What Chicken Should I Raise?

Many pasture-based poultry producers raise Cornish Rocks, the same bird raised in confinement and bred for rapid growth, a double breast, easy cleaning and other traits important to that production system. But are these the best birds for pasture? Does their lethargy, weak legs, sensitivity to heat, and potential for heart attack reduce their performance?  Would other breeds be better?  Those are some of the questions Kim Cassano hoped to answer with her 2010 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project. She looked at the performance and behavior of six hybrid breeds of broiler chickens on three farms with three common production systems: Free Range as promoted by Herman Beck-Chenowith Birds range freely during the day and are secured in houses at night. Day Range, using the pen style developed by Andy Lee Birds are housed in a coop and rotated through chicken netting fenced pastures radiating from the coop like daisy petals. Joel Salatin's "chicken tractor" This is a movable, floorless pen dragged through pasture Cassano measured growth rate, feed consumption, carcass yield, mortality rate, activity level, and overall profitability potential for six breeds of meat chickens: Cornish X Rock This is the standard production chicken. Freedom Ranger This hybrid also goes by the name Hubbard Redbro. It was developed in Franc for

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One thought on “What Chicken Should I Raise?

  1. This is interesting data. The final piece for me would be the market data. Which bird is most preferred (best taste) by those that are looking for non-factory birds? Which breed commands the most $ per pound?

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