Bantams for Dog food

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SammyLee, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. SammyLee

    SammyLee Just Hatched

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Keeseville, NY
    I want to start feeding my dog raw chicken (supplemented by kibble), but I don't have the space to raise enough birds to slaughter and definitely not enough room to freeze the amount of birds required to feed my boy. So, I was wondering if raising bantams would be the solution. Maybe they won't be a lot of meat for people, but plenty for a meal or two for a dog. I could keep many more bantams than standard birds, cull a few every weekend for dog food the following week. Has anyone done this or heard of this being done? I know now that some bantams are bigger than others, so any breed suggestions? Or is this a horrible idea?
     
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away... Premium Member

    I would raise rabbits instead of chickens if you want to feed your dogs. They are (in my experience) alot easier to take care of, reproduce much more quickly, mature much faster than chickens, and then you get the bonus of (possible) fur.
    If you are sure you want to do bantams, then i would get... gee, plymouth rocks, or maybe brahmas. I would say dorkings if you can find some at a decent price (and if dorking banties exist). Cornish (purebred) would be great, except that they mature at a slower rate.
    In my knowlege bank, bantams are smaller, yes, but the bantam version of some awesome meat breeds become not awesome meat breeds. Cochins, for example. The standard birds make for a great roaster, but the bantams have been bred more towards an ornamental type.
    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  3. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away... Premium Member

    I forgot to mention that I am glad to hear of someone else doing this. As soon as I acn get a big enough place, I want to do the same thing, so let me know how it goes! [​IMG]
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've butchered a few bantam cockerels, mostly silkie/cochin mixes. There's really not much meat there at all. Not sure what meat to bone ratio you're looking for?

    How big is your dog? How much chicken do you plan to feed per week? A bantam is typically 1/4 to 1/5 the size of a large fowl. So, if your'e figuring a bantam would make two meals, a large fowl should make 5 at least, or up to 8 depending on breed and age. A large fowl would have a much better feed to meat conversion ratio than a bantam. Even butchering a 3 month old large fowl cockerel will be more meat than a bantam rooster. I think you'll get more bang for your buck, with less birds overall to process. Just cut them into pieces before your freeze them.

    Or, something else to keep in mind might be quail. I've read studies about how they're the most efficient meat bird, when you factor in feed and time to maturity. Of course, you're back to processing multiple smaller animals vs one or two larger animals, if that matters to you.

    One more thought---why breed or raise them yourself? Folks are always looking to get rid of cockerels. Haunt Craigslist, etc for free roosters. Or put your own wanted ad up and see who bites. Lots of people don't want to process a bird themselves and will give them away, or ask a pretty nominal price.
     
  5. SammyLee

    SammyLee Just Hatched

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    So many good thoughts here!
    I never did think to prowl Craigslist, but that's true, lots of free birds there at certain times of the year. My dog is a 55lb mutt, very active but not a big eater. I wanted to feed him a hunk of raw meat twice a day with some kibble for grazing throughout the day. I had no idea that bantams were so less meaty. Raising Quail sounds interesting, I'll look further into that. I'm not bothered by the processing, but I do suppose one big bird is far less work than little ones. Thank you for your suggestions!
     
  6. SammyLee

    SammyLee Just Hatched

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Keeseville, NY
    Funny you mention rabbits! I originally wanted to raise rabbits instead of chickens in general, but fell in love with the birds when helping my grandmother with her flock a few years ago. When it comes to livestock, I like to give them as much freedom and a happy life before I butcher them, and I find that rabbits are a bit more work in that regard. Chickens also give me eggs along with the meat. From looking into it more, it really does seem that bantams aren't the way to go in regards to dog food. Someone else suggests quail, which I'll be looking into. I wouldn't mind doing rabbits alongside chickens, though. I'd love to have a little self-sufficient homestead.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Depending on your space, my understanding is the more variety for the dog, the better. So, rabbit, quail, chicken, whatever else you want to raise. if you want to do goats, that would be a good amount of meat for a dog that size.

    Sounds like you may need to buy a freezer [​IMG]
     
  8. SammyLee

    SammyLee Just Hatched

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    I currently don't have a freezer of my own (I live with two others), but I'm in the process of building my own home and plan on putting a nice freezer in it. I really would like a variety of animals, including all you mention, but the other two people just want me to finish the **** house first lol
     
  9. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away... Premium Member

    Yeah, always get set up before you get the critters [​IMG] I know from multiple experiences on that subject.
    If you do decide to raise large fowl birds, get delawares. They were the "cornish cross" of the meat industry for 20 years until those fatties came along.
    You can free-range your rabbits to some extent. Obviously they aren't quite as smart (or as fun) as chickens, but if you build them a, say, 15x15 foot enclosure, you could probably fit around 10-12 rabbits. You can look up rabbit colonies. It's basically coop and run set up for bunnies.
    THIS IS SO COOL!!!!! I want to do this SO BAD!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] Let us all know what you decide to do and how it goes!
     

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