6 Free Australop Packing Peanuts

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hangin'witthepeeps, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Colbert, GA
    I understand that these are dual purpose chickens. They are now 5 weeks old and are still very small. At what age can they be butchered and still be tender? We processed our NHR roo last year at 24 weeks. He was big as a turkey but was tough and "gamey" tasting. I understand that free ranged birds that are not cornish x will taste different, but is there anything I could do better this time to make them more palatable? I just hate to kill them and bury them when the broody is done with them. Thanks for all suggestions and comments.

  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    You may have two choices... 1. Cull them now and cut your losses . 2. When they grow to a weight that you consider are right for butchering, age the carcasses in the refrigerator for 3-4 days , then plunk them in a crockpot of LOW for the better part of the day untill the meat falls off the bones, pull out the bones, then make whatever meal that suits your fancy.
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    My Alorps are really nice birds, good personality. You didn't say if they were roos or hens. At 15 weeks, my Alorps are only about two or three pounds, if that gives you gauge, but all of mine are hens. If they are hens, and you want eggs, they are supposed to be solid producers, which is why I got mine.
  4. petrelline

    petrelline Songster

    Feb 13, 2009
    Los Gatos, CA
    Packing peanuts are roos.

    Australorps like orps will grow slowly. If you feed them like meat birds with a high protein crumble they will grow faster but they will never be as big as a meat bird. Figure on slaughtering them at 16-18 weeks at the latest if you don't want them to be too tough to roast, no matter how big they are. If you wait until 24 weeks you'll have to crockpot them.

    I slaughtered a buff orp roo a month or so ago at 15 weeks and he was 3 lbs. He was small, but he tasted good.
  5. l'abeille

    l'abeille Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    I'll just give you my story...We had an Australorp cockerel hatched feb 22. We tried to rehome him but ended up keeping him to eat. we just harvested him last Sat. and cooked him Mon. We made chicken and dumplings--it was tender and, notably, the most delicious chicken I've eaten. The broth tasted like concentrated stock it had so much flavor. He was fed starter/grower, scratch and lots of greens and earthworms and lived in a small run with the gals. He had just started to crow a week before we slaughtered him. He was larger than our full-grown Australorp hens, but we didn't weigh him. Dressed at 4-5 lbs, I'd guess. We read up on butchering, etc. and watched the Joel Salatin videos. Make sure you remove the oil gland! it was not too bad to do. good luck.
  6. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Colbert, GA
    Alright, thanks for the info. 3 to 4 pounds is good to me, two would make a meal for us (family of 6 with 5 of those adults). I like dumplings and other soups. Yes, they are all roosters. I still may just give them away when the broody is done. I just like the cornish x meat. I guess it's just what I'm used to eating. Now I need some cornish chicks anyone got a special on a few?

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