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Ross Cobb meat birds
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Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35870
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 17 10:57 am    Post subject: Ross Cobb meat birds  Reply with quote    

In the spirit of posting things that are useful as per the other thread ...

Because of <circumstances> I was very late hatching this year - and I have swapped my fifteen dozen egg incubator for a two dozen one. So because we had no cock-birds coming through, I panic bought thirty Ross Cobb day olds from Cyril Bason.

They will be eleven weeks when they go to slaughter on Thursday and they are starting to go off their legs. I had heard this would be the case - circumstances conspired against us getting them off last week, though.

I reckon they have cost me just under ten quid each to produce ... cost per chick, delivery, chick crumb, growers, cost of processing ... and I'm happy with that.

What experience do other people have with commercial birds? I would definitely do this again, but perhaps with a slightly slower growing breed like Sassos. I like it all being done and dusted in under three months, whereas with the traditional breeds it takes six. I suppose the proof of it is the eating, and I've been told it's not such nice meat at traditional breeds grown slowly.

Thoughts?

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7150
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 17 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We used to get the Master Gris Hubbards and take them to 12 weeks. This is going back a good few years but the cost back then was just over 6 a bird. Nice carcasses. Never went off their legs. I ended up keeping some of the girls for laying & a cockerel for a couple of years.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 3977
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 17 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

By lowering the protein levels I`ve taken Cobbs onto 6mths over the years,10lb oven ready,no problem with going off legs,this I learned after a batch fed on high protein antibiotic specialist feed going off their legs,it was cruel to see,i was 14yrs at the time and that stuck in my mind.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35870
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 17 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think I may try that if I do these again. I don't want them to go on that long necessarily ... but growing slowly enough so the bone growth keeps up with the muscle would be good.

I have just had to cull one that has gone off completely and been pecked at ... it was thinner than the others comparatively speaking but still dressed out at 2.5 lb, which is where the traditional breeds hit, roughly, after five months. I'm interested to see what the others come back at. There's a definite difference between cocks and hens.

The 'Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps' wartime book says that traditional breeds stop economically converting food to edible protein about sixteen weeks. After that you are just doing it to get a nice roast rather than food security.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13490

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 17 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ditto what Ty Gwyn has said.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5867
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 17 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What does going off their legs mean, please?

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4288
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 17 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Literally be unable to stand properly. In some cases due to illness or injury, but in this intensive breed it's just a fact of life (their muscles outgrow their strength or skeleton, they can't stand).

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7150
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 17 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Essentially, they put on weight too quickly and their bones never catch up.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13490

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On the other hand, I've currently got eleven three to four month old Light Sussex cockerels running around on free range, that will be at least another three months older before they are ready for the table.
I'm shovelling food down them but while they aren't commercially viable, their taste and texture will be far superior.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7150
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm doing the same with Guinea Fowl at the moment.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13490

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Shan, I've got seven keats that I hatched about five or six weeks ago. I had some twenty odd years ago and I'm all at sea with these. Maybe we could exchange notes: I'd try and get a photo but we still haven't sorted PB or a substitute.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5867
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks NMG and Shan.

That's very sad. Is that a fault with the breed or because of how they are reared?

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7150
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger wrote:
Shan, I've got seven keats that I hatched about five or six weeks ago. I had some twenty odd years ago and I'm all at sea with these. Maybe we could exchange notes: I'd try and get a photo but we still haven't sorted PB or a substitute.


Yes, not a problem.

I hatched 5 under a broody chicken. Currently, they are following madam chicken round the garden... and occasionally the neighbour's garden.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7150
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
Thanks NMG and Shan.

That's very sad. Is that a fault with the breed or because of how they are reared?


It's a bit of both. The breed is designed to grow extremely quickly for commercial purposes but it 'can' be slowed down by lowering protein levels. Trouble is, when supermarkets are selling chickens so cheaply, every extra day increases the cost.

e.g. Ross 308 Performance statistics:

*Live weight at 56 days: 4kg
*Live weight at 70 days: 4.9kg
*Performance as hatched, males can reach 5kg+ at 84 days (12 weeks)

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 5867
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 17 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks Shan.

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