First Time With Meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tinychicky, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, this will be my first season doing meat birds. After seeing how big a cornishXrock got and how quickly it grew (I had one that found it's way in with my TSC leghorns somehow), I decided this was the year I needed to start raising a slower growing, pastured breed of bird for my family ( I personally don't eat chicken...vegetarian). I'm thinking of either sussex or dorkings, although probably sussex will be easier and cheaper to attain.

    Anyway, my question is, where do ya'll take your birds to be processed? I don't have the equipment to do it here. If anyone knows of somewhere in NH or how to find somewhere that will do it/a rough estimate of the cost/any other general advice, it would be much appreciated! Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    We have done them ourselves and have found a person that can do it as well. You might want to search your state in the Where am I? Where are you section for help. :thumbsup
     
  3. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks, 4-h chicken mom!
     
  4. cackler

    cackler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first time with meat chickens.too. We have 15 cornish rocks that are HUGE at 6 1/2 weeks. We weighed one tonight and he was almost 9 lbs. We are hoping to have them processed next Thursday. We are wondering what the average size is for meat chickens? The processor told me that they dress out at 70%. I would guess by next Thursday they will be 14 lbs or so. Is the size just based on preference?
     
  5. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, 9 lbs?!

    I believe processing age is personal preference but the meat will toughen as the bird ages. I can't imagine a week would make much difference though.

    14 lbs would be turkey sized. I kind of doubt they'll be THAT big :)

    Average size is 4-5 lbs dressed (for broilers anyway!)
     
  6. enel 1

    enel 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    all you need is a knife and a bucket of hot water
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Processing your own chickens is not that hard. Really. Check out the archives on this meat bird section and you will find detailed instructions on how to do it. That's what I did for the first chicken I processed. I printed out the instructions and followed them step by step. All you need is a sharp knife (I use a box cutter) a place to hang the chicken up, a bucket of hot water with a squirt or so of dish detergent added, and a table on which to work. A lung scraper is nice but not absolutely necessary. They are a little pricey, but I am told a strawberry huller works just fine. I raise the meaties 25 at a time, and since I usually work alone, I don't try to do them all at once. I process two or three or more (depending on how much time and energy I have) per day until I get them finished. Personally, I like the large roasters. The ones that dress out in the eleven to twelve pound range. The largest one I processed dressed out at 16 pounds. I think he was about 4 1/2 months old. In this case, processing was unavoidably delayed. I don't suggest anyone do this intentionally, but he was nice and tender. I stuffed him and roasted him like he was a turkey. Delicious!! Probably the best "turkey" I ever had.
     
  8. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    maybe...I'm also not entirly sure I would have the stomach to do it myself :/
     
  9. enel 1

    enel 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ah ha now I see :)
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    At 6 1/2- 9 weeks, it doesn't matter how big they are, the meat is going to be tender. Don't worry about that.
     

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