Dual purpose birds for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kesrchicky16, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

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    For me one of the biggest issues that counts against the Cornish X rocks is not the management concerns or lack of flavor but the quality of life/welfare concerns. The extreme rate of growth strains the bodily systems and the way they are built makes it a strain to get around because a natural chicken form/mobility/behavior has been sacrificed to the point of semi-debilitation just for the sake of certain traits convenient to us.

    Though its true that some strains are worse than others...

    But I mean, think how uncomfortable growing pains are as a kid, then imagine the growing pains they endure. And think how much being overweight affects human quality of life, and then imagine a several hundred pound toddler. imho most of those broilers have simply been bred too far for the unforgiving sake of growth-rate economics at the expense of other things.

    Of course, CX raised by caring small flock owners are way better off than those in certain other situations. But the extreeme to which they have been altered in itself infringes too much on welfare for my comfort.

    There are other meat birds available out there now too that still have pretty impressive feed conversion compared to DP, but without the problems--it just requires paying a little bit more for your chicken and accepting a carcass that is actually chicken-shaped.

    When I think of how "chicken" has become the cheapest and most widespread commodity meat around the world these days, frankly I kind of cringe... Nobody has a fundamental right to cheap meat at the expense of welfare.

    Not meaning to ruffle anyone's feathers or sound judgmental btw. I know its not all black and white--just sharing my feelings on this. :oops:
     
    chickendreams24 and Parront like this.
  2. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    I understand how you feel, the time I raised Cornish-X I let them go too long and they could barely walk. They were about 10 pounds dressed at 12 weeks. I do not know what strain they were -- it was the late 80's and I just got what was in the McMurray catalog for meat birds, there was only the one kind if I remember correctly. But, the amount of meat on them spoiled me -- when I butchered the Orpingtons, there was a lot less chicken there! And, the annoying orpingtons were 6 months old! They were pretty mellow up until that time, but I had too many and they were starting to attack any hen around, and the dog! They never attacked a child. The Brown Leghorn roosters, I had to seperate and whittle the numbers down to 1 at about the same time as the Cornish-X, they were only 1-2 lbs at 12 weeks. Tasty, though. I kept only 1 of those, beautiful guys. The kids had named him Mr. Cocker, could not eat Mr!
     
  3. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    Great info!

    We are trying our hand at Euskal Oiloa this year because we want to raise a heritage dual purpose breed to help with its conservation. We plan to process our cockerels, as well.



     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  4. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    Never heard of this breed. Where do you get them, are they good?
     
  5. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    Here is a link to someone who just butchered a couple of sex-link roosters with good eating results:
    How young is too young?
     
  6. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

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    Thanks :)

    I've heard the name but know nothing about them. Would you mind enlightening us please?
     
  7. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    My apologies, in my typing frenzy I misspelled it, Euskal Oiloa. They're also called Basque Hens.

    We don't know if they're any good yet. We researched a few heritage breeds and it came down to the Euskals and La Flèche. We opted for the Basques Hens but still may get some La flèche a little later.

    We've got our foundation stock birds so we haven't processed any yet. Once we hatch some out it will be from those that we process.

    Right now they're only a few months old. So far they're docile and quite large compared to my layers. Whether we keep them will depend on how they handle oppressive heat and humidity.

     
  8. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    Oh man, I feel like I've been called to the front of the class!

    They're an old breed from the basque mountain range.
    From what we've found and why we went with these is because they are great foragers, fairly predator-smart, and supposedly taste really nice. They are also known for their good nature. They were included in the slow food arc of taste. Although I'm not 100% certain of what that means, I'm pretty sure is a good thing, lol.

    Ok, and I LOVE the Cream crele color of the Marrunda variety.

    The la flèche chickens were black, and all of my black breeds suffer in the heat.

    Here's a Wikipedia page!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euskal_Oiloa

     
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  9. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    Question for y'all... what is yalls preferred method of dispatching birds for processing?
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Whichever way you can that's quick and sure. You don't want to flinch or close your eyes at the wrong time and just injure the bird or injure yourself.

    I grew up swinging an ax and hammer. I'm confident I can hit the target though as I'm getting older I use a hatchet instead of an ax. If you aren't comfortable you can hit the target you might consider a killing cone and a knife. Or maybe lopping shears. However you can.

    The main things are you don't hurt yourself and you do the deed.
     
    theuglychick likes this.

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