What's the best meat bird to raise? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 03-12-2009, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are thinking of getting some birds to raise exclusively for meat. What varieties are tasty and good for that? I have heard cornish X but I would rather go with a not hybrid breed. Maybe I'm being too picky? I'm interested in others thoughts about meat birds and what good ones are. Thanks!
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#2 of 5 Old 03-12-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I think free-roaming chicken is actually delicious. Duck and pheasant are also 2 favorites around here. I would never want turkeys b/c I know I'm weird about this but I don't like the taste of the meat as well. Nor would I want any small (e.g., Cornish hen) bird b/c of the hassle of having to dress several of them just to get a single meal.
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#3 of 5 Old 03-12-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
I think free-roaming chicken is actually delicious. Duck and pheasant are also 2 favorites around here. Nor would I want any small (e.g., Cornish hen) bird b/c of the hassle of having to dress several of them just to get a single meal.
i have to agree on duck. i love duck! and they can be a pretty good size too depending on your breed. i have pekin and cayuga.

i had some barred rock chickens, but never got to eat them as the neighbors dog beat me to it. the ones i have now are all mixed breeds. I have really been surprised at how much i have liked my bantam chickens. I always was of the same opinion as periwinkle about small birds, but they are so self reliant and easy to feed that i have been won over. I thought i would hate the english gamecocks i got too. But they are the only bird mean enough and well armed with some killer spurs, to convince the dog that it is not fun to chase chickens! And when ours are free ranging they don't really bother the humans.

The cornish X breed does get to a pretty good size from what i have read (although i can't say from experience as i have never had them) but the "cornish hens" that you get at the grocery store really may not even be cornish breed at all, and they are probably not hens either. they are usually just whatever type of meat bird the producer is raising, and they butcher them early to get the small size and tender meat.

The jersey black giant will get BIG if you want a bird that will convert feed to meat quickly. I had a neighbor once who had some of those.
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#4 of 5 Old 03-13-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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I'd go with cornish crosses myself. We raised dark cornish last year (supposedly a 'premium' meat chicken), and butcherd 20, and kept 5 for layers (well, 4 hens & 1 rooster). They taste fine. But they're a little more chewy than your average chicken. And they took 2x as long to get to a butcherable weight (16-20wks vs 8-10). Which made them *WAY* more expensive chickens. I *think* we're going to raise 25 again this year, but we're planning on just doing cornish x's too. They're just easy, tasty and they grow soo fast.
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#5 of 5 Old 03-13-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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We raise cornish x's too.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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