Buff Orpingtons as a meat bird?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cupman, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I've read that buff orpington chickens are considered dual purpose. They are also labeled as a heavy breed and are said to get as heavy as 8 or 9 pounds. For all practical purposes are buff orpingtons a reasonable meat bird or do they grow too slow/etc that makes them not worth raising for meat. I was considering picking up a big flock of them and incubating and hatching my own as a sustainable meat income. I don't eat 200 chickens a year and these would primarily be for friends and family to eat, not trying to sell. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are big birds but they take 20 weeks to get big. dont start laying till about them and eat alot. You will not make an y money and can serve yourself better by raising cornish x they are hard to beat cost wise. The hens if allowed to grow longer can lay eggs as well but wil not breed true. If you are going to do it realize you are doing it because you enjoy them, not because you think you will profit. While you might sell a few and reduce youre feed cost a little you will be hard pressed to make any money.
     
  3. ladyride

    ladyride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    be interesed to hear responses as this & brahmas are the way we chose to go for sustainable meat . I just couldn't do the meaties.
     
  4. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Alright cool. Yeah, I have no intentions on trying to sell any of the chickens they would just be for personal consumption. 20 weeks is a long time. My neighbor just did some Cornish cross and they were cool but I was hoping to try something different to see a little variety. Do you know of any other birds that grow quick that are comparable to a Cornish cross or are they basically my best bet?
     
  5. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    for meat you cant beat the cornish x for size of carcass vs cost. I would recommend you get a few pullets of different types for eggs and enjoy them. The meat birds are short lived and nasty. They can be left loose to free range and they will do well until the last couple weeks but will not get as large as in a tractor/pen.
     
  6. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there. I saw you are looking for other breeds too, but I do think you'd be fine with the Cornish as well. My experience has been very pleasant, and at 6+ weeks, they are doing well, look pretty darn clean and have yet to get nasty. Granted I've got a week or two left [​IMG]

    Here is a link to another post about my Cornish X's, with pics of my birds.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=521110


    At 6 weeks, free range all day, and 24 hour access to feed, they are about 6lbs, (*edited ..hubby just said the larger boys are weighing in at almost 8!!). I'm happy with their weight gain thus far, but yes, it can definitely slow down if you free range.

    Best of luck with whichever breed you choose!


    -Jessa
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  7. Theo

    Theo Out Of The Brooder

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    why don't Orpingtons breed true? Are they hybrids of some sort? Edited to say: Oh! The Cornish Cross won't breed true, not the Buff O's. Sorry for being dense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  8. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    orpingtons breed true they were talking about breeding cornishX hens since they are not a true breed and are hybrid they will not breed true to their characteristics but can have any range between their mom and dads characteristics instead.

    I am also trying to steer away from cornish X and towards DP breeds my thinking is that each year I do three batches of birds every 12 weeks in the warmer part of the year usually 65 + birds each time. I pay 1.59 or more per bird for starter cost from the hatchery and then have to feed the little buggers and boy do they eat!!

    I am looking for a sustainable source for not only meat but also eggs so I am going to try and add larger birds to my egg layers so that they will lay eggs and also hatch out babies for me which will either be future eggers or meaties for me. The breasts will be smaller but they also eat less each day and can actually subsist as free range birds.

    My eggers right now are going about a week on two large scoops of food because they are eating bugs grass and grains (not to mention berries off my bushes) that they find while foraging. They do still eat their grain but it's by far not the only source of food for them. I have 20 birds and I have bought three 50 lb bags of feed since I got them they are now 7 weeks so each bird has so far eaten 3 pounds of feed in their life time. My cornish cross birds are eating about half a pound of food per bird per day at 7 weeks and still have a bit to go before they will be ready.

    My personal preference would be to go towards DP and breed for the traits I want; faster growth, good egg production, large body with good size breast each time I breed chicks. Those that don't meet what I need for my breeders will then become meaties for that year so that each year my meaties will get closer to what I am looking for
     
  9. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've eaten a few older Orpington hens that we butchered because they were too old to lay very well. They're obviously nothing like the Cornish Cross (the chicken you buy from the grocery store) but they were fairly meaty and had lots of flavor. I'd butcher them around 6 months old for best results, or if you want a dual purpose flock to produce both eggs and meat, you could always get straight run chicks and eat the roosters, keeping the hens for laying, and then eat them when they get a couple of years old and replace them with younger birds that are laying more efficiently. That's pretty much how chickens have been raised on small farms in the past, before the advent of the franken-chicken Cornish Crosses.
     

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