First time meat birds

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
51
44
54
Hi everyone, I butchered some broiler chickens in summer with my brother in law. I decided to decrease my heritage rooster population this winter and butchered two different breeds. The temperatures were in the forties, no snow on the ground so i didn't expect much fat on them. The Rhode island red was the smaller of the two and lean. Not a lot of fat build up just lightly marbled. It's what i expected. Then i butchered the Australorp (hope i spelled that right) and this is what i found.
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Is there anyone with butchering experience who can tell me if this is normal or if I'm doing something wrong? Their in an open run so plenty of room to run around.
 

FortCluck

Purple Minion Wrangler
Premium member
Sep 9, 2019
10,032
40,648
937
Central Virginia
Just looks like he has a lot of fat. I'm not an expert on it and I'm just starting meat chickens myself. Hopefully someone with a lot of experience can help.
 

BjaJra826

Songster
Mar 12, 2019
146
301
101
Iowa
I only have one Australorp, but she is a tank. While I havn't butchered her ( she is a layer at our home) it doesn't surprise me to see that they would be fatty. Having fat doesn't mean anything bad as far as I know other than having chunky chickens. The main issues are when the heart and liver get fatty.
 

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
51
44
54
I was just do surprised by the difference in amount of fatty compared between the two breeds. With my limited knowledge it looked normal, not like a fatty tumor or anything. But still the first chicken had such lean fat around its organs that it was barely noticable and then i do the other and everything is covered in what i thought looked like healthy fat. Intestines, liver, even under the skin. It was rather fascinating.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,266
12,494
707
Southeast Louisiana
Are you sure that Australorp was a male? I typically see that kind of fat difference between females and males, whether pullets or hen versus cockerels or roosters. Actually I consider that normal fat in a female. They store up extra fat before they start to lay as a reserve in case they go broody, much of it in a fat pad in the pelvic area but also scattered all over. That fat is what they mostly live off of so they can stay on the nest instead of being out looking for food when they are broody.

Some boys are fattier than others but I can't remember one that fat. Still Mosey and Molpet have been around the block, if they say they've seen that I trust them.

I have noticed that my Australorp females tend to store more fat than some other breeds. Australorp are supposed to be good winter layers. I've wondered if that extra fat has something to do with it.
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
Apr 13, 2016
2,809
4,125
351
North-Central IL
Do you feed scratch or a whole grain feed at all? The one may be picking out more corn than the other, too.

I wouldn't normally remember something like that, but I know I've exclaimed to myself, "Wow, aren't you a fat little boy?" while doing some :lau

I wonder too if it isn't simply breed difference partly as well. I've never had RIR or butchered any, but they're more of a brick shape (especially good heritage/SOP ones) whereas the Orpington and Australorp are more of a round shape. My Rocks are also a rounder bird.
 

AMaggio

Chirping
Jun 21, 2019
51
44
54
To answer a few questions, I'm sure it's a rooster, though technically it would be a cockerel, 6 months old. He was raised with my Barred Rock and RiR cockerels. I feed them a crumble layer mix along with a mix of black oil sunflower seeds, whole oats, and corn. I don't give them a lot of corn because i know it's not so great for them but we've had a few colder days (high 20s at night) and this was their winter so maybe he did just pick a bunch of corn out.
 
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