are Buff Orps reasonable dual-purpose?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by patandchickens, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Thinking about next spring. I want to try doing some meat birds but am not entirely sold on the Cornish X thing, and also want to get some Buff Orpingtons to see how I get along with them as layers and possibly to breed... so I was thinking...

    1)Would surplus and cull BO's be reasonable eating? (like, any better than any other basically layer breed)

    2)With respect to #1, would this depend on where I got stock from (are there some lines of BOs bred more for large body as opposed to show or laying?)

    3)Does this sound like a reasonable idea, or not so much?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  2. chickenjohn

    chickenjohn Out Of The Brooder

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    To tell you the truth I hunt, fish, and grow about 50 percent of what my family eats but I don't think I could kill my BOs for meat. They are just too sweet. I do think they would make decent meat bird but nothing great. As for being layers though they are great They will lay straight through winter and are very very sweet.
     
  3. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 BO's and I'm a first timer....but my BO's really stand out as the sweetie's in the bunch...They are a bit larger than the other chickens though so I think they'd be good for dual purpose as long as you don't get too attached. Still haven't tasted one yet though.
     
  4. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I have never processed any of mine either but I do hear they are a great bird for the table....
     
  5. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone on here said they had very nice thighs and were good to eat. Personally, I think if you eat chicken, my opinion is it's kind of nice to order straight run (or hatch) and eat the slower growing dual-purpose birds. I think birds taste better that grow more slowly... they have more flavor. Plus, for a backyard flock, you have time to pick out the BEST rooster or roosters to keep for your flock to breed... the ones with a sweet personality, the ones who look out for the girls and are gentle with them. It's good flock management. If you just order a single rooster from a hatchery, you get what you get: sometimes wonderful, sometimes not.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Sure, I know what the lists and catalogs and such all say... what I was wondering about was peoples' actual experiences with them as table birds. I mean, practically everything that weighs more than a Leghorn gets described as dual purpose [​IMG]

    I realize there is the 'getting attached to the sweet chickens' problem that several have warned about. I'm not really into the Dinner As Vengeance thing though [​IMG], so I suspect I would have this problem with pretty much any chicken. Personally I'd rather not eat much meat but my husband is a dyed in the wool carnivore so if we're going to eat chicken I'd rather it be ones that had a happy (if short) life, you know? I'm just not sure whether to go with the Cornish X or try to have some *actual* dual purpose chickens.

    Still taking advice,

    Pat
     
  8. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's your (or his) favorite part of the chicken? If it's breast, you probably do want a broad-breasted bird like a Cornish, or maybe a Freedom Ranger (they don't die so much from heart attacks!)

    If you do like thighs or legs, you might enjoy a dual purpose bird. They don't look anything like the chicken you get at the store; in comparison, their breasts are SKINNY!

    Some other nice dual purpose birds are Sussex. Very nice birds, and mine are little fatties. The roosters (I have three) are so polite that I haven't had to get rid of any, yet, though, so I can't personally talk about table qualities. However, they used to be THE table bird in Britain.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Personally I like dark more than light meat; my husband, not so much so, but if he's not the one growing the chickens and cooking them then he doesn't get as much of a vote [​IMG]

    Freedom Rangers sound good except that I had understood them to be Wisconsin based and I am in Canada. Even if they ship to Canada at all then the vet papers for the border would still be a killer, price-wise.

    Thanks for the various suggestions,

    Pat
     
  10. Siddonzo

    Siddonzo Out Of The Brooder

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    I got 14 straight run Buff Orps in April. I ended up with 7 pullets, 7 roosters. I had 6 of the roosters processed at 19 weeks (along with 6 silver laced wyandotte roosters - same age). The BO's were bigger than the SLW after processing. I cooked one in the crockpot and it turned out wonderful - laid a few slices of onion and chunks of carrots and celery on the bottom of the crock, added 1/2 a cup of water and put the bird (breast side down) on top. Cooked for 8 hours (2 hrs on high, 6 on low) and had a very tender bird - much better than roasting in the oven. There is not much breast meat, but the birds are bigger than the little 3 pounders in the grocery store.

    I would order BO's again in a minute. The girls lay large beautiful brown eggs - the first one started at 22 weeks. They are great birds with great personality. It was very hard to bring the boys in (I was charged $20 for 12 birds - picked them up 4 hours later bagged & whole) and I cried a lot that day. It is hard not to get attached, even though I had planned all along to eat the extra roosters.
     

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