What 'Heritage Breed' Chicken has the best meat and feed conversion ?

mtnviewfarms

Songster
9 Years
Jan 30, 2011
319
18
156
North GA Mountains - Ellijay
We raise Barred Plymouth Rocks ( we know we're pitiful wimps )
but we can't bring ourselves to process and eat even our culls of these birds as we are so fond of the breed and just are not able to do it -
at least at this time.

We do want to raise our own 'meaties' and process them but want
a breed different from our Plymouth BRs - preferably a Heritage Breed but others will be considered if you have very good experience with them.

We want as good as possible meat/feed conversion - don't we all?

Anyway - we 'wimps' would very much appreciate your experience and suggestions.

Thanks
 

wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
Nov 10, 2010
5,241
8,386
511
NE Wisconsin
I know you are wanting a Heritage Breed, but I wonder if the Cornish X may actually be a great choise for you as beginners to the butchering process. Knowing from day one that the chick is being raised for eating, they will be ready butcher at 8 weeks (so less time to become attached) and has a pre-destined short life will make it easier for me to process when the time comes - I hope. They are also just plain white birds, so maybe a little easier to not become attached. And for feed to meat conversion, you just can't beat them.

I suggest the Cornish X also because there are many who find the bird lazy and an eating/pooping machine, and can't wait for the porcessing day just to be done with them.

Granted - there are others BYC who find their Cornish X to be funny, sweet, loveable birds.
 

TMNfarm

Songster
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
872
20
141
Northern MN
We're raising the Cornish X as first time meaty (actually chicken) raisers... I have found them to be fun and extrememly easy to raise. We got layers at the same time to have as our "pets" with names, but the meatys were destined for the table from day 1... We are 2 days away from our first butcher, so we'll see how it goes, but at this point I'm not anticipating a problem... As for feed/meat conversion... I can't BELIEVE how HUGE these birds have gotten in 8 weeks!!!
 

kizanne

Songster
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
1,174
58
161
Tallahassee, FL
Don't know if it is heritage but a stable breed that I find tasty is Barnvelder. Don't know the feed conversion rate though. Got a decent size bird in 16 weeks.
 

Bossroo

Songster
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
1,450
27
171
The CornishX has the most efficient feed to meat conversion rate in all of chickendom. Comparing them to any Heritage type breed... they will provide one with up to 2x of eddible meat in 8 weeks of age, vs. 16-24 weeks of age. Resulting in savings of $$$ + labor + TIME .
 

Golden Egg

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
74
6
43
I wanted to bump this thread up, because the original question wasn't really answered and I'm wondering the same thing.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
True heritage strains? Not hatchery stuff posing as heritage?

White Cornish, (super super rare) White Rocks (quite rare) New Hampshire (super rare) Delaware (super, super rare).
Buckeyes have made a good come back. Might start there?


Check out the Heritage Large Fowl Thread here. Fascinating stuff. The posts just today are something to behold.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400344/heritage-large-fowl-thread
 

Golden Egg

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
74
6
43
Thanks! Not sure what the OP meant but I'm talking about all breeds except the broiler type - any that will live a healthy, normal life and breed true.
 

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