Back with questions on meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jasmer, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, my husband and I want to order some chicks and were interested in trying the following breeds this year to decide on which one(s) we like:

    Marans (hubs likes the dark brown eggs)
    Dorking
    Buckeye
    Faverolles
    plymouth rock
    jersey giant

    Anybody have experience with these breeds as far as growth rate, butcher size, broodiness, and self sufficiency? We aren't too concerned with growth rate, we live on 5 treed acres that will be fenced in and they will free range, so cost-to-meat ratio isn't really an issue. But we do want to eventually trim the list down to just one breed and I know the only way to do this is to just try them all out and see which we like best, but I was hoping to get some advice.

    We already have a flock of mixed layers--rhode islands, australorps, and an amerecauna rooster. Marans are actually on the list of hens to get anyway (along with some amerecaunas) for colorful eggs, but I was curious about their meat production potential as well, they are a dual purpose breed correct?

    I know the jersey giants are suuuper slow growing, and I'd never even heard of faverolles until I started looking into meat production. We intially considered freedom rangers but have decided we do not want to go with a hybrid that cannot realistically breed true.

    Anybody have more suggestions to add to this list? Any input on the breeds we're considering? We definitely prefer quality and flavor over quantity, but we do have a family of 3 and expect that number to grow, so a decent dress weight would be swell.

    I think we're leaning toward the buckeyes, but we would love some input and advice. :)
     
  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I raised 100 "Partridge colored" plymouth rock last summer.. hatched may2. processed Sept. 15. roosters weighed 3.25 lbs in the freezer without organ meats, hens 2.50 lbs
    hope this helps
     
  3. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    All the breeds you have listed are dual purpose. They all should free range very well. Good choices.
    I have a suggestion for you. After you purchase these birds from the hatchery, try next time to purchase heritage breeds. Go to a bird show in your local area this spring, summer and talk to breeders.
    Nothing wrong with hatchery birds. They are wonderful for raising up and eating.
    Heritage birds will breed true and live longer with less health issues if you want to get into breeding your own eventually. I personally love RIR, Rocks, Cornish and Buckeyes.
    I raise Heritage RIR's and English Orpingtons. I also have bred cornish crosses.I have buckeye and rock in my bloodlines. My cockerel birds usually weight a good 8-9 lbs at butcher.
     
  4. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love Jersey Giants.
     
  5. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I think we're gonna try buckeyes, dorkings, and jersey giants and see what we get. We're probably going to cull our layer flock and start over with them, too, so we'll have some RIRs and Australorps to compare. Tough old birds for the crock pot lol.
     
  6. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're still working on finding a dual purpose breed that is a good fit. Marans have been my favorite rooster to use for meat so far (out of Orpington, White Rock, Delaware). We love the dark eggs, and the roosters tend to be bigger than the other dual-purpose we've processed (all around 17-18 weeks). That may also be because everything BUT the marans have been hatchery stock, though.
     
  7. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need to start looking for places to order chicks or eggs. I've been reading and apparently general hatcheries just aren't the place to get birds, especially meat birds, since they often don't breed for certain traits like meat production or broodiness.... So I guess I'll be looking into buying from people who actually breed whatever they breed for size and meat qualities.

    Ideally I would like a 5-6 lb dress weight, so I think I'd be looking at Jersey Giants to get that but apparently they aren't typically broody, which might put them off the list since our population has to be self sustaining.
     
  8. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    Some breeds do set better than others. I started raising cornish x in 1985 or so. I picked up a few Heritage Road Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and leghorns at a bird show. I cross bred every thing until i found a good combination that not only gave me eggs, but was great table fare.

    If you want a broody, a few trick is the golf balls in the nest.You take out the egg and put in a golf ball until you have a nice nest of about 7 eggs. If you have 5-10 hens, someone is going to set.

    I was told because I have Cornish X and leg horn my birds would not set.

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    My dual purpose cockerel birds get really large.
    [​IMG]This is the cockerel I have now. That is a 5 gallon bucket and he is only 4 months. The ducks weigh about 20lbs

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    This bird is in a cake pan. It looks like a turkey. I let this cockerel grow till about 5 months old
     
  9. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    sounds like I need to find a great meat rooster. any ideas for raisers in the North Kansas City, MO, USA area
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice looking Muscovy!


    Check your states thread in the "where am i, where are you" forum. It's a great way to find other BYCers in your area. Also, check out the "chickenstocks" forum, you might find one near you. There is also a breeders, hatcheries forum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

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