"Dead Chickens walking." Have questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TNBarnQueen, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. TNBarnQueen

    TNBarnQueen Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    East Tennessee
    I am getting ready to butcher my first batch...Orrpingtons. This is the thing...they are almost 5 mo and they still seem to be all feathers when I feel of them. I want to butcher before it the weather starts getting rainy for the season. They receive plenty of feed....Purina+scratch corn and I have been adding Grower/Finisher as well as what veggies are have handy. They free range during the day and I put them up at night. The roos are huge but I am just worried it is all bone and not much meat. I know you put cattle up to beef them up before butchering but wondered if this should be done for chickens.
    All help is appreciated...this is my first time butchering and I have found so much wonderful information here! Thanks everyone :)

  2. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    You can try keeping them in a run for the last 2 weeks and fatten them up with some corn.

    Just make sure to keep feeding them there normal feed also!
    Good luck
  3. DianeS

    DianeS Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    How fleshy does the upper thigh feel? That's the part that seems to be most accurate, in my opinion. Places like the backbone and keel will always feel bony, even in a fat Cornish X.

    If the upper thigh feels like it is well meated, then I'd go ahead. If it feels too thin, I'd confine the birds a bit (no free range, maybe make their run smaller, etc) and feed them some more high fat and high protein foods for a couple weeks. That way the nutrition goes to their muscle development rather than to their energy requirement. And remember that Orpingtons are never going to get as fat as a regular meat bird will, so they will be somewhat skinnier.

    You could also just weigh them. I've seen a chart on how much birds should weigh at the time you should process them, but I don't remember where. Maybe another poster will know where to find that.
  4. TNBarnQueen

    TNBarnQueen Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Thank you so much for the info.....These things are above my knees now so will check out their legs....which is my favorite part!!! [​IMG]

    I have seen where people have suggested the "stickies" as references....where are these found?? I hate being new...LOL:ya
  5. litterbitt

    litterbitt In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2010
    West Central GA
    I don't have anything to add, except I've been processing 5-6 month Blue Orps lately. Plenty of meat. I just wanted to say that I LOVE the title of your post!! LOL.

  6. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Theres only one sticky in the meat bird part,its at the top and says sticky to the left of it [​IMG]
  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Stickies are usually found at the top of each section. They may or may not say "stickies," but they're always at the top of the forum section.

  8. johny

    johny Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I killed 3 Buff Orp roosters today.
    They were 25 weeks old.

    The legs are heavy.
    The breast meat is adequate.
    Each bird will be more than three of us at home need in a single meal. There will be leftovers for breakfast of the dog.

    If you want big thick breast meat you should get Cornish Rocks.
    Dual purpose birds like Buff Orp's don't have the huge meaty breasts like grocery-store Cornish birds.
  9. TNBarnQueen

    TNBarnQueen Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Thanks for the advice on switching to Cornish Johny....my husband loves the breast meat....I love the dark meat..hmm....going to be a hard decision on which to use since I do all the raising, feeding and cleaning..hehe Guess I will do both..he does help with all the building and steps in to help when I need it. [​IMG]
    For a converted city boy he has come a long ways. Should have seen his face when he saw a cow pee for the first time!!!!! Priceless! [​IMG]
  10. TNBarnQueen

    TNBarnQueen Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    East Tennessee
    OK....the day is finally here.....finally a break in weather for a nice day..perfect for butchering. I want to post this link for a YouTube video on another post. It is wonderful!! I have read countless posts on how to dress out the roos but being able to see exactly how and where to make cuts is wonderful for a first timer. I have 10 to do and hope that I can do it without taking too much time. I am so worried that I will be too slow and rigor will start setting in before I can finish..how long does it take to start setting in??

    Oh...can you believe no farm store in my area...and it is a pretty large farming community, do not know what a killing cone is..especially the co-op. SO I am having to improvise one I hope will work. Can anyone tell me a source in ordering one online??
    Well...time to prepare. Wish me luck!!

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