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Skinny Birds.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

We have chickens for meat, and eggs. We've had our girls for almost 2 years now. We butchered out a few about a year ago due to poor attitude. Then we lost a few while I was free ranging, and the neighbors tom barn cat ate 1, and chased 4 into the corn field, and we never found them. Now to the point. We feed our girls almost everything. Layer feed, meat feed, scratch, most kitchen scraps, and leftovers. I do not feed them garlic, or onions, because I do not like how it makes their eggs taste. I've had this hen that for the last month has made me like her less, and less. Every time I pick up one of the girls, pet them, then sit them down, as soon as their feet hit the ground she comes running over, and starts attacking them. Usually resulting in her getting a boot in the ***. Yesterday I was holding the new rooster we got from DBA. He is a bit skittish, and nervous, and usually comes to me when I enter the run. I set him down, and once again she came running peeking him in the back of the head, and he took off like a bat out of hell running, and hiding. This I do not need. We had to out our last one, because he was too much of a "chicken" for a rooster. I do not want another rooster that attacks us, but fails to protect his hens from actual predators. Anyways back to the point. After she pulled that I grabbed her up, carried her to the house, and asked my husband if he was in the mood to butcher. He said yes, so we got everything together, and was about to start, BUT when I picked her up by the feet I noticed that while she felt heavy she was pretty boney, and thin-ish so back to the coop she went. If I'm going to butcher one of my girls I want the kill to be "worth her weight." She is a New Hampshire Red. Which I've come to realize I personally do not care for the breed as a whole. The other New Hampshire's are a lot nice than her, but they grow so dang slow yet out eat the rest of the breeds I have. We also have Barred Rock, and Orphanington Buffs 2 of my favorite breeds, but all of their breasts are poor in size. All of the New Hampshire's are going to be butchered before the first frost. The Barreds, and Buffs are here to stay. They are great layers, sitters, and have great personality. We also have about 8 Light Brahmas which I love to death, but are still very young so I have yet to know of their laying quality, or size though they have grown quickly for as young as they are. We got them in maybe March, or April of this year. My 2 questions are. 1: For the older girls, (and future birds) what are some ways to beef them up before butcher time comes? 2: What are some good breeds of meat only birds? Right now we only have duel purpose birds. Meat/egg, and it's not turning out as well as I had thought, I talked my husband into buying meat only birds for next year. As much as I love my girls, I love to eat chicken more, haha, and only being able to butcher 4 in almost 2 years is NOT going to fly with me.

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post #2 of 3

For a meat bird, I like freedom rangers. Grow almost as fast as CornishX but with fewer issues.

 

I never pick up my birds during the day because no one can get close to them. Therefor I have no jealousy issues with them.

 

Unless you are raising a meat bird, the breast will be thin. You are hoping to add muscle rather than fat. Meat comes from protein.

 

A heavy bird with a prominent keel like you describe, is probably loaded with fat and that is a feeding issue. Fat birds don't lay well. Abdominal fat is not the same thing as well muscled breast meat.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for explaining that too me! That honestly makes a lot of sense now. The last butcher we did we noticed that even though she was small-ish she had quite a bit of fat on her. What are some ways we could shape them up, and get them back to laying, because they haven't laid eggs in about 2 months, and I thought it was due to molt at first.

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