Cornish Cross? Free Range Broilers? A Guide to Purely Poultry’s Meat Chickens.
Purely Poultry offers a comprehensive array of broilers or chickens mainly raised for meat purposes. But with so many choices, it can be hard to make a decision on what would best suit your situation. So here’s a rundown of the various broilers we have that will hopefully help in your decision-making.
White Broilers and Cornish Cross Broilers: Our White Broilers and Cornish Cross Broilers are offered as two different products, but they are the same bird. White Broilers are just offered with a smaller minimum so even a small homestead or micro-farm can enjoy raising these fast growing meat birds. White Broilers can be bought in quantities as low as 5, are straight run only, and may ship with your layers. Cornish Cross Broilers can be bought specifically as females, males, or straight run, but the minimum is 25 birds.
The White Broiler or Cornish Cross is the epitome of high production and efficient meat bird. These are the chickens you would buy at the grocery store. They are the fastest growing broiler chicken, and at six weeks, males will weigh about 6 pounds and females will weight about 5 pounds. These are calm and plump white birds. They have light feathering, are short-lived and can have leg and health issues due to their fast growth rate, so a feeding schedule must be followed. These birds are hybrid crosses so hatching eggs from these birds will not produce similar offspring.
Heritage Meat Birds: Some people don’t like the super fast growth rate of the White Broilers and prefer a more traditional growth rate. We suggest two great Heritage meat birds: Delawares and White Plymouth Rocks, both of which mature quickly and get heavy in good time. They also have predominantly white feathers that make a clean looking carcass. Both of these Heritage meat birds have calm temperaments and make great backyard chickens. They both can be categorized as dual-purpose birds as the hens are good layers of brown eggs, and since they are pure breeds, they will reproduce pure offspring. These are a great breed to raise males for meat, keep the females for eggs, and keep one male for fertile eggs that you want to incubate and raise.
Another heritage breed we offer is the Dark Cornish. These birds are tough, strong, very active, and excellent foragers. They are prized for their flavorful meat and their foraging ability. They have attractive dark brown coloring and are stocky, wide birds. Because they only lay a moderate number of eggs, Dark Cornish are mainly considered meat birds.
Free Range Broiler Baby Chicks are our top seller after the Cornish Cross. They are a hybrid strain developed in France for free-range and pastured meat production. When you order Free Range Broiler Baby Chicks, you may get up to three different very attractive color strains. These birds are often used for pastured and/or organic meat production. These will grow to about 6 pounds in 9-11 weeks.
The Black Free Range Broiler is another great option for meat production, very similar to the Red Broilers, but have black coloring
both on body feathers, the legs and feet. They are also a great choice for pasture-raised meat production. These birds will grow to a nice 5-7 pounds in 11-13 weeks.
Compared to White Broilers, Red Broilers grow at a slower, more natural rate, and are more energetic and active birds. They are good foragers. The skin is pinkish yellow, and the carcass has a ‘free-range’ natural look. They are hardy and efficient do well in pastured environments.
Finally, we offer two very thrifty broiler assortments:
The Fry Pan Special: This assortment gives you the opportunity to get low priced male chicks for raising for meat. We will send you whatever extra male chicks we currently have on hand from our brown egg laying heavy breeds.
The Baby Roo Special: To order the Baby Roo Special, you need to order at least 15 chicks, which will also be all males, but you can choose the breed from a list of available breeds of young cockerels.