1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Which to eat???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by momo08, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. momo08

    momo08 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Oct 13, 2008
    Maine
    Hi all!
    I want to get some meat birds this spring, but I was told the classic meat birds (Broilers???) need to be kept with very little room to move and get so fat that they can barely walk from one side of their little enclosure to the other. Having fallen in love with my egg birds, I can't imagine raising chickens to be like that. Is there any other way to do it? I was told that if I tried to eat one of my free range birds they would be too tough. Any suggestions as to how to raise my meat birds (and I do love to eat chicken!!) without breaking my heart???

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    I think you're talking about cornish cross chickens. They don't need to move so much, I guess, though I still would want to offer it to them. What I have is freedom rangers and they LOVE to play outside. Check them out here: http://www.jmhatchery.com/Colored-Range-Chicks-p5.html#

    I
    processed two in a test run last weekend and the one I cooked was tender and tasty!
     
  3. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Could you hatch out your own from these chickens or are they are cross of some kind as well?
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    46
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:Someone exaggerated a lot and has led you to believe something that is not entirely true. I raise jumbo cornish x and even at 13lbs dressed they never had trouble moving around.

    Keeping any chicken confined in a space barely large enough to move around is very poor practice and is one reason people have so much trouble with commercial chicken farming. It is precisely this that leads to disease and problems.

    They need wide open spaces, access to outdoors and a nice clean warm coop that is protected from predators.

    I have never had a bird a die or become crippled yet.

    They grow quickly and are ready for dispatch at 8 - 10 weeks. Their lives are surely much shorter than layer chickens but the key to success is not making pets out of them.
     
  5. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    Quote:Someone exaggerated a lot and has led you to believe something that is not entirely true. I raise jumbo cornish x and even at 13lbs dressed they never had trouble moving around.

    Keeping any chicken confined in a space barely large enough to move around is very poor practice and is one reason people have so much trouble with commercial chicken farming. It is precisely this that leads to disease and problems.

    They need wide open spaces, access to outdoors and a nice clean warm coop that is protected from predators.

    I have never had a bird a die or become crippled yet.

    They grow quickly and are ready for dispatch at 8 - 10 weeks. Their lives are surely much shorter than layer chickens but the key to success is not making pets out of them.

    ditto on all of this. mine range all over a big side yard/field. they will use the room if they have it.

    they RUN like the wind when they want to. they are not lazy, they walk around all day, except when sunning or dirt bathing.

    i use a hoop house tractor to keep mine in. it is covered and has a heat lamp for very low temp nights. they do very well and it provides a clean bed every night.

    hope you find the hints you're looking for and enjoy some yummy chicken!
     
  6. CarolMinnesota

    CarolMinnesota Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Jul 26, 2008
    We just slaughtered a 6-month-old Dominique rooster that was raised with 49 other roosters (many breeds) in an 8x42 foot run with an attached coop. He dressed out at 4.64 pounds (seems small to me, but I don't know as this is my first attempt at raising chickens).

    He was aged for two days, rubbed with a herb/salt mix, stuffed with an apple and slow-roasted at 250 degrees for about 4 hours (three probably would have been enough, but I was not there to check on him).

    He was succulent and delicious. And not tough at all--firmer than store-bought, but definitely not tough. The breast meat quantity was probably half that of a store-bought broiler breast.

    He had more internal fat than the GL Wyandotte, the Buttercup and the Crevacoure that we slaughtered at the same age. For me that is not bad because I use the fat in cooking. But it means that much less meat for his weight.

    Would anyone want to read an overview of the dressed weights, etc. of the breeds that we raised? It would take some time to put together, so it will be awhile before I could get to it. It is a very small sample, so would have no real (scientific) value, it just might be interesting.

    Carol in Minnesota
     
  7. CarolMinnesota

    CarolMinnesota Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    22
    Jul 26, 2008
    As for not feeling guilty about slaughtering your best buddies at the end of the season, I do not have a good answer.

    About 40 of our 50 roosters only tolerated me and I did not name them and always thought of them in terms of food. No problem slaughtering them.

    There were two extremely personable ones (Mr. String on the Tongue, and Blonde, James Blonde) who are now our pets.

    The others were hard to slaughter, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    Carol in Minnesota
     
  8. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Quote:I would be very interested. I've done Cornish Xs and now have buckeyes and GLWs who will lose their excess roos to the pot, so I'd be very curious. Take you time, mine have at least 2 months to go. [​IMG]
     
  9. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    .....
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  10. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's not that they NEED to be kept with little room, just that they don't need nearly the area that layers do.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by