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Old 08/02/10, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: mo
Posts: 840
Raising Chicken for meat.

How many on here are raising chickens for meat? Has anyone been raising duel pupose birds for meat? If so, how many chickens per year, and what kind?
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Old 08/02/10, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MO
Posts: 84
We raise a few chickens for meat. We have barred rocks, Rhode Island Reds and a few mixed breed white chickens. We just butchered 4 chickens a couple weeks ago and if all goes well, we'll butcher some more once they're ready.
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Old 08/03/10, 08:41 AM
forfreedom's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: FL
Posts: 252
I raise Buff Orpingtons. I have been buying chicks from McMurray, but now that hens are laying and rooster is doing his job, I started incubating. We cull young roos usually at around 4 months of age, brine them 24 hrs in icy salted water and put in the freezer. They are very tender when cooked with added moisture. It's only two of us, so a rooster lasts us for two dinners.
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Old 08/03/10, 09:56 AM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
Happy Scrounger
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 13,635
We've raised a couple of batches (only 12 to 16 at a time) of Cornish x Rocks (Cornish X, Cornish cross, whatever you want to call them) for meat and they're by far the easiest, quickest way to get meat. Mine were pastured as well as fed a high protein grain mix...tasted great, were huge (6lb carcasses) in 8 to 10 weeks.

We've also raised the "dual purpose" breeds and eaten the roos. My favorite is the cuckoo Marans. The strain we had were big, grew quickly compared to the other birds, and tasted great.

The Cornish (the purebred) used to be the "meat" bird in the U.S. Compact, stocky bird, upright carriage, good meaty bird. Also a Plymouth Rock is a good choice. Either will range well on pasture, and are decently economical..and the Rock is easy to find. Cornish you may have to order from somewehre like Ideal. Of the two, I prefer the Cornish..the carcasses were tight and nicely round..GREAT for roasting.
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
Rabbits anyone?

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Old 08/03/10, 01:49 PM
Jay27's Avatar
Renegade North Nigerians
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 565
I've done cornish-cross and dual-purpose birds and definitely prefer the cornish-cross. They eat more, but finish out a lot faster so you come up ahead by my calculations. I'll keep my buffs as egg hens and buy cornish-cross for meat.
I can fix anything... except stupid... because you can't fix stupid!
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Old 08/03/10, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,395
We raise about 50 Cornish x's per year. They eat a lot, they poop a lot, but they are ready for butchering in 8 - 10 weeks. We usually start butchering at 8 weeks & by time we're finished, they are 10 weeks old. It's just DH, me & our DD 18mo (who already has taken to chicken dinners!), so it works out to one chicken every week, which is good for us. We really like chicken, and wouldn't mind TWO chicken dinners every week, but 50 birds are just about as many as we can handle raising / butchering.

We also have RIR's, BR's & Black Austrolops. The BR's & Austrolops are a nice heavy bird, and the roosters end up in the pot, but don't wait too long or they do get chewey.

I'd LOVE to say there is a great dual purpose bird, but after raising the Cornish x's for the last four years, I just feel that being able to have a roasting sized bird in 8 weeks is just too good a "bargain" in my time & money to pass up.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson
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Old 08/03/10, 05:50 PM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
Happy Scrounger
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 13,635
A lot of the "what's best" depends on how you're raising the birds, and what you expect. When I need to supply a big dinner, or want birds for sale, I use the Cornish Cross. Fast, easy, stable.

Otherwise...I just order straight run, keep the hens, eat the cockerals. Let the broodies raise chicks...cycle continues. We still have birds in the freezer from the last batch butchered.
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
Rabbits anyone?

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