What is "meat" chickens?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Thinkingaboutit, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Thinkingaboutit

    Thinkingaboutit In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2010
    I know this is a dumb question, but I have no idea what a meat chicken is. I thought all chickens were the same.

    We have the opportunity to get a few for free but I need more information please?

    Is there a difference in their behavior fro "regular" chickens. Different food we need to feed?

    Sorry, totally new to having chickens and have LOTS of questions.



  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
  3. Thinkingaboutit

    Thinkingaboutit In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2010
    Thanks Jeff!
  4. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    "Meat chickens" tend to be Cornish Cross. If you want them for pets or laying, this is not the bird you want, it is difficult to keep them alive past a few weeks because they have a lot of health problems from being too big. If you want a fast growing bird to eat that's basically just like what you buy at a grocery store, then you want Cornish Cross.
  5. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Quote:I wouldn't say difficult past a FEW weeks- but after about 10 (with butchering being done at 8 weeks,) they tend to drop off.
  6. jodief100

    jodief100 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    N Kentucky/Cincinnati
    Quote:A meat chicken is just one that has been selectively bred to grow fast on little feed. Some breeds lay lots of eggs for little feed, some produce lots of meat.

    If you can manage to get it to survive past about 10-12 weeks, a meat bird will not lay many, if any eggs, they will not fly or even roost, they will not move around a lot. The meat birds are too heavy for their own skeletons to support them. So their behavior will be different than a “normal” chicken.
    Meat birds do have different nutritional requirements, more protein and less calcium than a laying hen. You do not “have to” feed them a grower ration but they will grow better if you do.

    Don’t feel bad about asking questions, that is what we are all here for- to give and receive help.

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