Finishing meaties....for taste

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by arthurpete, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    Anybody experimented with finishing their meaties on anything besides "finisher".

    Im sure you have heard of finishing pigs on hazelnuts so i was wondering if it is possible to get a better tasting bird with a little fine tuning at the end.

    I am doing 25 freedom rangers and they are approx 8 weeks. We have an abundance of pecans that i was considering tossing out for the birds and it got me thinking of what else i could use.

    Maybe i'll quarantine a few and experiment. Any suggestions or is it a complete waste of time?

  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    I think you'd need to finish their diet with something special for longer than a week for it to actually work.

    Personally I raise my meat birds on more than just grains, grass, and bugs all their life, so the "finish" is sort of throughout their life, but, [​IMG] on it working at the end. I sure do know it works for a majority of their life though. [​IMG] As for specific foods, not sure on that. Mine get lots of berries, tomatoes, melons, and squash besides their normal feed, grasses/leaves, and bugs. I've yet to actually compare anything though. Would be nice if I could compare with a neighbor but I'm the only one out here who breeds, raises, and eats my own.
  3. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    Forks! I grew up in Port Angeles. I try to make it back there once a year.

    I wont slaughter for a few more weeks, maybe do two rounds, one at 12 weeks and one at 14. So i have at least 3-4 weeks to control their diet. They get a good quality feed from countryside organics and i supplement with BOSS and some table scraps, plus they free range.

    I have no doubt they will be delicious but im still curious if you can control the texture/taste of the meat with a finish.
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    My opinion is that fresh air and some exercise make a huge difference in the finished bird.

    While they are out and moving around, they will eat greens and a few bugs.

    I can see where if you keep them closely confined and feed the same feed that the big poultry house feed, that you'll end up with much the same product as you buy in the grocery store.

    I'm not so sure about feeding pecan shells to poultry. Those are awfully sharp and jagged for a crop to deal with. The nutmeats themselves are very high in oil content so should help produce fat on the bird. Chickens with some fat taste better.

    I'd love to see you split your birds into two groups with different diets and come back and report about any difference in flavor. Pecan fed chicken just sounds delicious. Feed them some apples, too. Pecan Apple fed chicken. Sounds worth a try.

    I used to raise a few pigs in the fall, to eat up my windfall apples. Let me tell you that apple fed pork is extra tasty.
  5. Kobey

    Kobey Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2011
    Cows, beef and milk, all taste different depending on diet thought the year...from the comments here pigs too. If you think about time / weight gain even though it doesn't seem that long it has to have an impact of some sort...good or not only one way to find out (but I would not even do half...just in case [​IMG] )
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I think just like the eggs that the greens and the free range would change the taste, hopefully for the better. I'm very eagerly watching this thread to see what get reported since I'm new to meaties.

    My own birds will be getting broiler feed and daily greens with mealworm treats, but if you find something that adds tasty I might try it too. though I don't necessarily want extra fat.

    I know with most meat animals the more exercise they get the more dark the meat is which is flavorful but higher fat. So my meaties will have outdoor area with things to encourage movement like treats on opposite sides of the run and time to free range we'll see how far they go. From reading this forum it looks like they don't go very far.
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Coming from one of the "corn-belt" states, my customers all talk of their childhood on the farm and how they finished their broilers on corn. I started making a third of their daily ration as cracked corn from four weeks until the end. The birds seem to have a perfect amount of fat and the corn adds color to the skin and the meat. The fact I add corn has gotten me more sales too. These "Cornhuskers" want their "corn-fed" chickens.
  8. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    I'm very interested in this subject! Please post any results you get. I was searching BYC for this topic the other day, in fact.

    Also, your FR will be more flavorful in general just because their activity level is higher than cornish X meat birds.
  9. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    I have a friend that mixes in and feeds molasses and corn oil the last couple weeks - those birds are always the prettiest and have just the right amount of fat to come out SUPER tender! We're gonna try it on this batch following her "recipe" and see how it goes - I've never ate a better chicken than hers yet - I'd love to see what others can experiment with and find out too! I'm willing to try anything once [​IMG]
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I am convince that low stress also improves the flavor of the meat. A low stress life, which means less crowding, and a low stress death will give you a much better bird on your table.

    I raise some really tasty ducks and they get to wander around a large safely fenced area and eat grass and leafs and whatever bugs they can catch. They are treated with respect and handled gently. They are butchered quickly and with as little upset as possible. All of that contributes to the fine flavor at the table.

    No corn for ducks, though. They get too fat.

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