Dual Purpose Question


10 Years
Jan 24, 2011
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
Has anyone used LF Cochin Roosters for meat birds? I am interested in feedback as far as what you liked, didn't like and when you processed your birds.

Did you go the full 24 weeks for a 6 month bird or did you go earlier.

I know the Cochins that I have the roosters are usually around 13 pounds when fully grown. My sister would like to hatch eggs and use the roosters that hatch out as meat chickens and keep the girls or sell them as layers but I wanted to check and see what others thought of Cochins for Dual purpose.

These are cochin crosses and are mixed with Austrolorp, Barred Rock, Road Island Red and Wyandotte. Which are all listed as Dual purpose birds.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I can't answer for cochins specifically, but I know most dual purpose birds are processed at between 14 and 18 weeks. Any later and feed to meat ratio is not so good.
Since I free range all my birds and so does my sister I am not as concerned with feed. During the spring summer and fall they pretty much eat bugs, fruits and veggies plus whatever treats I give them. I am actually thinking I might need to add calcium to their diet since they aren't eating as much of their pellets as when they don't get out. I just needed to know if it would be worth it to process them or if they are all bone and feather and no meat.
We use dual purpose birds. The roosters do have meat, just not as much as a grocery store chicken. Main difference is in the breast meat, dual purpose has a smaller more narrow breast, but you do get a good amount of leg, thigh, and wings. Personally I think it is a great way to use your extra roosters. You can put up 5-10 at a time 3 or 4 times a year and it doesnt seem like a lot of work.
Eating your spare cockerels of just about any breed is an economical choice (though silkies might take some getting used to
). Unlikely that any will be as big-chested and tender as a supermarket bird (unless you're raising Cornish Crosses) since cockerels at 6 weeks aren't the same size & etc. as those supermarket mutant birds we've come to love. For my money, the best dual-purpose is the Delaware, hands down. Dels were THE meat bird in the poultry industry before the Cornish Cross came on the scene. They are hardy and active, good foragers, cockerels put on weight very quickly, and the girls lay huge brown eggs. They are a docile and even friendly bird with little handling. Also, the Delaware's white feathers make for a clean-looking picked carcass. They are a breed whose status is Threatened on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list (moved up from Critical). Delawares can be outgoing and extremely friendly. Our club's first "Chicken Ambassador" for community and educational events is a 7-year old Delaware hen, who even laid an egg at an "Agriculture in the Classroom" event this spring. Second dual-purpose recommendation would be the Java, America's 2nd oldest breed. A little slower to put on weight, they are excellent foragers & great layers. The only drawback is that the picked Java is not as clean-looking, as it has black or mottled feathers. If you want to raise Cochins and eat the excess cockerels, I say go for it - my splash cochin is huge, and it is not all bones and feathers - but if you're seriously thinking about raising dual purpose, I think the Delaware is a great choice for meaty cockerels. That's my 2 cents!
I do have Delawares for meat birds but mine are only 3 weeks old right now. I also have Brahmas. I will be hatching out eggs from both of them this upcoming year and eating the culls that I don't use for breeding. My sister has a mixed flock with two 13 pound cochin roosters. She had a broody hen hatch out 3 babies two of which are roos this spring. They both look meaty but she wasn't sure if it was worth processing them. She also gave me my first batch of eggs to hatch so I wouldn't have to buy them and I hatched out 7 Cochin mix chicks. The girls grow slower than the boys but the boys are very meaty looking. I really don't want to keep them for breeding but wasn't sure if it would be worth it to process them. I guess I will give it a try and see what happens. I bet it will taste just like chicken.

I can't wait until my Delawares are ready to start making me eggs though. So funny that your Ambassador laid an egg at your meeting. Mine so far are friendly and very easy going. They seem to take everything in stride and are much less flighty than the other chicks I have had. I like my Brahmas too since they grow fast but they are much more skittish than the Dellys and are taking much more work to get friendly than I am having to put forth with the Dellys. Can't wait until they are old enough to lay eggs.

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