Dual purpose chickens

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
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Hi everyone, this may seem like a daft question but i was wondering with dual purpose breeds do people eat hens aswell as roosters. I know some people cull their chickens when the amount of eggs they lay go down, but if i wanted to raise them for meat would they have enough meat. Sorry if this is a obvious question but im very new to chickens 😂
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
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:welcome

Raise a bird to be meaty they will be culled before they lay, and raise them to lay they will be too stingy to eat.
That is why people raise the meat + layers separately. Layers need pellets and growers growers feed.
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
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41
So are dual purpose heritage breeds a good idea? Is it possible to hatch eggs and raise the cockrells and sone of the extra hens for meat? Will the hens have enough meat etc. And if it is they will have to be in seporate pens??
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
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Sussex are great for meat and eggs but so sweet that you don't want to kill them! Not a meat expert though, hope someone will give you more advice.
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
Sussex are great for meat and eggs but so sweet that you don't want to kill them! Not a meat expert though, hope someone will give you more advice.
Thankyou, yeah thats the trouble with dual purpose breeds. In the end you wont want to kill them. When you say good for meat, do you mean the roosters or the hens to?
 

iwltfum

Crowing
Sep 10, 2018
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Maine
Spent hens (hens that have started to decline in laying production after a few years laying eggs) have their place in the kitchen, but not as a table centerpiece roasted chicken or fried or anything like that. More for soup, broth, pressure cooking, etc. I think the answer to your question is how much is "enough" meat. You can hatch out some birds and eat whatever bird at whatever age, it's all edible. Your dual purpose birds (hen or cockrel) will be the most tender and have put on the most weight sometime between 5-10 months. Any of the hens will be fine to integrate with your laying flock (if you haven't already) or eat. How much weight they put on in a certain amount of time depends on the breed of chicken and the specific genetic line from the breeder of that breeding stock.
 

CNJ

Crowing
Oct 12, 2020
1,032
2,838
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So are dual purpose heritage breeds a good idea? Is it possible to hatch eggs and raise the cockrells and sone of the extra hens for meat? Will the hens have enough meat etc. And if it is they will have to be in seporate pens??

The French Bresse and Barbeziuex meat is rated to be the best tasting chickens when they are cooked a certain way. However, I think the Bresse eggs are larger. The Bresse chicken has larger breast meat and the Barbeziuex has larger leg and thighs. I decided to go with these for meat and eggs.

I just butchered some 5 month old Austrops, Buff Orpingtons, Jersey Giants and White Rhode Island roosters. They were kind of tough when deep batter fried, but were excellent for soup, strews and cold ginger chicken. They range from 3.50 to 4 lbs after plucked and gutted.
 
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Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
Spent hens (hens that have started to decline in laying production after a few years laying eggs) have their place in the kitchen, but not as a table centerpiece roasted chicken or fried or anything like that. More for soup, broth, pressure cooking, etc. I think the answer to your question is how much is "enough" meat. You can hatch out some birds and eat whatever bird at whatever age, it's all edible. Your dual purpose birds (hen or cockrel) will be the most tender and have put on the most weight sometime between 5-10 months. Any of the hens will be fine to integrate with your laying flock (if you haven't already) or eat. How much weight they put on in a certain amount of time depends on the breed of chicken and the specific genetic line from the breeder of that breeding stock.
Thankyou so much. That has answered my question 😊😊
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
The French Bresse and Barbeziuex meat is rated to be the best tasting chickens when they are cooked a certain way. However, I think the Bresse eggs are larger. The Bresse chicken has larger breast meat and the Barbeziuex has larger leg and thighs. I decided to go with these for meat and eggs.

I just butchered some 5 month old Austrops, Buff Orpingtons, Jersey Giants and White Rhode Island roosters. They were kind of tough when deep batter fried, but were excellent for soup, strews and cold ginger chicken.
Thats what ive heard, as the birds get older their meat becomes more tough. So best to butcher young or do what you have done and use them for soup. Thankyou 😊😊
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,494
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997
Southeast Louisiana
I hatch my dual purpose pullets and cockerels and eat both. My goals involve raising them to eat and to play with chicken genetics so I need to hatch a fair amount. I could probably sell my excess pullets but I just don't want to. It's easier for me to eat them. That way I don't have to hatch as many chicks or have the facilities to care for them.

I butcher my cockerels by 23 weeks. I usually keep the pullets until around 8 months of age, so i can see what eggs they lay before I decide which ones to keep. I rotate the older hens out on a three year rotation to keep the laying flock fresh. My "playing with genetics" goals require rotating girls and boys in and out too. So I also cook and eat my older chickens.

How old they are when you butcher them has a lot to do with how you cook them. There are many threads in this forum about that. When I was growing up on a farm Mom would tell me to bring her a chicken. I'd catch one and give her a plucked and gutted chicken. She's do the rest. She might fry a fairly young one but an old hen became chicken and dumplings. People that tell you that you can't cook old chickens just don't know how.

There is not much meat on a pullet or old hen, there just isn't. There are only two of us and I can still get two meals out of a pullet. I bake an 8-month-old pullet for one meal for Thursday, the second one is chicken soup with the leftover meat Saturday. The main difference between a pullet and cockerel for me is that I have leftover meat at lunch if it is a bigger cockerel. Mom could feed a family with five kids off of one small old hen. That's why she made chicken and dumplings, that stretches the meat. Soups and stews will stretch it too.
 

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