Buff Orp Cross


10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
I have a few Buff Orp Cross chicks. They are Buff Orp mixed with various other breeds. I had one cross that I butchered at 6 months because I just had too many roosters. And he was actually pretty big. Now I am sure some of these ones I have now are roosters and they are almost 12 weeks old. How old would one wait to butcher them? I have no idea how much they weigh. What is usual weight to butcher any breed? Does 16 weeks sound good for these guys? Some are already the size of my smaller hens.
I have never butchered or even owned chickens, so bear that in mind.

The slaughter age that is reccomended for non cornish-x is usually anwhere from 12-16 weeks. You can slaughter them at an older age, but you will want to age them longer or brine them. Older birds have more flavor, and you can crock even an old chicken to be tender.

I did read once that someone slaughters old chickens all the time, and the only thing she/he does to make them tender is to age them for a few days before freezing or eating. I've only seen this once, so you may want to try it with one chicken before doing it with more.

All of this information is what I have gathered right here on BYC. Hope I've helped!
I have not had BOs or crosses thereof, but I have eaten some of our sussex and chanteclers and EEs, and I would say that if you are just concerned about carcass quality/size, not about economy, then 15-20 weeks is about the right ballpark, with 18 weeks being a good target IMHO.

Earlier they are still putting on size/weight at a good rate so waiting a few weeks will give a larger meal; after 18-20 wks growth gets much slower, so that waiting a few more weeks does not gain you much benefit.

If you are interested in economy i.e. feed cost per lb of meat I would guess you'd be better off processing them as small fryers around 10-12 wks if not earlier, but they will be *small*.

Good luck, have fun, good eatin',

I would like to be done with feeding them but I didn't want to process them and end up with all bones. I think in my case it would be worth it to wait til that 18-10 week mark. I guess I could also do a couple now and see how they are.

I was looking at maybe getting some colored rangers in the future to have a steady supply of my own chicken meat but if these end up dressing out well then I don't see the need. I would rather hatch my own eggs then go out and buy a small lot of chicks. Even if it is less economical due to the breed, I feel that it is being more self-sufficient, which I like.
Two weeks ago I put 106.155 pounds of meat in the freezer from my 21 Cornish X (16 in mine and gave 4 to our daughter)at 6 1/2 weeks of age. That is 5.055 pounds of dressed meat average per bird. My wife and I already had 3 very tasty gormet dinners from one bird and still had the carcass left for soup for lunch. I will order my next batch in Feb..
I butchered a couple marans roosters at 6 mos and they weighed out at 4-5 lbs. I had not even raised them to be broilers; if I had fed them properly they might have been even larger than that. It was kind of a chore to cut up the birds at that age; the breastbone was thick and hard and all the connective tissue was much thicker and tougher.

I let the meat rest for 48 hours and braised it for stew. It was not at all tough (much to my surprise), although it was definitely much firmer than your average supermarket bird. The dark meat tasted absolutely amazing.

I'm raising barred rocks for meat right now and I'm aiming for 16-18 weeks. My idea for the long term is a mix of faster-growing commercial meat chicks and hatch-your-own dual-purpose birds.
When I butcher dual-purp birds, any over about 14 weeks tend to be chewy, so I cook them in the crock pot, or pressure can the meat. I have a batch to do soon, I plan to freeze some whole, and the rest, I'll remove and de-bone the breasts and thighs to pressure can. The remainder I'll freeze to cook in the crock pot. I may do that with all of them, if I have time.

That home-canned chicken is yummy, and is handy for quick meals.

It helps to let them rest in the fridge from 48hrs to a week, before you freeze or cook them, but that's not really enough to make a tough bird tender. The crock pot has never failed me, though. If it's not tender in about 6 hours, just wait, It'll get there. I usually cook on "high" in the CP, that's just a simmer.

One that I processed at about 8 months old, was still tough after 5 hrs, and I was ready to go to sleep. I turned the pot down on low and went to bed. Next morning, the aroma was amazing! The bird was tender, the broth was excellent. I took it to a friend's house for dinner that evening. We just served the meat right out of the crock-pot, and ladled out small bowls of the broth for dipping toasted hard rolls in. Along with a salad and some green beans, it was a very satisfying meal! One of my friends took some of the meat and broth to make a soup for lunch the next day. She loves my crock-pot birds!

A 16 week old bird can be slow roasted (250F-300F)in a clay chicken cooker, or in an oven bag, for about 4 hours, and be tender and moist. I let them cook until the meat's coming off the bones. As long as you don't let it dry out, it's great.

They don't make good fryers, but just about any slow, high moisture method works well. They don't have to be immersed in liquid, but they do have to be kept from drying out. Usually the steam in the pot or oven bag is enough to keep them moist, just don't use dry or quick cooking methods. Those are for tender younger birds.
We had a grand Sunday dinner from our 2nd Cornish X breast fillets that took 4 hours to thaw. While the meat was busy thawing we whent on a hay ride and wine tasting tour at a small winery. Then my wife cooked the entire meal in 15-20 minutes. We still have 15 3/4 birds in the freezer.
I'm with dancingbear slow cooker is the way to go with dual purposes birds, we got to the third one before we decided to slow cook it.

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