Considering butchering. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LivingTheDream65, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. LivingTheDream65

    LivingTheDream65 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    I have 4 hens that are almost 2 1/2 years old. Barred Rock, Red Sexlink, Rhode Island Red and a Buff Orpington. Will the meat be tough since they are older? If I wait until this spring will the meat be even tougher than if I do it now?

    I live in town and are allowed to have 8 hens. I'd like to see if the Buff Orpington would be willing to raise some chicks next spring that have already hatched. Do you think she would or would she just try to kill them?

    I'm trying to figure out how to do this without being out of eggs.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your hens will probably not lay much this winter, so if you're going to butcher, you should do it this fall. Otherwise you feed non-productive birds over the winter.

    If your hatchery bird hasn't gone broody in 2 1/2 years, I wouldn't count on her going broody next spring.

    Yes, a mature hen is going to be tougher than a store bought chicken. They still make great, flavorful stewing birds. Check out the meat bird section on cooking dual purpose birds. Same for these hens as roosters, low and slow. They won't be any tougher in the spring, you'll just be out the feed over the winter.

    If you really want a cycle of eggs, the best thing to do is to bring in chicks each year. Part of your flock is laying, part of your flock are pullets being raised to point of lay. You then have an overlap the first winter where everyone's laying and you have a ton of eggs! Or, buy point of lay pullets locally.
     
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  3. LivingTheDream65

    LivingTheDream65 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Thanks for your advise. I didn't even think about getting some chicks yearly to keep a steady supply of eggs and meat. Yep, even after 2 1/2 years of raising them there is still more to learn. [​IMG]
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I like dual purpose breeds, and usually keep a buff orpington because I have had luck with her going broody.

    If she is broody for a couple of weeks, and you slip some chicks under her, she will raise them in the flock, and that works slick. Especially if you don't have room to raise to separate flocks.

    Mrs K
     

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