barred rock for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dntd, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. dntd

    dntd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    I'm ordering barred rock for eggs this spring and was wondering if they make good meat birds. I'm hoping just to process only a small amount of chickens this year to start but want barred rock for my egg layers,it's cheaper just to order one type of bird..
  2. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Well if you havnt ordered yet I would go for white rocks,Im pretty sure they lay the same amount of eggs but the carcass looks nicer when dressed out.
  3. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Yup, they are your classic dual purpose bird. If you are not in a super hurry to process and fill your freezer, they should work out just fine for your needs.
  4. holachicka

    holachicka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Folsom, CA
    I'm ordering barred rocks as well as buff orpingtons for both purposes as well. Does ayone hav e any experiences raising either of these breeds for meat as well as eggs?
  5. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    We have butchered barred rocks for meat. We have been very pleased with them. We raised the roosters to about 9 months old. You get a really nice size carcass that way. I have never seen any difference whatsoever in skin color or feather color in the birds we have butchered, other than silkies having black skin, the finished carcasses all look about the same. If you pluck any breed at the wrong time of feather development, it will be a pain , but the white still have those feathers, just not so visible. Trial and error , figure out the timing depending on what you raise. The rock roos don't have the huge breasts of a cornish x, but, they do have huge, long legs with a lot of good meat. The legs are all dense, finely grained, dark meat. The breast is typical white breast meat, just smaller. We have never considered our birds to be tough, they have a different texture than a cornish x, but it's not chewy or bad..just denser and firmer. There is way more flavor in my opinion, real chicken flavor..not just bland nothing. I should add that all birds we prepare are cold aged, then brined, and slow roasted...that helps a lot ..if you just kill them and roast them, prepare to be unhappy. We have a new batch of rock roos in the brooder right now, with more coming next week...I will never raise the cornish cross, I have seen them, and I can't stand them. Abominations, pure and simple. Rocks are great birds.
  6. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Quote:They should both be good for your needs. The orpingtons would be only moderate layers, but very calm and good setters. Plus you have one more benefit. The Orpington male is classified as a red male in the book,"sexing of all fowl" and you can put one of them with your BR hens to produce sex-links.....thus you will know for certain which is a male, so you can slaughter at a young age, without worrying about late developers.
  7. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Carcass color seems to be a regional/ethnic preference, and North Americans like yellow skin, Europeans like white skin and Asians seem to prefer dark skinned birds. I do not think that any of the choices affect meat flavor/tenderness/nutrition at all. Personally, I do not care one way or the other about color, only flavor!! MMMMMMMMMMM....tasty:drool
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    We have both and for meat, I prefer the orpingtons because there's more to them. The barred rocks are better layers but either way you can't go wrong. The orpingtons have whiter skin, the rocks are more yellow but there's no difference in taste.
  9. petrelline

    petrelline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2009
    Los Gatos, CA
    I raised barred rocks for meat over the winter, the cockerels dressed out at 3-4 lbs in 12-16 weeks. Feed them broiler or gamebird food. I think better quality birds (rather than cheap hatchery stock) would probably do better and one of my planned projects is to work with a rock that's an actual dual purpose rock as opposed to the egg-layer production rocks that everyone sells now. Why rocks? I just like rocks. [​IMG]
  10. dntd

    dntd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    I've decided to get barred rock and a few crosses, I figured I'll butcher some and keep some for eggs. The hatchery I am ordering from has very few pure bred chicks to choose from but since I'm not a breeder just a hobbiest it really doean't matter too much.

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