I am raising Buff and Black Orps on pasture in large qnty. I would like to use the cockerels for fryers and hope to breed a little size into my flock. Does anyone have a strain that they have developed for meat purposes?
I have been selecting my breeding stock for size and quicker development. I have achieved the size I want, but still can't get them to grow any faster. I think it is just in the breed.
Here is Big Daddy, my breeding roo. He is a very big guy. He is from my second generation stock.
If your useing hatchery bred Orps, I would suggest you search the threads over in Breeds, Genetics, & Showing for breeders of quality lines. Also, I recently picked up some Lavender Orpington eggs on the auctions here at BYC; but pay attention to what's being offered if you go that route, as sometimes their stock is hatchery sourced.
BOs are about the best self sustaining DP breed I've tried. They lay lots of eggs, go broody often enough that you don't need an incubator to increase your flock, and have a decent carcus for meat purposes. The biggest drawback is the 20-24 week grow-out time.
I have processed them between 20-24 weeks and always had 4-6 pound dressed birds. Not an abundance of breast meat, but the LQ are very nice.
Are you still looking for a good DP Jared?
Yes, you are right. I would hope for a 4+ pound dressed bird at 16 weeks from a orpington. I would say if you do really like them, get a bird from a breeder and cross it with your rooster. Then with the chicks, cull any that that are less than 5 pound for males and maybe 4 for pullets, at around 16 weeks. If you get any 6 pound males thats what you want to breed from. It should increase the size of its offspring. That is around what you want at that age. (16 weeks)
You just have to remember, they will not be as big as those cornishx birds when processed.