Delaware and Buckeye size. Where can I get them?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chocolate m'scovy, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I've been thinking about Delawares and Buckeyes as potential broilers. I'd really like to know how old you butcher them at, and how much they weigh, especially if you free-range them. Also, production values (egg quantity and meat size)are more important to me than exhibition qualities, so if you know of any reputable breeders who are restoring the breeds, please let me know! I'm interested in breeders who can ship day-old chicks.
     
  2. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    at 24 weeks, my buckeye cockerels were at about 7 to 7-1/2 pounds. I would recommend processing at 18 weeks. I think 24 was a little too old. Mine were not free ranged.
     
  4. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Laura! Do you have any personal results? [​IMG] Sometimes "official" results sound too optimistic.

    Nice to hear about your cocks, Jenjscott. I have heard that you have to raise Buckeyes till 16 weeks at least, and then they're too tough and you have to braise them. [​IMG]
     
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:"Broilers" are fast growing hybrids, developed to grow rapidly and produce meat very quickly. They are butchered anywhere from 6 weeks to 14 weeks, depending on which birds you have, (Cornish X, red or black broilers, Color Rangers, Johnny Greys, etc.) and the intended purpose,(i.e., fryer or roaster) and they're tender because they are so young.

    Dual purpose birds, whether heritage breeds like Buckeyes and Delawares, will not grow fast enough to be considered "broilers". If you slaughter them while they're young enough to be tender, they won't be very big, but once they fill out, they do make really tasty, meaty birds. They require different cooking methods to be tender, though. If you just throw them on the grill, or in the frying pan, (except for breast and thigh meat, which you can de-bone and fry or grill) you will very likely be disappointed.

    There are a lot of threads about cooking them, don't let anybody convince you they're only good for broth or soup. The broth is excellent, and I always freeze mine to use later, if I don't use in right then. It's just not the only thing an older bird is good for, contrary to the opinions of those who can't, apparently, operate a crock pot, and take the meat off the bones. There are a lot of us who eat these older birds frequently, and use the meat in a wide variety of dishes.
     
  6. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Are you saying that you use other methods to cook old birds, or are you just saying that the meat is still good to eat after it's gone through the crock pot? I pick the meat off the carcass after it has done it's thing in the stock pot and use it for soup, pot pies, and the like.
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tim, I usually cook them in the crock pot, and the meat cooked in the crock pot is certainly still good to eat. Why wouldn't it be? But I also have slow roasted them in the oven, it takes 4 hours (could be longer, depending on age, size, and breed) for a bird to get tender at 300F, it's delicious. I use a clay chicken cooker with a lid, so it doesn't dry out. An oven bag would also work, or anything wit a lid so they don't get dry. I've pressure canned them, that's good, too. You can brown them in a skillet, them put them in a pressure cooker to get tender, then crisp in the oven or skillet before serving. I haven't done that, it seems like a lot of trouble, but it's in my pressure canner book. I think you put the pieces up on a rack in the cooker, and put water in the bottom, close it up, and cook a short time. You can also just cook them in a pressure cooker.

    I take the meat off the bones when I crock-pot them, and use it to make tacos, sandwiches, enchiladas, burritos, tamales, stir-fry, chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, chicken pie, casseroles, or whatever else I think of. Somebody recently posted how her grandmother slow simmered them whole until tender, then put them in the oven with almost done root veggies and roasted until the skined browned and the veggies were done, it sounds great, and I'm gonna try it myself.

    Limiting the use of older birds to "only good for broth and soup" is nonsense, and encourages waste of perfectly good meat. But I read that comment often, and I suppose that if somebody can't figure out how to put a bird in the crock pot and plug it in, they probably won't use the other methods, either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  8. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Right, I use the meat (in case that was unclear). Thanks for letting me know that the four hour slow roast will also work. I haven't tried that, and probably won't as long as I have young chickens for that, but it is good to know...and is what I was looking for.

    Tim
     
  9. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Honestly, I don't weigh the cockerels we butcher. I base the timing on behavior, strange as that sounds. When they get too randy and start harassing the pullets, off to the freezer they go. Sorry I can't be more specific.
     
  10. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for cooking tips, dancingbear!

    Oh, Laura, your poor cocks! How do you cook them?
     

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