Breeds for producing meat chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by teaspoon, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. teaspoon

    teaspoon Out Of The Brooder

    Hey there,
    I'm planning to raise some chickens for meat to stock the freezer. I'd prefer not to buy more chicks since I can easily hatch my own. I have either a buff Orpington rooster or any of my three Easter egger roosters. And for hens I've got 3-5 each of buff Orpington, Easter egger, black austrolorp, cuckoo maran, speckled Sussex, and silver laced Wyandotte. What pairing do you think will produce the best meat birds? I'd probably sell or keep the pullets and eat the roos
  2. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    You really do not have any really big meat breeds but any one of the chickens you have will produce food for the table [​IMG]

    Personally I use Russian Orloff's or Marans chickens for meat birds [​IMG]


    Here is a cage full of the July 2014 meat birds [​IMG]

    gander007 [​IMG]
  3. teaspoon

    teaspoon Out Of The Brooder

    Gah! I accidentally hit submit before I was done.

    Should I choose based on breed or go by size and body condition?

    My only experience processing meat birds was two roosters. By the time I got the feathers off, there was hardly anything left! Then I cooked them right away, not realizing that they were in rigor. It was disgusting, but the dogs were happy to get it. I made a few mistakes... but I learned from them! I did have to cull an injured duck recently, it was delicious!
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    This is very true that once the feathers come off the actual chicken is very small and the EE's
    can surprise anyone at how small they really are [​IMG]

    After I have them plucked I normally let them hang overnight in the cooler before the butchering
    is completed ....

    I pick by the heaviest chicken for meat breeders .......

    gander007 [​IMG]
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you want a meat bird then pick the most well muscled birds. Historically these birds were dual purpose meat birds unfortunately the level of productin ahs not been kept up my most hatcheries. I have butchered a few of mine and I am getting rid of most of my current stock and finding breeders of good mety stock.

    Be sure to use two diferent breeds to maximize the growth rates. And just for the record my EE hen is huge and far bigger than my tiny EE from another hatcher.

    For truley decent meat birds, hunt down a good breeder of any of those breeds you listed. Check around and talk to several before buying.
  6. teaspoon

    teaspoon Out Of The Brooder

    I checked all the roosters today (they weren't very happy about it) and decided that two of the EEs are a little more meaty than the other roos. So now I need to know, since all the chickens live in the same enclosure right now, how long do I need to keep the other roosters from breeding the hens in order to be sure of who the father is? I am able to separate them, the other roosters can live in the goat pen for a while.
  7. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    About 2 weeks after you take the other roosters out is the general rule. A hen can hold the sperm of the rooster inside for about that long.
  8. Natalijaasbj

    Natalijaasbj Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2012
    Marans are considered gourmet meat birds in France. They get huge and delicious in my experience. Chanteclers get huge quickly and I heard REAL New Hampshires (not hatchery ones) get huge too. I will stick with these three the next year.
    I tried Orpingtons - nothing special for my taste. They look huge and fluffy but not much meat under. Just my experience ( I had Lavender ones)
    Just do not get hatchery birds in any case. Get a stock from a good breeder.
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Everyone has a differnt time they are comfortable with. I did a lot of reading on this some time ago, and it seems that even at 5 weeks those buggers can last. Of course the likelyhood is very small by 5 week but an off chick CAN happen. Some of the old time breeders give 3 weeks. All depends on how important this is to you.
  10. dolfi

    dolfi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2013
    kissimmee, florida

    Wao none of my chickens are good meat wise at 5 weeks. I must have the wrong chickens or feeding the wrong food to them. I have rir. I also heard that the meat is hard and needs to be put in a pressure pot. How and what breed do I need for meat

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