Broilers are a breed of chicken that is groomed and raised specifically for their meat. Most broiler chickens reach slaughter weight between four and seven weeks of age, while those with slow growth might take about 14 weeks.
Poultry farming is a popular business in a place like Nigeria where people engage in lots of entrepreneurial activities, otherwise known as side hustles to make more money. It is also not surprising that broiler chickens are popular birds among poultry farmers. Broiler chickens are the most popularly raised in the Nigerian poultry farming scene because of their quick turnover and avenue to make good income on time. Not only this, many people consume broiler chicken worldwide and in the country as well. However, poultry farming comes with its own risks, the commonest of which is high mortality. How then can you know the best chicken breeds that will be able to resist diseases so you will not run at a loss?
Read on to know more details about the different breeds of broiler chicken and which is best.
Cornish Cross Broilers
This breed is also known as Cornish Rock. It is the fastest-growing breed of broiler chicken. It is considered the most productive of all the breed with the lowest food conversion, high growth rate and an ability to grow well on cheaper low density feeds. It will take you about six to eight weeks to grow a Cornish Cross Broiler chicken. This put the Cornish cross broilers at a competitive advantage over others. Cornish Broilers usually have white feathers and genetically yellow skin.
It usually takes approximately 6-8 weeks for a Grinphield Marshall Broiler chick to grow up to what is referred to as a “table size.” The Marshall breed of Broilers normally grows very tall and big and is widely disease resistant. Due to their quick growth, this breed is well recommended to small-scale broiler chicken farmers who sell to the open market. Within six to eight weeks, they have reached table size (depending on the quality of management) and can be sold off. The Marshall breed is reputed to outperform all other chicken breeds in an ideal growing environment.
Moyer’s K-22 (also called Red Broilers)
Many Chicken meat consumers love the Moyer’s K-22 breed because of their meat. The Moyer’s K-22 meat is lean and less fatty and has its own special fragrance and tender texture. However, they take a bit longer than the other breeds to grow to table size, about 5 pounds in approximately eight to ten weeks. This makes them perfect for the pastured poultry farmer. The Moyer’s breed grows slower than the Cornish Cross Broilers. The Moyer’s K-22 chicken has an excellent conformation with plump, tender breast meat and good skin texture which make it a consumers’ favorite. It is also highly disease resistant.
The Ideal Red Broilers
This breed also grows up a bit slower than the others. Its primary advantage however is its strong resistance to diseases, which makes them more appropriate for outdoor production. The carcass of a red broiler is generally more elongated than that of other broilers, with a smaller breast and larger legs. Generally, it is assumed that slower-growing breeds are better grown outdoors than their fast-growing counterparts.
This breed of broiler chickens is in the category of medium-growth kind. They can be grown to about eight to ten weeks before being sold off. Even with this, they grow a bit faster than the red broilers. Rosambro broilers have a unique taste. Rosambro broilers have many of the same benefits as the Red Broiler which include excellent conformation with plump, tender breast meat and good skin texture. Howbeit, they grow faster than the Red Broiler and slower than the Cornish Cross.
Roaster chicks (also known as Moyer’s Broiler or Cornish Giants)
The Roaster chicks can reach the weight of over 4 lbs by 6 weeks or roaster weight of 8 to 10 lbs. Just like the Moyer’s K-22, Roaster chicks have excellent conformation, plump, tender breast meat and good skin texture.
Red Ranger Broiler
The Red Ranger Broiler is one of the most profitable broilers for a farmer to raise because of its strong disease resistance. The Red Ranger broiler chickens have an excellent conformation of white and dark meat yields with a tender texture and a much-loved flavor because of its slow growth process. The Red Ranger Broiler has dark red feathers with white or black, tail feathers, yellow shanks, beak, and even yellow skin.
Ross 308 is a crossbreed recognized globally for its consistent performance. It has high growth rates, manageable feed efficiency and robust performance. The optimal time for the Ross 308 to be sold off or slaughtered is from six to nine weeks. At this point, if the chickens are well fed, they can weigh up to two kilograms. The Ross 308 is reputed to have more powerful muscle mass than other broilers with white, large breasts and large, strong legs which are formed at a very early stage. They also have bright skin. This breed of broilers is especially loved, not only because of its high performance but also because it can meet a broad range of requirements such as producing a high number of eggs and good hatchability. They are also highly disease resistant. It is no wonder Ross is the breed of choice for the global poultry industry.
The Cornish broiler used to be known as Indian game. It is a heavy, muscular chicken with an unusually broad and deep breast. Most of the Cornish breed are short in the legs. There are three color variants of the Cornish broiler but the most recognized is the dark color. The Cornish broiler is resistant to most common diseases of poultry. Its feathers are thin and hard. The Cornish broiler has been found to be a good meat breed but poor layer. Its eggs are small and light brown.