If we needed to maintain a flock ourselves, i'd probably consider some of the bigger heritage meat chickens, like the brahma. I’ve purchased instruments and am hoping to successfully learn to caponize without killing too many chicks 🤞 i intend to practice on some tom turkeys i need to slaughter soon—dead birds feel no pain—so that at least i’ll have some idea what i’m looking for.
These giant breeds can take up to 26 weeks to reach market age.
Best meat chickens heritage. Best meat (heritage) orpington william cook, a coachman living near the town of orpington in kent, england, developed this breed in the late 1800s by crossing minorca roosters with black plymouth rock hens, then breeding their offspring to the langshan chicken. The meat of the heritage chickens, in particular the legs and thighs, is denser and firmer than that of the crx, the result of both age and physical activity, and i wondered if this would be interpreted as “tough” or “chewy” or “stringy” or something similarly negative, but there were no comments and no ratings to that effect. White rocks seem to be pretty good.
Personally i raise cochins and light brahmas because those are birds that i use for egg laying. They have a much higher quality of life than cornish cross, and they are good foragers with a decent grow out rate. Buff orpington the buff orpington is only one of many orpingtons in this breed category.
I have heard white rock, delaware, cornish (real cornish not crosses), hampshires are all good breeds for meat. A giant brahma does no good for most people if it takes 13 months to get to size. A densely feathered chicken, like a brahma, might not be the best choice for a hot climate too.
Breese and crevecoeur chicken breeds are very beloved for their taste. Rangers, dorking, welsummer, breese, and crevecoeur chickens are also popular for meat. By the time broilers are ten weeks old, they can often reach ten pounds if fed a nutritional feed.
Each hen will happily hatch multiple clutches each year, making them ideal breeders for meat production. Most cornish in the us are slow growing and small. These weren’t ideal for the tiny urban homesteader, but for everyone else they seem like a great option.
The following two breeds are common favorites for heritage breed meat chickens. Best heritage chicken breeds for meat. If you have a bit more space to pasture good foragers, i think raising a heritage meat breed is a great idea!
The most popular meat chicken breed is the cornish cross. I’m planning to raise heritage chickens for meat this year. The key to heritage meat birds is knowing they will never compare to the commercial meat birds.
Heritage breeds can be dual purpose chickens and good egg layers, but when you want meat birds, modern birds are. Preferred heritage meat chicken breeds: Yellow house farm in nh has some nice white dorkings);
If you are raising heritage chickens for meat, consider one of these heritage chicken breeds: Originating from the u.s., the delaware is hardy in heat and cold and matures quickly. Rhode island reds photo by livestock conservancy
La fleche (i raise too. After that, it's all about fast growth. As a heritage chicken, orpingtons are perfect for any homestead because they grow to good harvestable weight, lay large brown eggs regularly, and are attractively colored birds.
Some of the largest breeds of chickens, the jersey giant and brahma, make excellent meat birds, but take a much longer time to grow. They have good cold tolerance, and unlike the modern “meat only” birds, they're not likely to fail under their own carcass weight.