If you are raising poultry for meat versus eggs, there are several tips experts suggest so that you can find success. Many people now want to grow their food to avoid hormones that are popular in market meats. The best meat poultry found to breed in backyards is chickens. 

New Heritage Feed Co. offers holistic feeds for poultry with no added chemicals. Their feed provides a natural approach with traditional and holistic benefits. New Heritage Feed Co. uses an essential oil blend that has been proven, tested, and proprietary. 

Proper feed for poultry is an essential step in raising the best meat poultry possible. There are several things you must consider when raising the best meat poultry to breed yourself.

What to Consider When Raising Poultry for Meat Best meat poultry. Two Plymouth Rock Chickens behind chicken wire.

Before you buy your chickens, first consider if you are willing to raise meat poultry. The chickens are not the same as egg-laying hens. Meat poultry chickens are fast-growing, and many people grow several, up to fifty or more at a time. 

With more birds comes increased waste, so they require more maintenance. Additionally, it is critical to consider the cost of feed and housing the chickens. 

Finally, consider if you are willing to part with the birds in a short period. Many are ready for slaughter in 6-8 weeks. It is not kind to allow the birds to live longer than a few months as they are heavily breasted and often prone to heart failure. 

If you have decided to raise meat poultry next, it is time to decide on a chicken breed.

How to Raise the Best Meat Poultry

Best meat poultry. chickens in backyard side coop.

To raise the best meat poultry, you need to have the right breed of chickens. 

Chickens that are raised specifically for meat are called broilers. Broilers are known as the best for meat poultry because they grow faster than other chickens explicitly bred for egg-laying or dual-purpose breeds. 

By the time broilers are ten weeks old, they can often reach ten pounds if fed a nutritional feed. Ten pounds is an ideal weight for many families regarding poultry size. 

Dual purpose birds, by contrast, can be raised for both eggs and meat. If you decide to raise chickens for both of these purposes, the Plymouth Rock breed is an illustrative example. This dual purpose chicken lays around 200 eggs annually, while also having the large build we typically associate with broilers.

Varieties of Broilers

Plymouth Rock Hen with another Chicken in Background

There are several standard chickens recommended for the best poultry meat. The most popular is the Cornish Cross. The chickens are favored as they can reach twelve pounds in six-eight weeks. They grow fast, and people love their taste, making them popular on commercial and family farms.  

Jersey Giant Chickens were developed in the United States with the idea of replacing the turkey. Jersey Giant Chickens are purebred, weighing eleven-thirteen pounds on average. It is important to note they grow slower and require more feed than other breeds of broilers. Some people prefer them because they do lay extra-large brown eggs, so they are considered a dual-purpose breed. 

Bresse chickens are white and are a large breed of broilers. Some people consider them the best in meat poultry, and they are quite popular due to their blue feet. Though they are more expensive, they are worth it for their taste and tenderness. Many farmers praise it is the best meat poultry in the world!

The Orpington is a heritage breed considered good layers but mostly used for their meat because of their incredible taste. The Orpington does not grow as large as other breeds, averaging seven-eight pounds for females. Though they grow slower than other species, some appreciate their dual purpose, and they can lay up to two hundred eggs per year. 

Freedom Rangers are birds developed for the pesticide-free meat market. They are versatile eaters who can do well on low protein feeds. Compared to Cornish Broilers and other breeds considered best poultry meat, they can take longer until they are ready to be slaughtered. 

Regardless of the breed, you choose to raise, proper housing and feed will be essential to achieving the best meat poultry.

Housing Your Poultry Meat Chickens

Just like egg-laying hens, you will need a chicken coop for your poultry meat. Pens for meat birds are usually larger than those for egg layers, as you can raise fifty or more at a time.

Many small and hobby farmers choose to breed meat poultry in the summer only. This plan allows for temporary housing options such as tarps or hoop houses. Just make sure the housing option protects from rain and severe weather. 

The coop will need to have a place for the chickens to be fed and water access. Make sure you allow enough space for movement, feed, and water. 

Feeding Your Chicken to Achieve the Best Poultry Meat

No matter the breed of chicken, feeding them on a consistent schedule is key to achieving the desired weight.

All broilers have a similar diet. Ideally, the chickens should be on a twelve/twelve schedule, access to eat twelve hours a day, and then withheld for twelve hours. 

To encourage exercise, place the water bin on the opposite side of the pen from the food. Chickens can be lazy, and this will encourage regular movement. Water should be accessible at all times. 

Exercise is vital as it creates lean muscle, which improves chicken texture and taste. Eating healthy and living healthy is essential for chickens too! With these suggestions, you are on your way to raising the best meat poultry possible. 

Healthy Feed for Your Meat Poultry

smiling girl is holding a chicken in her hands

New Heritage Feed Co. has an eighteen percent crude protein complete feed for layers, broilers, turkeys, ducks, and pheasants. With the right combination of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, birds can get fed a well-rounded diet. 

The feed is locally sourced and made with all-natural ingredients. New Heritage Feed Co. has partnered with chemists to develop an essential oil blend added to all feed. Their partner has been a leader in the essential oil and health food market for over a decade. 

By using feed from New Heritage Feed Co., you know your poultry is receiving the very best. Proper feed brings the best poultry meat to your dining room table.