Fried chicken, baked chicken, chicken pot pie. There are so many ways to cook chicken. Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of meat chicken you should be buying or growing? There are options! Three options are the Cornish rock broiler, the red ranger or the fry pan special. Of course there are benefits and drawbacks to each of these and so we are going to help you navigate your way to find the best meat chicken.
The Cornish rock broiler is the most common meat production chicken. It is a fast growing chicken and the meat to feed conversion rate is good (This simply means that the amount of feed the chicken eats is efficiently converted into weight.), which also makes them economical. The broiler chicken is ready to process in about 6 to 7 weeks. With proper feed and nutrition it will dress out at 4.5 to 5 pounds. One drawback of this breed is that it does not free range or pasture well. An advantage of raising Cornish rock broilers is that they are a cost efficient way to raise farm fresh chickens without needing a lot space.
Another type of meat chicken is the red ranger. The red ranger is a hearty chicken with fairly good meat to feed conversion. Although its’ conversion rate is not as good as the broiler, the red ranger will be ready to process in 12 to 14 weeks and it will dress at 4 to 4.5 pounds. A drawback of this breed is that it does take longer to raise them to processing weight which makes it difficult to raise multiple batches. Another drawback is the cost. It is almost double the cost of raising a broiler chicken. An advantage of the red ranger is that it is a good free range chicken with a very good taste.
Have you heard of the fry pan special? Have you purchased the fry pan special thinking you were getting a meat type chicken? We advise our customers to be cautious of fry pan special chickens. The fry pan special is the way that hatcheries sell off roosters that are leftover after they sex off layer pullets. Hatcheries have created a market for the roosters through the fry pan special. They sell the roosters at an inexpensive price. At first the price may seem like a great deal but there are a few drawbacks which will counter the initial cost savings. The number one drawback is that it is not pleasant housing 50 fighting roosters in one coop. Another drawback of this option is the roosters will eat a lot of feed with little weight gain. An advantage of this option is the pigmented feet. Some people do choose this option purchasing the Black Australorp or the black giant because they want the pigmented feet.