Barred Plymouth Rocks / Buff Orpingtons - Feed Amount?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tadaen sylverma, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    I will be getting a few more birds here in the next couple weeks to see if I can handle the slaughter concept. If I can I'm going bigger scale as I have been permitted to put a larger coop / run most anywhere I want out here on my folks property. I had orignally planned on breeding but I can't help but wonder if I would do better for myself to just get an army of hens, collect eggs till they are 2 years old, order another round of chicks... or get a rooster and breed a few of them. Then with the older hens send them to freezer camp and replace them with the new ones. Would that be a practical method, best cost / meat  & egg ratio type of thing? I'm not sure how to calculate how much they eat so I have no figures to go off of for the math.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    there is nothing wrong with killing off your old hens in favor of new stock however your aged laying hens will make what most refer to as a "soup chicken", a chicken allowed to age that much will be very tough eating and only really suitable for soup or maybe some slow cooker recipes. When I am raising chickens for meat I will get some extra roosters with my chick order and kill them when still young enough to not be super tough or I will order meat birds which grow faster and give you more meat at a younger age therefore being less tough however some feel they don't have good flavor. I would still kill the old hens, not waste them, however they aren't top quality meat.
     
  3. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    As far as toughness goes how would that be in relation to store bought? I don't want to raise roasters specific unless I have to, would like dual purpose birds really. Would a year rotation be better instead of two? This is all uncharted territory for me. But I'm going for, well not sustainability as much as knowing where my food comes from. I plan on organic feed + minor free range time (although out here in the desert isn't much to free range on). We like the rich gold yolks from fresh eggs as opposed to the store bought. I have some means to do this, I would like to be able to help out some friends who aren't in a decent situation so to speak. What would be my best bet for both eggs and meat?
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Store bought will be much more tender than 1 or 2 year old dual purpose birds. The store bought bird is you Cornish cross broiler which is growing out in 7 or 8 weeks which makes for a far More tender bird. Dual purpose birds take longer to grow and even when full grown are not going to have the muscle mass of a broiler specific breed, which is not to say they don't make good meat they just have a different texture and have to be butchered at a different age and prepared differently.

    What I did this year was keep all my hens and butcher my extra roosters for meat I butchered them at 5 or 6 months old and usually they are tough by then but this time I put them in a brine for 3 days before freezing and cooked them in a crock pot and they were very tender.

    You will do fine with dual purpose bird but if you want more meat birds I would suggest getting extra roosters and killing them as young as possible then only butchering the hens when they need replaced as they will be far tougher than a young rooster. Also if you butcher hens at a year you aren't utilizing much if their production capabilities as they won't even start laying until 5 to 6 months of age anyways. The good thing about getting extra roosters is they're cheap chicks because most people want only hens
     
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  5. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    Yea I see the point. Not sure what to do as none of us want to hear crowing around here. Don't think the neighbors would take it to well either. So best cost / meat ratio is meat specific popped at 9-12 weeks? And separate hens for eggs is what I'm gathering?

    *EDIT* Don't know if I'll order from here (great success with them 15 years ago) but for meat I'm guessing something like these? http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/red_ranger_broiler.html Due to location I can't take the cornish x as the thing says they have very low heat tolerance, Tucson AZ = bit to warm for my tastes... can't imagine it covered in feathers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most likely yes that would be the best way to go. The red ranger type meat birds do take a few weeks longer than the Cornish cross but are also supposed to be better free range foragers. You can still butcher Your layers when they stop producing there isn't really anything else to do with them they just will be soup or slow cooker chickens
     
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  7. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might want to take a look a red sexed links, for brown eggs and feed conversion. If you want egg production and get their cockerels for young tender meat, remember feed conversion. If go DP then New hampshires as your birds (again feed conversion)
    I hear a lot of old tough chickens stories, If the people's tongues weren't so used to eating these tasteless, non-textured factory birds, tough would have a different meaning. You think back in the day they worried about that. It's funny I have heard that frog legs taste chicken, are they that bad or that good? Are they talking about a factory cornish x or a free ranged DP?
    frog legs?
     
  8. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    I wonder the same thing about what really is "tender" and think about so many years ago how they did it. I am looking for best feed / meat & egg turnover. Cost is always a concern for practically everyone and everything these days. Trying to get an idea of what I'm looking at to raise them organic (or as close as I can) verses buying an = amount of organic chicken meat + the eggs that I get. I do want to know what I'm eating but at the same time if it isn't even remotely close then I can think of better ways to handle some things than farming chickens. I guess scale matters, like everything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My comparison is....a Cornish cross is like eating veal. Very soft, kinda bland, minimal chewing required. A dp rooster is like eating a lower quality steak--yes, you have to actually chew it a bit, but it still has great flavor.
     

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