Good feed for the last four weeks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TaraBellaBirds, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,453
    3,831
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    A dual purpose bird is never going to look like a grocery store chicken, no matter what age or what you feed them. They're just not the same at all.

    I feed all my birds an all-in-one, not sure the protein % but believe it's similar to Flock Raiser. Plus some corn now and then, and all my kitchen scraps.

    We just processed two old roosters--18 months and 4 years. They both made decent carcasses. We love dark meat here, and that's where it's at for dual purpose boys.

    We skinned them, I quartered them and cooked in the pressure cooker 15lbs pressure for about 25minutes. Meat came off the bone easily. Make two big batches of the best tasting soup ever! Yes, the meat had some tooth to it, but nothing worse than roast beef. I don't know who decided chicken shouldn't have to be chewed lol. I have another adult rooster and a bunch of juveniles coming up to butcher, plus a crapton of older hens if no one buys them. I'm just not able to feed non producing birds this winter.
     
  2. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Songster

    1,476
    54
    168
    May 13, 2012
    Maryland
    Oh yes, they were tough. Don't plan to make a roaster our of them. Not enough meat, and what is there is tough. I slow cook my roosters and use them as soup or as part of something, like enchiladas or something else that needs more meat.

    And no, even if you fed dog food with high protein, you won't ever make a DP bird tender and meaty like a meat bird. But you can help him lay down a little more muscle to make the effort of processing a little more worthwhile with a little higher protein feed, and a bag of turkey grower is no more expensive than anything else, and it was actually cheaper for me than Flock Raiser or the other meat bird feeds at my TSC and local feed store.

    I'm to the point where if I have to kill a rooster, I might not bother with processing but just use him as dog food. We don't like dark meat, and my family is kind of tired of soup.
     
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    1,975
    190
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    Yes we are to that point too. We just did 11 roos a few weeks ago. I made the mistake of thinking that hatchery RIRs would be the same as what my Grandparents raised in the 1960's. Boy was I wrong. They were the toughest, meanest roos imaginable!

    I'm still looking at my options for next year. My main concern is that I have three small children and I just can't have mean birds on my property. Thanks for all of your tips!
     
  4. rlshepard

    rlshepard Chirping

    35
    9
    64
    Sep 27, 2013
    Kansas City Missouri
    I'm confused, is a Dual Purpose bird not really Dual Purpose? Sorry but I'm somewhat new to raising chickens.....
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,453
    3,831
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Well, actually a lot of hatchery "dual purpose" really aren't anymore. I mean, you can absolutely eat them, but most of the breeds have breeds have been so infused with leghorn type blood over the years to boost egg production they're smaller than they should be. Hatcheries sell to demand, and demand is hens that lay lots of eggs early in life and don't eat a ton of feed. So, even the roosters are smaller than their breed standard calls for.

    But, even a nice, heritage (non-hatchery) dual purpose bird does not look like a grocery store meat bird. When folks talk about a meat bird, they're generally referring to the cornish cross, who have been bred (again, for consumer demand) to be large breasted, fast maturing birds. The two will never look the same. Does that mean dual purpose roosters aren't edible? No. Just butchered two last week and had the best soup. Will they be big breasted and as meaty as a cornish cross? No.
     
  6. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Songster

    1,476
    54
    168
    May 13, 2012
    Maryland
    You can...I have...eat DP birds. Heck, we had 17 DP roosters at one point that visited freezer camp. But if I want a frying bird, or a roaster, I don't use a DP bird for that. That is when I get out a Freedom Ranger carcass. Those grow a fryer. I have one that got so big he is marked for Thanksgiving dinner. But my DP roosters...nope. They are stew or chicken ala king or something else. They can't grow to look like what you expect after shopping in a store, no matter what you feed them. They are not big enough to feed my family unless I extend them in some way (and they are so old they are too tough to fry anyway). But I found with rooster round number 3 that if I fed a little more protein, they were a little better than their brothers and fathers had been.

    I was so pleased with how my FR turned out that I am really thinking rooster cull number four, which will likely be next year, will simply result in dog food. The FR/Rosambros I had were fast to grow, very gentle, quiet and I got a good return for my feed investment. My barnyard mix and SFH roosters are noisy, some have been very dangerous (one attacked one of my kids with no provocation...he was just walking across the drive) and eat a lot but don't yield a lot of meat that my family likes. I just killed a SFH roo, a breed considered DP in their native land, last Friday, and he dressed out at 3.2 lbs, most of it bone. The FR halves were that or larger.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Songster

    1,860
    234
    176
    Mar 27, 2013
    I know there are mixed feelings about this, but have any of you considered caponizing your cockerels? That is what I have done this summer, and am growing them out till December, when they will be 7 months old.
     
  8. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    1,975
    190
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    This exactly the type of info I need! This is going into my second year with chickens. At first I went on the experience of my Maternal Grandmother and from what my Father remembered as a child. At this point I am in new territory. I'm not familiar with SFH...?
     
  9. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    1,975
    190
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    I've seen a couple videos on caponizing, but the idea of doing it myself it freaks me out. Perhaps if I had someone nearby that had experience with it I might give it a try. Maybe one day.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,453
    3,831
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    SFH= Swedish Flower Hen, a fairly new breed to the US.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: