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Old 06-15-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
Melinda29
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My chickens are like turkeys!

Wanted to learn how to butcher chickens this year, so we ordered Cornish Roasters from McMurray Hatchery in March. They are supposedly slower growing than Cornish X and broilers, and McMurray recommends processing at 12 weeks instead of the typical 8. I even emailed them to double check, and they said yes, 12 weeks will get you a roasting-sized chicken (what I wanted) without the leg and heart problems of Cornish X birds that grow so much faster.

Just to be safe, I took away their feed every night and fed them layer chick feed about 19% protein, instead of the typical 22-24% protein feed. I had read too many horror stories of chickens getting lame and dying of heart attacks, and this was recommended for preventing them from getting too big. They free ranged at first but got too big to get out of the coop door after about 8 weeks.

I knew they were really big compared with the layers that we ordered in the same batch, but this was my first time with meat birds and didn't really know. When my MIL saw them for the first time, she laughed out loud and called them turkeys.

We butchered this weekend and they averaged....drumroll...11-12 pounds DRESSED! Their live weight was 15 pounds each! We couldn't even fit them in the bags I had ordered. I am having to buy turkey bags to freeze them in.

Has anyone had this experience with Cornish Roasters before?

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Last edited by Melinda29; 06-15-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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