What is a "Leghorn meat bird only"?

BoE1987

Chirping
Apr 17, 2021
35
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79
Honestly, I was intrigued by the label when I saw them. I was already looking for Cornish X to try this year which was why I was doing all the research on meat breeds. When I saw the leghorn was listed as a dual meat bird I kind of thought for awhile at TSC on acquiring them because of the meat bird label.

These are definitely not leghorns. Theyre much heavier than my other egg laying birds at a month so im speculating wrong labeling from the start
 

Timmy59

Songster
Jul 26, 2020
219
682
156
I'd have to say someone along the line juggled the namesakes and put them back together incorrectly.. You'll likely want to start planning your butcher date..
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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TSC had these little chicks labeled "Leghorn Meat Only".
Just like every other chain, TSC has different people working at different locations. some of these people are more knowledgeable than others. I would not trust any advice I got on chickens from that one very much.

I'm at about a 99% thought that these "leghorns for meat only" are in fact a broiler under a wrong name.
I'd bet a lot of your money and a little of mine that you are correct.

sooo..
What breed could they be
I don't have any doubt they are Cornish X.

can I even attempt to keep them alive without severe health issues to breed them for stock for the purpose or meat?
You can attempt it, some people do. Some are successful, many are not. As others have mentioned you need to restrict their feed, which probably means housing them separately. You don't need to starve your egg layers. Most of the problems with developing Cornish X was not on the breeding/genetics side but on how to feed and manage them long enough for them to grow to butcher size and especially how to feed and manage the parent flocks to get the eggs to hatch. It's not easy.

I have not tried it but if I did I'd only keep the girls and mate them to a dual purpose rooster. You are not going to get Cornish X even if you keep and mate boys and girls but you should get a pretty good meat bird. I think this gives yo your greatest chance of success.

What are some instant health issues I would find in a meat bird that would require cull outside of leg/weight issues?
One problem is that they have a heart attack and die, not much warning about that. The other common problem has to do with their skeleton, usually the legs. They grow so fast their heart or skeleton can't keep up.

If they survive to adulthood and lay, is incubation any different than the 21 day period?
No.

will their feathers come in on the bald areas? It appears their belly areas are all perpetually BALD.
Their bodies are growing so fast the feathers can't keep up. If they live long enough they should fill in when body growth slows or stops.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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An actual "Leghorn meat only" would be male Leghorns. I don't know if they still do, but I remember seeing old hatchery catalogs with a "fry pan special" or "traditional light fryers" -- that were male Leghorns for an extremely low price.

What you've got are definitely Cornish X meat birds.
 

RUNuts

Smiling. I'm up to something.
5 Years
May 19, 2017
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You may have another issue. The one bird looking at the camera appears to be a cockerel. If they are saying meat only on the sign, you may have only males and they aren't know for their egg laying.

Plan for a butcher date. 8-12 weeks of age and I'd suggest closer to 8 based on the pictures.
 

RUNuts

Smiling. I'm up to something.
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May 19, 2017
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Uh oh... how badly did I mess up with buying 6 birds?

I did a bunch of research on different sites that stated leghorns were meat birds. Come to find out from a homesteading group- thats not correct, which was fine because everyone on my yard is for eggs-
However... one day before I knew the truth, about a month ago, TSC had these little chicks labeled "Leghorn Meat Only".

I've never owned a CX, or any other broiler breed etc, only egg laying breeds.
I'm at about a 99% thought that these "leghorns for meat only" are in fact a broiler under a wrong name.

sooo..
What breed could they be and can I even attempt to keep them alive without severe health issues to breed them for stock for the purpose or meat? What are some instant health issues I would find in a meat bird that would require cull outside of leg/weight issues?
If they survive to adulthood and lay, is incubation any different than the 21 day period?
Also... will their feathers come in on the bald areas? It appears their belly areas are all perpetually BALD.
Theyre heavier than all my other chicks by far.
Theyre on a grow out feed but not a high protein feed (because again I've never raised meat birds but was intrigued at the " Leghorn meat only" sign)
I agree with Ridgerunner.

What breed could they be and can I even attempt to keep them alive without severe health issues to breed them for stock for the purpose or meat?
Agree - appear to be CX. You can attempt to keep them but expect death within a year. If cockerels, they may be too heavy and clumsy to effectively mate.

What are some instant health issues I would find in a meat bird that would require cull outside of leg/weight issues?
Heart issues. Ascites. Leg/joint failure due to growth rate is common. Diet and excersize helps but may not prevent this.

If they survive to adulthood and lay, is incubation any different than the 21 day period?
Chicken is chicken. They will have the 21 day incubation period.
 

BoE1987

Chirping
Apr 17, 2021
35
44
79
Just like every other chain, TSC has different people working at different locations. some of these people are more knowledgeable than others. I would not trust any advice I got on chickens from that one very much.


I'd bet a lot of your money and a little of mine that you are correct.


I don't have any doubt they are Cornish X.


You can attempt it, some people do. Some are successful, many are not. As others have mentioned you need to restrict their feed, which probably means housing them separately. You don't need to starve your egg layers. Most of the problems with developing Cornish X was not on the breeding/genetics side but on how to feed and manage them long enough for them to grow to butcher size and especially how to feed and manage the parent flocks to get the eggs to hatch. It's not easy.

I have not tried it but if I did I'd only keep the girls and mate them to a dual purpose rooster. You are not going to get Cornish X even if you keep and mate boys and girls but you should get a pretty good meat bird. I think this gives yo your greatest chance of success.


One problem is that they have a heart attack and die, not much warning about that. The other common problem has to do with their skeleton, usually the legs. They grow so fast their heart or skeleton can't keep up.


No.


Their bodies are growing so fast the feathers can't keep up. If they live long enough they should fill in when body growth slows or stops.
So, I did a thing last year that I didn't have any clue about. I crossed an Isa Brown and an australorp. 4 hatched. 3 pullet 1 roo. The roo at 4.5 months of age has surprised me as he has already crossed 6 lbs. I've read black copper marans are also a good breed for meat as well. I wanted them for the eggs but I have no problem in fiddling with some genetics on my yard and attempting a stabilizer Cornish X X breed with either my mutt isa/australorp or the maran. I have a pullet and roo both.

I have 2 roo and 4 pullet on these Cornish X chick+1
You may have another issue. The one bird looking at the camera appears to be a cockerel. If they are saying meat only on the sign, you may have only males and they aren't know for their egg laying.

Plan for a butcher date. 8-12 weeks of age and I'd suggest closer to 8 based on the pictures.
Yikes! Lol I vent seed when I got them. 2 cockerel 4 pullet. They are hefty little buggers but I moved them to their own pen that is far more open and instead of just putting a feeder out, I throw handfuls out so it scatters and they have to hunt for it. They're constantly chasing me down at the gate cheeping but I'd like to try and keep at least one alive for breeding purpose of beefing up my others such as my australorp or marans.

Think its possible if I started 2 days ago this way to slow feed? Theyve been on regular grow feed, no extra protein feed which i do have for my quail.
 

RUNuts

Smiling. I'm up to something.
5 Years
May 19, 2017
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Swamps of Texas
Think its possible if I started 2 days ago this way to slow feed? Theyve been on regular grow feed, no extra protein feed which i do have for my quail.
Anything is possible if you are willing to spend the time. Best wishes with your endeavor. Please keep us updated in how it is going. There are several stories on BYC that you can read to the end. A few get bored or find other interests and leave us hanging. A few continue and tell us about it. Ridgerunner developed his flock and it is an interesting read. He didn't breed for size, though.

Do what makes you happy. Cheers!
 

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