What is most store chicken? Hen or rooster?

Discussion in 'Meat Chickens' started by doug, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. doug

    doug New Member

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    When you go to the grocery store and get a bag of chicken (breast, leg, thigh, etc.)

    Is it primarily rooster or hen meat?
     
  2. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    chances are it's both....most grocery store chickens are "cornish/rock" crosses (or hybrids) that are bred to grow rapidly (about 8 weeks) and both the pullets and cockerels (females/males) are used by the commercial chicken industry!!!
     

  3. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

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    I was under the assupmtion that the breast white chicken was all jacked up with crap to make them bigger and the dark meat on the bones was God only knows? Unless you know where your chicken came from. I am going to make an uneducated guess, more roosters since more people want hens for eggs.
     
  4. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    If they are meat breeds meant to grow quickly then it would make sense it's both. I've never heard differently in any training I've had.
     
  5. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    I believe that the large chicken processors inject salt water into a lot of the meat to "plump" it up even more and add "flavor".

    The Cornish/Rock crosses for meat grow so fat so fast that they have to be butchered or they will die from heart failure. Sometimes you can't wait even 8 weeks or they will start dropping like flies. There's no way the females would ever live to lay eggs so both males and females will be butchered. This is the chicken that's virtually in every grocery store/fast food/restaurant here in the U.S. unless it's specifically labeled as a different breed. It's the ONLY type of chicken that's used for McNuggets (if you can call that "chicken").
     
  6. earlyt89

    earlyt89 New Member

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    I was under the impression that most butcher houses use IDEAL 256 chickens. Originally bred from Ideal Poultry. And the roosters get butchered at just over 3 months. But that's just what I've heard
     
  7. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    90% of the commercially grown chickens for MEAT are the Cornish/Rock or Cornish Hybrid....they are bred to produce lots of meat in the shortest time (usually about 8 weeks). In a commercial environment they would do as "TinyHouse" says....die from heart failure or their legs will break from their body weight. however, lots of folks successfully raise these same birds on pasture and supplemental feed without the problems "TinyHouse" suggested, yet most of them are butchered somewhere between 8-12 weeks of age anyway! Unless a chicken is labeled otherwise it will be these Cornish/Rocks....even those "organic" chickens can still be these Hybrids just fed an "organic" diet!!!
     
  8. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    There are many commercial producers to the commercial "broiler" and "layer" industries. One of the larger "hatcheries" to the commecial market is a company called Morris Hatchery and they sell three different types of Cornish/Rock or "Hybrid" broilers that are basically "trademarked"! The Cobb 500, Ross 308 and Hubbard so I wouldn't be suprised if some folks use the Ideal 256 as "EarlyT" suggest....I just don't believe Ideal can supply ALL the broiler chickens the commercial broiler industry produces!!! Here is a link to Morris Hatcery;

    http://www.morrishatchery.com/about.html
     
  9. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Not doubting you (because I don't really have that much experience with them) but how do they raise them to an age they can actually lay eggs? I spent time on a farm last year where we did pasture Cornish/Rock crosses and they mostly just laid around until the feed showed up and then they acted like they hadn't eaten for days! ;) They got to the point where they could barely walk. I can't imagine how we'd have been able to have kept any of them alive past the 8-week mark where we butchered them. We had some turning blue and dying and when we cut them open, their hearts were enlarged, flabby and surrounded by fat.

    And as you pointed out, there's a difference between "organic" and "heirloom". A chicken can be a hybrid and still be raised organically. Heirloom and organic would be the ultimate bird. :D
     
  10. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Another thing about them - they didn't even look or act like "normal" chickens. They were fed organic feed and taken very good care of - I know, I'm the one who carried the feed and water to them twice a day! :) We gave them cider vinegar mixed in their water and moved their feeding station around so that they had fresh grass underneath the canopy. They didn't walk around, didn't forage and most were missing a lot of feathers. Seemed like their entire system was programmed to put on weight and not expend any more energy than necessary on walking or growing anything but those huge breasts. In contrast, the people where I was staying also got about 25 RIRs at the same time and they were bright, inquisitive and running around the pasture where we had them, foraging and acting like real chickens. The C/R Xs were just nasty birds as far as I was concerned. I vowed after that experience that, if I ever decided to raise chickens for meat, I was not going to have that kind. I'm willing to wait a few more weeks for any chicken I was going to butcher.
     
  11. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    This was a valuable post for all to read. It just shows us all that industrial farming is NOT in our best interests. We resent their profits and will feed ourselves thank you.
     
  12. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    Most all chickens sold as fryers or fryer parts are straight run.

    These are hybrid strains of chickens so the keeping of hens for egg production, as one responder said is not logical.

    Secondly, the comment of the meat being "jacked up" I guess I am not quite familiar with the scientific term of jacked up. But I do know it is illegal for the birds to be fed steroids ---- does that cover jacked up?

    Industrial farming, not in our best interest-- well until their is a viable alternative, nothing else can supply the food we require. I can and most rural Americans can grow our own meat if we had the desire. But what about the millions of Americans in the inner city, urban developments, or townships that forbid raising livestock by law. It is unrealistic to believe the few "non-industrial farmers" could meet the supply demand. So until their is a tangible alternative, industrial farming is the only answer we have.
     
  13. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    OK - it's not just me who thinks CxR are nasty birds. lol The gal whose farm I stayed on last year just posted this to another friend on Facebook:

    "They're demoralizing to watch grow, because they don't forage at all, seems like they really shouldn't even be put on pasture because they don't much like it. And they only half feather out so they are ugly blobs of pink skin and partial feathers who just lay around all day waiting for the feed to come out."
     
  14. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    I don't care for them either, for my table I much prefer a dual purpose rooster in the 16 - 18 week range.

    But that don't feed America.
     
  15. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    I know.... *sigh* - it's the "fastest meat for the least amount of feed".

    I DID realize though, after hauling all that feed and water, and moving the canopy around and then catching and processing 150+ birds, why organic chickens cost so much. Let me tell you, they are worth every penny because someone (or a number of someones) put in a lot of time and effort to bring those birds to market while watching what they ate and trying to provide them with a decent life before they were butchered. We figured out all the costs and it came to ~$9.00 per bird. This year she raised "Freedom Rangers" and the extra 3 - 4 weeks ended up making each bird cost around $12.00. So, even though she doesn't particularly like the CxR, if they do it again (this isn't for commercial purposes, it's a private group just doing it for themselves), she said that they will probably go back to them.

    At least now I know what I'd be in for if I DID decide to raise some CxR for meat. If I'd gone into that without knowing what I know now, I think I'd have lost my mind thinking I was doing something wrong because of the way they are/act.

    I'll shut up about them now. :eek:
     
  16. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    I hear both sides of this discussion. It's great if you have resources, but for those who don't, its better than going hungry. Our best option is to try to change the idea the industrial farming IS the only alternative. Quite a lot of people don't know #1 how bad it is, #2 that there are other options. Look how popular Mc Donald's is. Proud sponsor of the Olympics. Really! Are they kidding? Really? Anyway, Michael Moore and Pollin are out there trying to educate the public. I think the back yard chicken movement is a great opportunity to live by example.
     
  17. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    Look I am going to bow out of this thread, I'll concede what needs to be conceded.

    With the mention of Micheal Moore as being an authority on anything, if I keep on, it's going to turn political, blues against reds.

    Still what viable alternative! We can do away or legislate away corporate/industrial farming, but they going to be a whole lot of hungry people hanging around when we do.

    As for the comment I made regarding "jacked up" why don't we use the expedient of saying exactly what we mean, sans slang. I'm working from an iPhone, no way do I have the time or the quota to download dr oz videos.
    Facts is: if you raise any animal or any crop in the density that is now required on industrial/corporate farms, it's going to be dirty, smelly, and those crops and animals are going to be subject to all manner of ailments.

    Organic chicken, it's wonderful. But how do you provide that to a single mother working, raising two kids trying to keep her nose above water. I can pretty much go down to the local food store and buy a 4# fryer for $4. Tiny house stated that they stayed on a farm raised organic chickens and cost alone was $9 per chicken. And the price will be higher because of a breed change. and how much room did those birds require-- figure that into the cost/land area equation per family!

    Well heck I promised I wasn't going to do this----- but I can tell you one thing beyond a doubt mr Moore is not buying that single mom no organic chicken. And if he does he can't buy enough to supply every one that's hungry!
     
  18. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    29, for what it's worth, I'm listening. Industrial farming is a really big problem and we've backed ourselves into a corner that's tough to get out of. AND I agree that going on and on about something is often an exercise in futility. Beating the dead horse. Having said that, please know that this is just a forum. It's a place to explore ideas. Some ideas are emotionally charged. The "should we need permits for chickens" thread has been going on for about a month. Just ideas, just talking. We all have opinions we'd like to share and different view points. Please know your opinions are valuable and I encourage you to share whatever insight you have with all of us. All our experiences matter and that shades our views. Thanks for your input. Please, dont go away angry.