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  #241  
Old 05-18-2013, 6:15 PM
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Yeah, I've been reading about cornish X and it sounds like they can be rather difficult. Heart attacks are extremely common I guess.
They over eat so they need a restricted feed schedule & they lay around and don't get much exercise so they need to be encouraged to move. I guess some folks put the feed and the water at opposite ends of the cage so they have to move around at least a little bit.
Apparently they also spontaneously die when it gets hot, or when there are wide temperature fluctuations, or when the planets are in alignment, or when...?

They sound like a bit of a challenge. I wish you good luck!
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Old 05-18-2013, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubious_Beans View Post
Yeah, I've been reading about cornish X and it sounds like they can be rather difficult. Heart attacks are extremely common I guess.
They over eat so they need a restricted feed schedule & they lay around and don't get much exercise so they need to be encouraged to move. I guess some folks put the feed and the water at opposite ends of the cage so they have to move around at least a little bit.
Apparently they also spontaneously die when it gets hot, or when there are wide temperature fluctuations, or when the planets are in alignment, or when...?

They sound like a bit of a challenge. I wish you good luck!
Yes they are problematic and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another with these birds. I had to keep raising the height of their feeder so that they have to stand up to eat instead of just laying there with their heads in the feeder.

What I can't figure out though, is last year we raised 6 of them that I open fed, their feeder was always full and we only lost one and it was at like 7 weeks and it was obviously having breathing problems it didnt just drop dead.
This years batch is from the same hatchery so its just weird the way they are dropping dead on me.
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  #243  
Old 05-19-2013, 4:54 PM
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What about turkeys and geese?
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  #244  
Old 05-19-2013, 5:35 PM
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What about turkeys and geese?
Turkeys are on our list for just a bit later this summer. And I think we are going to do some ducks for meat as well but they are destined for a separate pen than the chickens as they fowl the water to quickly, but I have a plan to use that to our advantage for our garden. I just need to find the time to do it, which is the hardest part.
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  #245  
Old 05-19-2013, 5:37 PM
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What about turkeys and geese?
good question. I don't think I ever heard anyone ask that.
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  #246  
Old 05-22-2013, 5:02 PM
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5/22/13
Cornish-X 6 Weeks
Freedom Rangers 3 Weeks Old
We lost 1 more Cornish Cross this week, my new theory on what is happening is that even though they are fully feathered they have poor circulation and are getting too cold at night, so I am now leaving their light on at night again hoping this is what is going on.

Freedom Rangers hanging out with Cornish-X while I cleaned the Rangers enclosure.



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  #247  
Old 05-22-2013, 8:08 PM
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I would build a mini hut or dog house they can go into at night that is insulated. Maybe put a warmer under it to keep it nice and warm. That way they can go in or out if they get cold.

We have 4 baby geese about that size with the same amount of feathers and the mom sleeps with her wings over the birds at night and the babies are up tight against her body. They get cold at night.


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5/22/13
Cornish-X 6 Weeks
Freedom Rangers 3 Weeks Old
We lost 1 more Cornish Cross this week, my new theory on what is happening is that even though they are fully feathered they have poor circulation and are getting too cold at night, so I am now leaving their light on at night again hoping this is what is going on.

Freedom Rangers hanging out with Cornish-X while I cleaned the Rangers enclosure.



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  #248  
Old 05-22-2013, 8:21 PM
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Here is a vid I took today. I have a mix of breeds from bantams to regular chickens. I have 2 roosters a bantam olde english game and a cornish. The little ones running around are their offspring. If you guys are interested in ordering poultry try https://www.facebook.com/idealpoultry?fref=ts. They have specials all the time and will ship small orders cheap.

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  #249  
Old 05-22-2013, 8:28 PM
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I would build a mini hut or dog house they can go into at night that is insulated. Maybe put a warmer under it to keep it nice and warm. That way they can go in or out if they get cold.

We have 4 baby geese about that size with the same amount of feathers and the mom sleeps with her wings over the birds at night and the babies are up tight against her body. They get cold at night.
The younger birds are in an enclosure with 4 solid walls. I have considered doing just what you described, might actually do it after the issues I've had this spring.
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  #250  
Old 05-23-2013, 3:12 AM
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We just separated 19 of our Pekin ducks to the growout pen. The oldest are ready right now, but we're going to wait until the youngest are ready.
This will be a long 3 weeks. Ducks are nasty.
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  #251  
Old 05-23-2013, 6:51 AM
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We just separated 19 of our Pekin ducks to the growout pen. The oldest are ready right now, but we're going to wait until the youngest are ready.
This will be a long 3 weeks. Ducks are nasty.
How old are your ducks? Whats so nasty about them, fouled water?
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  #252  
Old 05-23-2013, 7:10 AM
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How old are your ducks? Whats so nasty about them, FOWLED water?
Tee Hee!
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  #253  
Old 05-23-2013, 7:21 AM
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I never forgot one hunting trip many years ago we stayed at a friend's farm for the night and we had fresh bbq'ed chicken that when we were done I was told to throw the left over bones and such to the other chickens. I thought he was just joking around but he wasn't.

Those chickens ate everything bones and all.
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  #254  
Old 05-23-2013, 7:35 AM
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I never forgot one hunting trip many years ago we stayed at a friend's farm for the night and we had fresh bbq'ed chicken that when we were done I was told to throw the left over bones and such to the other chickens. I thought he was just joking around but he wasn't.

Those chickens ate everything bones and all.
There is nothing they wont eat, some people claim feeding them meat increases aggression, I dont think that is true, but we have never given them meat, we do however give them eggshells and any eggs leftover off the breakfast table which they gladly devour.
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  #255  
Old 05-23-2013, 8:50 AM
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Re: nasty ducks. They make a huge mess. Yes on fouling the water, and they get it everywhere.

The youngest are about 5 weeks, the older ones are just over 2 months. We're losing feed efficiency, but it's easier on our schedules to set up one time. We'll also have rabbits ready to go by them too.
I might need a new freezer.
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  #256  
Old 05-23-2013, 9:01 AM
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I've got a small coop for two chickens since I live in an urban area.

Small roost improvement I've found in the last few days I've had my chickens...sand as bedding. Just plain all purpose sand (70lb for $3) from the LHS. They tend to poop the most while roosting, so I set up this removable pan under their roost - a cat litter box scooper does the trick just fine in removing their scat.

It's better than hay since it doesn't retain moisture and it won't mold over time. DE mixes into it pretty easily and you can setup a small shallow pan of sand to one side for the chickens to bath in.



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  #257  
Old 05-23-2013, 9:30 AM
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My Italian family all raised rabbits for meat. No eggs, but tasty and easy. Chickens are always intriguing, but I feel they need to be done on a somewhat larger scale to justify their output.
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  #258  
Old 05-26-2013, 6:20 PM
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Originally Posted by renardsubtil View Post
I've got a small coop for two chickens since I live in an urban area.

Small roost improvement I've found in the last few days I've had my chickens...sand as bedding. Just plain all purpose sand (70lb for $3) from the LHS. They tend to poop the most while roosting, so I set up this removable pan under their roost - a cat litter box scooper does the trick just fine in removing their scat.

It's better than hay since it doesn't retain moisture and it won't mold over time. DE mixes into it pretty easily and you can setup a small shallow pan of sand to one side for the chickens to bath in.



yep they poop a lot when they roost. I have sand in my coup and it's so easy to clean up.
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  #259  
Old 05-28-2013, 11:39 AM
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5/28/13
This batch of Cornish-X was a disaster, I lost 9 out of 15 chickens and decided to cut my losses so I slaughtered the remaining 4 birds last Saturday at 6.5 Weeks old. I'm still not sure what happened to all the ones that died, but after talking to several people our theory is that the Soy-Free feed had too much protein, causing growth to exceed organ growth.
They were larger than I expected at that age so I am happy about that, they weighed in at:
3lb 9oz
3lb 13.2 oz
4lb 2.1 oz
4lb 7.5 oz





3.5 Week old Freedom Rangers
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  #260  
Old 05-28-2013, 11:50 AM
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You have gotta get yourself a food saver. $150 at Costco and worth every penny. They keep meat so much better than zip lock freezer bags do.
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  #261  
Old 05-28-2013, 2:04 PM
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Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
There is nothing they wont eat, some people claim feeding them meat increases aggression, I dont think that is true, but we have never given them meat, we do however give them eggshells and any eggs leftover off the breakfast table which they gladly devour.
Ours wont eat bell peppers. Go figure.
But they'll eat just about everything else and they absolutely LOVE meat (and cheese) They go totally nuts over some left over carne asada burrito.

Quote:
This batch of Cornish-X was a disaster, I lost 9 out of 15 chickens and decided to cut my losses so I slaughtered the remaining 4 birds last Saturday at 6.5 Weeks old. I'm still not sure what happened to all the ones that died, but after talking to several people our theory is that the Soy-Free feed had too much protein, causing growth to exceed organ growth.
That sucks about the C-X. It sounds like your story isn't an uncommon one though. A lot of folks seem to have trouble with them.
At least you salvaged a few of them.
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  #262  
Old 05-28-2013, 2:25 PM
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I feed them everything, hilarity ensues when our chickens rob the Mastiff and Great Dane of table scraps.
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  #263  
Old 06-01-2013, 12:59 PM
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6/1/13
Freedom Rangers 4.5 Weeks Old
The Rangers are all doing well,
Update on the Heritage Chickens we did last year:
We recently ate 2 of the last of the chickens from last years batch and I want to report that after being in the freezer for 5 months they are finally tender. The last 2 that we roasted were superb. If I could find a way to raise the Heritage Chickens economically for meat I would do it, so I will be researching more into growing our own feed for them.



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  #264  
Old 06-04-2013, 5:07 PM
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6/4/13
Freedom Rangers 5 Weeks Old
We lost 1 ranger this week, unknown cause, hopefully just a fluke.


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  #265  
Old 06-05-2013, 3:14 PM
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A couple of questions I have is:
1) how noisy are these birds if I were wanting to raise chickens both meat chickens and eggs chickens but live in a city
2) do the males begin to crow at 4am before they reach slaughtering age?
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  #266  
Old 06-05-2013, 8:59 PM
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A couple of questions I have is:
1) how noisy are these birds if I were wanting to raise chickens both meat chickens and eggs chickens but live in a city
2) do the males begin to crow at 4am before they reach slaughtering age?
Adult chickens, even hens can be pretty noisy at times, enough that you can hear them from a pretty good distance, some breeds are more inclined to be calm and quiet though. Most of the time they aren't noisy but if they get upset by something they do make a racket.

Males will start crowing at a couple months of age, so if you are raising Cornish-X and slaughter at 6-8 weeks you wont have a crowing issue. Slower growing breeds you will almost definitely have some crowing.
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  #267  
Old 06-07-2013, 12:14 PM
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Something tell me my neighbors probably will not like that too much as I live in the city. I wonder if I am even legally even able to keep chickens.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:17 PM
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This is what I found for my city. Something tells me my home just isnt big enough.

Up to 12 chickens are permitted on a minimum of 7,000 square feet of land, up to 25, on land where one family occupies one home. An enclosure is required, but must be no closer than 50 feet from neighboring homes.
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Old 06-07-2013, 1:39 PM
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7000 sq ft is about 0.16 acres. That's not a huge lot, but it's probably above average for many parts of many cities.
Get your tape measure out and do a quick survey.

It's the "no closer than 50 feet from neighboring homes" that might be a problem.
Are you on good terms with your closest neighbors?

I can tell you from past experience that it sucks to have neighbors with roosters. BTDT. Didn't mind them much during the day but didn't like 'em a damned bit at 4:30 AM. Or 2AM on nights with a full moon.
I also have lived across the street from folks that had 3 or 4 hens and I had no trouble with the occasional outbursts of b'GAWKing. They were kind of fun to hear in our little neighborhood. And at least hens are quiet at night.

Now I'm the neighbor with hens (7) and my closest neighbors say they have no problem with them and even claim to enjoy their occasional outbursts.
They are kind of funny when they start the "laughing" noise. Chicken laughter




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Old 06-09-2013, 9:24 AM
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Originally Posted by toyotaguy View Post
5/28/13
This batch of Cornish-X was a disaster, I lost 9 out of 15 chickens and decided to cut my losses so I slaughtered the remaining 4 birds last Saturday at 6.5 Weeks old. I'm still not sure what happened to all the ones that died, but after talking to several people our theory is that the Soy-Free feed had too much protein, causing growth to exceed organ growth.
That's crazy bad luck to lose that many. Do you use the same food for all breeds in the age range? I've never heard of chickens outgrowing their organs before. It really sounds to me like they probably picked up Cocci somewhere and then one after another just passed it along since they were cooped together. Do you know if the birds were vaccinated or if your starter was medicated? I don't know if you're hardcore organic or not, but usually the organic starters are non-medicated. Best way to tell if it was Cocci is you'll sometimes find bloody poop, but not always and disgustingly enough, sometimes the other chicks will spot the bloody poop and eat it up.. thus infecting themselves with the Cocci lol. If you have this issue again on another flock and you are certain it wasn't a cold of night thing, try cutting one of the dead ones open to look at organs. Intestines will be torn up and full of blood. Anyway, good luck with future batches! I'm too cheap to grow meat birds anymore.. but I do let my hens hatch what they want to and call it bonus meat!
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  #271  
Old 06-10-2013, 7:52 PM
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That's crazy bad luck to lose that many. Do you use the same food for all breeds in the age range? I've never heard of chickens outgrowing their organs before. It really sounds to me like they probably picked up Cocci somewhere and then one after another just passed it along since they were cooped together. Do you know if the birds were vaccinated or if your starter was medicated? I don't know if you're hardcore organic or not, but usually the organic starters are non-medicated. Best way to tell if it was Cocci is you'll sometimes find bloody poop, but not always and disgustingly enough, sometimes the other chicks will spot the bloody poop and eat it up.. thus infecting themselves with the Cocci lol. If you have this issue again on another flock and you are certain it wasn't a cold of night thing, try cutting one of the dead ones open to look at organs. Intestines will be torn up and full of blood. Anyway, good luck with future batches! I'm too cheap to grow meat birds anymore.. but I do let my hens hatch what they want to and call it bonus meat!
Now that you mention it I did notice a bit of bloody poop, maybe that is what caused it. We don't vaccinate or feed any antibiotics. I don't think we will be getting Cornish-X from that hatchery again either.
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Old 06-13-2013, 7:11 PM
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When raising chickens for meat is limiting their space a good idea to keep the meat from getting too tough or just let them run free?
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Old 06-14-2013, 4:57 AM
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Well I went and got a couple chicks to see how the wife was going to feel about them. I learned something the day I brought them home. We will never be eating them. My wife actually took a liking to them and now they have names and are her pets. Hopefully I can at least get some eggs someday. They are fun to watch man do they put a hurtin on the bugs out in the yard . They follow us around the yard and even see on her lap to get a scratch. Yeah they got the good life.
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Old 06-14-2013, 8:29 PM
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Ok so I finally am ready to make the journey into raising chickens for both eggs and meat. Does anyone have a recommendation for this? Also I was wondering if anyone had a local feed shop/supplier for the chicken in the San Diego county area or is it better to order them online?
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Old 06-15-2013, 5:16 PM
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When raising chickens for meat is limiting their space a good idea to keep the meat from getting too tough or just let them run free?
If they are a breed that is specifically for meat, such as Cornish-X or Freedom Rangers you actually want them to have more space so they are healthier, these breeds are typically slaughtered between 6-12 weeks, they are too young to be tough at that age. Heritage breeds, or multipurpose breeds typically dont reach slaughter weight until 20+ weeks of age so toughness can become an issue with them, but if they are properly aged in the fridge or freezer and cooked at low heat for a longer time they can be plenty tender and fine eating.
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Old 06-15-2013, 5:20 PM
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Ok so I finally am ready to make the journey into raising chickens for both eggs and meat. Does anyone have a recommendation for this? Also I was wondering if anyone had a local feed shop/supplier for the chicken in the San Diego county area or is it better to order them online?
Are you looking for feedback about specific breeds or raising them in general?
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Old 06-15-2013, 5:22 PM
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6/15/2013
6.5 Weeks Old
We enlarged their enclosure this week and they are enjoying their new found freedom!


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Old 06-16-2013, 7:09 PM
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Are you looking for feedback about specific breeds or raising them in general?
I am looking for specific feedback as to what breads will make a good layer and meat bird. Looking to play with 4-5 breads in order to determine the best fit.
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Old 06-17-2013, 5:52 PM
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I am looking for specific feedback as to what breads will make a good layer and meat bird. Looking to play with 4-5 breads in order to determine the best fit.
I'm assuming you want dual purpose breeds, eggs and meat from the same breed, so for that you want a chicken thats grows relatively fast and is a good layer. There are quite a few breeds that fit the bill and you can check out a lot of them here http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/stan...ed_chicks.html . We raised 25 Heritage roosters last year, so I cant tell you how well the hens would lay, but if i was going to get some heritage chickens for meat again I would go with White Wyandottes http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/white_wyandottes.html Delawares http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/delaware.html or Cornishs http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/dark_cornish.html at 6 months they all dressed out at 4-5lbs and were fine eating if cooked properly.

Road Island Reds are another very popular option that you might consider as well http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/rhode_island_reds.html


Now if you want to raise some chickens exclusively for meat and large birds fast is your goal, you can't go wrong with Cornish-X or slightly slower growing Freedom Rangers. They reach 4-8lbs in 6-12 weeks depending.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:31 AM
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If they are a breed that is specifically for meat, such as Cornish-X or Freedom Rangers you actually want them to have more space so they are healthier, these breeds are typically slaughtered between 6-12 weeks, they are too young to be tough at that age. Heritage breeds, or multipurpose breeds typically dont reach slaughter weight until 20+ weeks of age so toughness can become an issue with them, but if they are properly aged in the fridge or freezer and cooked at low heat for a longer time they can be plenty tender and fine eating.
How does one properly age a chicken. Is it the same type of process as done with beef by hanging it in a fridge for a certain amount of time?
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