We raised these birds:
They ended up being (guessing here since it's a surprise lot you get):
-Black sex-link (Barred Rock look alikes)
-Red sex-link (looked like production or rhode island red and some looked like Delawares)
Here they were at around 9 weeks.
We fed these 1# of feed (chick starter) per bird to 8 weeks and after 8 weeks 1/2# of the starter plus cracked corn (for flavor) and let them range through 10 acres of mostly forest (grubs, worms, bugs) with some fields and mowed areas for the rest of their diet. When I cut open the crop they all had a mix of feed, bugs, and some grass.
Anyways, the smell while they were cooking and the taste made these inedible. Even our boys wouldn't touch the meat. I was the only one who would eat it and only because I was the one who paid. It wasn't good. Maybe I'm used to the taste of cramped quarters Cornish Cross you find at the store... All I know is that these were a huge waste of time and money. We had 100 and I don't think we finished one of them.
I cleaned them myself (being a bird hunter it was something I'm used to) and here was the kill routine.
1. Pellet to the head to incapacitate (quick and painless)
2. Slit the throat to bleed out.
3. Scalded and plucked (took me about 20 minutes since I'm NOT used to plucking)
4. Gutted (completely clean internally)
5. Washed thoroughly
6. Rested in fridge 2 days
7. Baked (in oven as I regularly do with store bought whole 4lb chickens)
I also tried skinning a few. No better. I killed some at just under 2# dressed weight and some at just over 3#. None were good. I believe the first kill was at 14 weeks and the last at 22 weeks. So we had a variety of ages to test. All were bad. Maybe this is how they're supposed to be... but I sure hope not. If so, I don't care for 'real' chicken. I will say it was fun raising them.
Edited by 777funk - 2/7/16 at 8:33am