Standard-Breed Broilers

Here’s a data point for you: we just butchered and sold a batch of New Hampshire broilers, 11-week-old cockerels. They ranged from 1.25 pounds to 1.5 pounds. These little broilers are what is meant by a “spring chicken.”

Hybrid broilers of the same age would have dressed out at 5-6 pounds.

This 4x difference in weight is why no one raises standard-breed chickens for meat anymore. The labor in raising chickens is per-chicken, but the payoff is per-pound, so it’s hard to make money with little chickens.

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

1 thought on “Standard-Breed Broilers”

  1. Just wondering how the flavor was, compared with the CX also raised on pasture? Your previous post postulated that they would be better tasting than the CX.

    I had terrible luck with 20 CX hatched early April. Lost 2 right away, 4 more before butchering time including one the day prior! The weather was awful so I did not move them outside til 4 weeks, then it was still so wet I ended up leaving their pen in place and just adding more straw bedding daily because the grass was always wet and chilly. I butchered at 8 weeks and they only got real grass the last week or two. However… they tasted FABULOUS.

    I currently have 25 more that are 5 weeks old, they were moved out at 3 weeks, the pen gets moved twice a day, and they seem much more active and vigorous than that first batch. I move the pen before adding to the feeder, and while some then attack the feeder, most are trotting around munching grass/dirt/bugs and seem unconcerned that there is fresh commercial feed. I am also cutting their feed with scratch to avoid the sudden death by heart attack or whatever it was, last time.

    I also have 50 more in the brooder, two weeks old. I am crazy. My stepdaughters and friends are getting chicken for early Christmas presents 🙂 My husband built me a Whizbang plucker which I used on that first batch, so butchering is not near as bad a chore anymore. I also bought a second freezer for the chickens, the pig we’re raising, and the half a beef I’ll be getting at the end of October.

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