Buff Orpingtons

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mcf3kids, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    At what age should I butcher my Buff Orpingtons I am raising for meat birds? I have 10 hens and 1 roo - is 16 weeks a good age? Thank you for the guidance.
     
  2. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    From the thread What Meat Chickens Should I raise..., Brunty_Farms writes about Dual Purpose birds:


    DP or Dual Purpose

    These are birds that are not really designed for meat or eggs, they simply fall into the cracks of both. Heritage breeds consist of both rare and not so rare breeds and many of them fall into the Dual Purpose category. Layers don't really lay massive amounts of eggs but they hold their own, usually laying steadily all year long. The males, despite what people have claimed, do dress out to a nice weight of about 5 pounds usually after 20 weeks. My experience is I like to process them at 16 weeks for about 3.5 pound fryers. They make the best fried chicken because unlike the CX crosses the meat is very lean and thin. They fry very uniform making it nice not to pull them out of the fryer to find out they aren't cooked all the way. Overall they are a perfect bird for starters. Would recommend raising a batch of dual purpose roosters for meat before trying any other meat bird category.

    PROS

    - They free range extremely well, definitely work for their food, and do it willingly even with having grain 24/7 available. The enticing pastures are extremely appealing to dual purpose breeds with their lush green forage and ample supply of insects it surely is a nice fit.

    - Meat is extremely flavorful if processed before 24 weeks. The meat seems to take on an extra "toughness" after this 6 month time frame and quick cooking methods could make the experience even worse. For tender meat that comes with any cooking method, process before 24 weeks. Not only are the males good for meat but the females make amazing soup chickens. I'm amazed at the amount of meat that an old layer from a dual purpose breed will give you. Dual purpose is a win / win for meat. Both females and males will suffice for the table. Females will usually dress 4-5 pounds at 3-5 years. Males will be 3.5 - 5 pounds in 24 weeks.

    Hope this helps!​
     
  3. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Thanks Itsy - I had read that thread before. I am wondering if all DP's are the same or if buff orps when raised for meat at what age they won't grow any larger so I should butcher - hoping that is by 16 weeks or so. Anybody ever raise BO's for meat birds? Appreciate the help!
     

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