Brahmas?? Anyone USING them as a dual-purpose?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by muddylilly, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. muddylilly

    muddylilly In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2011
    Hello all!
    Just wondering if anyone has any practical experience raising Brahmas (light, dark or buff is fine) and using them for eggs AND meat? I know they are considered dual (but frankly I've tried others considered dual- and well, you can eat a squirrel if you really want to [​IMG] ) I expect they will grow slower, but I'm tired of seeing the cornish X grow so unnaturally, however I do like them in the freezer. I am just thinking maybe it's time for a sustainable "homestead" flock for eggs and meat.
  2. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Songster

    Jul 25, 2011
    Franklinton, NC
    Personally I dont like them for DP. They mature slowly and are a ROYAL pain to pluck or skin.
  3. AuroraSprings

    AuroraSprings Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Atlanta, GA

    I am considering it. This will be an interesting thread, if it takes off.
  4. cornish20

    cornish20 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2011
    no, WAY too slow maturing... atleast breeder quality bird are... hatchery??? you never know..
  5. Keara

    Keara Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    I was disapointed with how small the roosters were even at 20weeks old. They turnd out to be mostly feather and bone! I have processed Barred Rock rossters that were bigger at a younger age.
  6. oshun55555

    oshun55555 Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Parker Colorado
    I have LF Light Brahmas, they are pretty good layers even in the winter without lights, however I grow out red broilers for most of my meat, I grow out extra Light Brahma cockerels and butcher them around 10 months for a huge roaster (anything younger is feather and bone), but for broiler meat go with something else. Don't get me wrong I love this breed, but you have to wait a long time to get good meat off them. The hens make good stew birds and roasters when they are finished laying, very big birds. The old hens and roosters make good sausage when they are very old.
  7. LilyD

    LilyD Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I am doing Brahmas for DP birds and so far I am pretty impressed with them. They are a wide bird and are very solid. They are ready to butcher by around 16 to 20 weeks depending on how large you want them to be and have quite a bit of meat. By 16 weeks they are about 5 pounds dressed out and by 20 weeks they are about 7 dressed out. They do tend to have more dark than light meat but hey I am a dark meat kind of person myself so that's just fine with me. The ones that I have processed have been fine. No real issue with plucking or processing. They have a decent size breast (nothing like the huge breast from the Cornish X but still a decent size). The main thing that draws me to these birds is that they are super friendly all the time. I have yet to have one that is mean. They started laying in the cold weather and nothing seems to phase them. While my other hens were sporadic when they started the Light Brahmas have not stopped now that they have started. They will forage all day rather than eating out of the feeder even if it's full and will save eating from the feeder for right before they got to sleep at night. The young ones I have right now are 20 weeks and the pullets are around 10 pounds. The roo that I kept for breeding over the winter is about 11 pounds. They are heavy but when I hold them and feel them it's not all feathers. They are really solid under there. The coolest thing by far is that my little nephew who is 8 can come and pick up my big rooster Rocky and cart him around like a sack of potatoes. Rocky puts up with it stoically and is very careful to never hurt or scare the kids. He will gently take a treat out of their hands and is never mean. He is also great with the hens He dances and will not mate with them unless they squat for him. He also finds them all the best treats and his ladies always eat first before him. So far I can say that I am totally pleased but that's just me.

    I started with breeder quality stock and not hatchery birds. If you get birds from a hatchery you will be disappointed. I can say that because I do have a few hatchery hens and they are growing much slower and leaner than my breeder quality birds. I am hoping that putting my breeder rooster over my hatchery hens will help them to have improved quality babies for next year. If not they probably won't stay around very long. Right now they are my top choice. I am toying around with Delawares as well but the Brahmas take my breath away.
  8. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    I know a family that uses for Light Brahmas for eggs and meat. They hatch every spring, harvest all but a cockerel or two at about 6 months and the hens at 18 months. They're quite happy with the breed. I'm sorry I cannot give you any size information or tell you how well they lay. But, this is a family on the self-sufficient side, they also raise their own goats and pigs, and didn't end up with Brahmas randomly.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Quote:That's what we do too. We have goats, pigs, sheep and chickens and to tell the truth we any chickens we have even the layers. I think the most important quality that the chickens we have need to have is the ability to produce their own babies. If they can hatch out their own that's great. Less work for us and we don't have to integrate them into the coop because Momma does that for us. Getting a bird that is fairly large on top of that is just a bonus.
  10. kefiren

    kefiren Songster

    thanks for a very informative post, i think your logic is sound. i've never owned brahmas, but are they sort of an "earthbound" type? i've got some breeder stock marans out in my paddock, new this year, and one thing I didn't realize would be a plus: they do not fly over my 4 foot fence. their nest mates the leghorns are in and out all day and i've already lost one to a small predator. it's dangerous for my chickens to get out. perhaps that is another reason brahmas might be good?


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