What is a Good Meat Bird Breed?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CJkid, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. CJkid

    CJkid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
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    I am looking at ordering some chicks this spring and I would like to try a meat bird. So far I have kept dual purpose Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. But we would like to try raising a few meat birds over the summer and fall for their meat.
    Any ideas on the best breeds?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Cornish cross (also called Cornish X Rock) are a good breed and are ready to cull in 6-8 weeks. They range well and are healthy if you restrict feed after 3 weeks to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. I have tried black broilers and think they taste great but for the time raising them you might as well be feeding duel purpose birds. I should warn you, meat breeds poop and drink a lot more then a regular flock because of their feed conversion. Their bodies also produce more heat so try not to raise them in the hottest part of summer (over 100) for best results.
     
  3. CJkid

    CJkid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2012
    Montana
    Thanks for the great info! How would you recommend to control their feed like that if you had other chickens that are regular dual purpose that you aren't going to eat? Would they get along with other breeds?
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a standard 8' x 8' and 2' high tractor that I keep them in at night. I free range mine with my flock and they do great. My flock somehow knows that they aren't the same so when it comes to processing day my regular flock is not stressed out and try to steal a heart or some blood to eat. I feed them fermented feed because it helps reduce feed waste and keeps them hydrated. Even moistened feed will help with the waste. When they go in for the night I do not provide food after the third week. I put the food out in a gutter on the ground before I open the tractor so I don't get mauled. When I have to refill the feeder I send one of the kids running around the yard with meal worms so it gives me time to refill. If they don't all go into the tractor for the night I sprinkle a little corn in there as they are very food motivated. Sometimes my layer flock will eat some of the meaties feed but it doesn't worry me. I have found that the ones I raise like to roost and fly low to the ground.
     

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