Good meat birds on pasture and grain

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by larry529, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering what was better for eating a Delaware or a Plymouth Rock. I will have them free range during the day and also have feed available. I am not interested in like the Cornish as it does not really live a life and can not always free range due to health issues many claim. Also how long would a heritage breed take to feed out time wise. I was looking for Docklings in Ohio to buy as I heard they were great tasting also, but I am having no luck finding them at a reasonable price. Thanks, Larry
     
  2. CastleFarmUK

    CastleFarmUK Out Of The Brooder

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    Welsh Boders UK.
    The Cornish we have over here in the UK are not the big white heavyweights, but the Dark and Red laced Indian Cornish Game.

    I have tried many many crosses over the years using Cornish game as the male side of the breeding, with a view to have a dual purpose free range fowl that lay good numbers of eggs and the young roosters are a good size table bird.

    By far the best free range dual purpose breed I have found is an Australorp Rooster X Dark Cornish Indian Game. (Welsh Black Fowl)

    You can read about the breeding plans and lots of other day to day happenings here in Wales.

    www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most dual purpose are going to be ready to process in 13-18 weeks instead of the 4-8 weeks of cornish cross. Meat will be similar on dual purpose breeds. I've heard the Dark Cornish (the purebreed not cross) are supposed to have more dark meat, don't know if thats true. Dorkings aren't that common so you can expect to pay more.
    I think either Delawares or Rocks would be the same.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you're getting them from a hatchery there might not be much difference. I think the Delawares might be a little bigger.
     
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  5. tater1961

    tater1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Butchered my extra BA cockerels over the last two weekends. I did 4 on 1/5 and 10 on 1/11. That put them at 15 and 16 weeks old. I got a stright run of them from McMurry the middle part of September. Had them on chick starter the first six weeks, then put them on some feed I had mixed at the local co-op. the last ten weeks. I don't have any scales but IMO they were all around 4 pounds dressed.

    We fried one up last Sunday, it had rested about 20 hours. It had more texture than your store bought chicken, and a flavor that I haven't tasted for years. It was great. Had a lot more breast meat than I was expecting. Now the wait is on for the pullets to do their thing.

    I kept 2 BA rooster for a self sustaining flock. I'm going to do some Freedom Rangers till I start getting my flock reproducing

    ETA... The feed the last 10 weeks was fermented and they were allowed to free range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  6. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds good. so you did not buy a set feed like in a bag for around 16.00 or so for 50 pounds? did you mix your own ideas at the grain elevator and it work out cheaper?
     
  7. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ya dorkings are def gonna run me up a little, perhaps I can try to save the breed, hatch some and get some of my friends around me to get some :) I found some for an average of 5.00 at Meyer Hatchery.
     
  8. tater1961

    tater1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Had to buy 500 lbs, that was their minimum. It was a 18 % protein wheat, corn, soy bean base with vitimin and minerals added. The total was $110.00 for 10 fifty pound bags. I'm also feeding kitchen scraps that contain meat and vegetable.
     
  9. larry529

    larry529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like some smart shopping and savings :)
     
  10. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am getting Dorkings from the poultry hatchery in fayston NY. I believe they are around 5 or 6 dollars but the person I talked to said they breed larger show quality birds not sure since mine are still being hatched but I am going to give them a try. I also use Light Brahmas for meat birds and they free range with my dorkings that I already have and my layers. I will be breeding purebred chicks and crossing the roosters over the different hens as well to see if maybe the Dorking roo might make the meat from the Brahmas better or the other way around.

    I would try a mix and see which you like best. You can always change your direction if you don't like where you are headed.
     

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