a light brahma rooster, that i bred with some red sex link hens, and am raising those chicks now. i figure they should make good meat birds and good egg layers...

    but i was wondering what 2 breeds would make a great meat bird, that i could breed. so thinking a cornish would be good, should i cross it, or would just a cornish roo and hen be good. maybe something else to cross with my brahma?

    my local fall auction is coming up on october 4rth so will be looking to pick up some different birds at it.
     
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,450
    16
    171
    Jun 15, 2008
    Your current choice of breeds is NOT going to give you what you are seeking ... too long to mature, which will require much more of your labor , not to mention the added feed costs involved as well as housing, predator control etc. and still will not give you a satisfactory results. To save you time and MONEY... buy yourself some Cornish X birds , ask the hatchery for the proper protocol to raise them ( they are NOT your average barnyard bird ) and in 6-8 weeks harvest all of the birds which will yield you more meat in your freezer than any of the other " heritage" breeds would in 2 to 3 + times the age. You see, the Cornish X were selectively bred at the Universities by scientists over many years and funded with MILLIONS of $$$$s by the commercial hatcheries from thousands of breed combinations and SEVERE culling of the chicks and came up with an ideal procedure to produce several grandparent lines, then cross those chickens to produce the parents , then cross them to produce the terminal Cornish X for your eating pleasure . This process is patented and under lock and key at the commercial hatcheries. This crossbred bird is the most efficient converter of feed to meat in the shortest time of all chicken breeds out there, BAR NONE ![​IMG]
     
  3. GoodwinFarm

    GoodwinFarm Out Of The Brooder

    33
    2
    49
    Sep 22, 2014
    Wisconsin
    Normally I don't agree with naysayers, but I've been trying for 7 years to find the best meat birds and I've always been disappointed. If you're looking for big breasts and thighs, you can't beat the Cornish cross. Let them free range, they'll taste better.

    On the other hand, if you really want to be self sufficient, look for jersey Giants. There were four different breeds in the original Cornish crosses, I think jersey Giants were one of them, but I can't remember the rest.

    Good luck and let us know if you have success!
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    So, so tasty.

    We free range our CX and butcher them at 12 weeks. This past harvest we had a couple roosters that were large breeds. Really large.. and they were a couple pounds lighter than the CX girls who were 6 weeks younger.

    [​IMG]
    CX girls 12 weeks.

    [​IMG]
    this is a mature Silver Pencilled Plymouth Rock. His sons went to butcher at 18 weeks. They weigh about 3-4 pounds, but look much different than the CX!
     
  5. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,817
    241
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Our local feed store gave us 10 Cornish last spring, raised them free range, lil buggers wouldn't really range, the last few weeks we had to lock them out of the coop as they laid around the feeder all day... Next time we will butcher at 5-7 weeks depending on weight, the last 4 of this years birds were butchered at 12 weeks they were giants, one was packaged weight at 7 pounds!!! Way to much meat for just my husband and I.. I want a nice 2-3 pound bird....

    I did buy some jersey giants, one ended up being a roo and we culled him at 5 months ( was deciding if we wanted to keep or not) he is a nice fat guy in our freezer but still only around 3 pounds.

    Didn't know what we were going to do with that Cornish that was so big, we also started raising Heritage breed Turkeys and thought we had two toms and a hen, figured on butchering one of the toms for thanksgiving, much to our delight turns out we have 1 tom and 2 hens so the Cornish is being saved for Thanksgiving [​IMG]
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    You have to restrict their feed. We allow a good 6 hours of nothing at all to eat except what they find when they range.. and find they do!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    ALL the white dots are around 4 week old CX chicks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    a little older

    [​IMG]
    about a week before processing.

    [​IMG]
    12 weeks - video

    [​IMG]
    a bit younger here :)

    Note: By 6 hours of no feed, I am talking about during daylight hours.. not including 12 hours at night with no feed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  7. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,817
    241
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Love your set up!!! Yes, live and learn, we have no predation issues at our place save for the hawk from time to time, the door to the coop was rotten and removed and we never got around to replacing it lol... Live and learn, next year we will know better what the do's and don'ts are.

    Got to admit, they are funny birds when they know food is at hand. [​IMG]
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    :) Do try raising a small number with heritage birds and try it a little different to see how your results are.

    Maybe 5 even..

    We raised 75 last year and decided that was WAYYYY too much for us. We processed them all ourselves. This year we only did 25 and paid someone to do it. I'd rather pick up a shift at work and pay someone else to do the butchering..
     
  9. fishy steve

    fishy steve Out Of The Brooder

    yes i understand they are the best, i have raised them in the past myself... id rather have a decent breed though, that i can hatch myself, whenever i want, and could even sell some of the off spring, to pay for feed costs
     
  10. BRIGANTIAN

    BRIGANTIAN New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Aug 13, 2014
    Try www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk , a good article and
    Tales from river cottage, series one, episode 6. And the winner was a Dorking Cross for taste
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by