what's the difference between a meat and a cross?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HennysMom, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Okay, so I know there are specific birds that are "meat" birds technically but then there are some that are egg layers that can also be "meat" birds too.

    So - question is - is there a difference, truth be told?

    I hear so much about meat birds being so icky (i.e, pooping so much, smelly, eat alot more, etc) but with my girls (and heavens forbid! I would never eat them!) but everyone keeps asking me when they stop laying am I going to eat them [​IMG] Uhm..NO! They're my pets as well as providers of eggs, so no, I will not eat them - but they tell me they are meat birds as well.

    So is it better to get a bird (if I were to do such a thing, which I'm not, because I just couldnt do it, my hearts too soft to process my own) - that would provide eggs at first, then kill it? [​IMG]

    what age is a fryer? A roaster?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:There are broilers, then everything else. Broilers have been genetically 'perfected' for the past 50 years to grow to immense sizes very quickly. Your typical grocery store chicken is 42 days old. We in the backyard typically can process a Cornish Cross at 8 week. The Cornish Cross is the standard broiler of the industry. All broilers are hybrids (crossbreeds).

    There are some purebreeds of chicken which are allegedly "dual purpose"; but they're nothing like the broilers. Any heavybreed rooster will take at least 15 weeks to get to a decent enough size to process, will never grow as large as a Cornish Cross, has a different carcass shape and are very costly in feed.

    Quote:Yes. The difference is significant.

    Quote:Broilers eat vast ammounts of food and therefore excrete vast ammounts of crap. If your hens ate an equal ammount of food, they'd crap as much. But, they are programmed to grow like the broilers are, so your hens are eating the food over a much longer period.

    Some people complain about the intense crapping the broilers do. However, this can also be a big advantage if you're using a tractor to fertilize your garden.

    Quote:Most salvage old hens as 'stewing hens' or turn them into stock.

    When you look at the ammount of feed you put into non-broilers, the cost per pound of meat becomes shocking. It's far cheaper to buy organic, free range chickens than raise heavy breed birds for consumption.

    Quote:They are all Cornish Crosses, slaughtered at different ages. A fryer will be processed at around 3 lbs live weight, a roaster at 5-6 lbs (or larger).
  3. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    ahh grasshoppa...you are wise indeed [​IMG]

    ty [​IMG]

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