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having a go at meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hunterjumper999, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. hunterjumper999

    hunterjumper999 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2008
    Box Springs
    I've decided to stop buying store bought meat. I purchased my first Rabbits this weekend and plan on making a pen for some meaties next.


    It is varying between 50-75 degrees during the day here still and high 30's-50 at night. DO they need a coop or can I just put a tarp over 1/2 their tractor?

    Also, what's the best source of meat birds... do the different hatcheries have different qualities?

    I think I'm going to go with the Cornish X's because they seem to get the best reputation.

    I am going to start with a smallnumber because we had a horrible experience with a friend coming and butchering a roo for us- however it was a straight game bird and I think that had ALOT to do with the whole thing. It was very very gross...thats the best way to describe him. I think the plate weighed more than the bbq'd bird.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    I'm going to get a cone but for less than 20 birds do you think I really need a plucker?
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Quote:I don't blame you at all. We have raised meaties for the past three years and they are so much better than grocery store birds.

    It is varying between 50-75 degrees during the day here still and high 30's-50 at night. DO they need a coop or can I just put a tarp over 1/2 their tractor?

    You could build a Salatin type tractor and put a brood lamp in it. Yes I think I would use a tarp as well. I guess I don't know where Box Springs is but you need to think snout what your temps are going to be in 8 weeks. If it is going to be really cold, getting them now may be counter productive as they will use a lot of their intake just to keep warm instead of building muscle.

    Also, what's the best source of meat birds... do the different hatcheries have different qualities?

    The best source is the one that is closest to you as shipping stress can affect how many loses you have. They all hatch out about the same birds. You can try hatcheries farther away but for your first go at it you should stick with one near by.

    I think I'm going to go with the Cornish X's because they seem to get the best reputation.

    You will get your best return in the fastest time with these. Feed them game bird feed or turkey starter (high protein) and stay away from chick starter intended for laying birds.

    I am going to start with a small number because we had a horrible experience with a friend coming and butchering a roo for us- however it was a straight game bird and I think that had ALOT to do with the whole thing. It was very very gross...thats the best way to describe him. I think the plate weighed more than the bbq'd bird.

    What was so gross about the whole thing? Slaughtering your own animals takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude and a proper mind set. These are birds that will be cared for in the very best way you know how and respected all along the way. At the end they deserve a humane death--ie, quick and decisive. There will be blood and their will be flapping of the wings due to involuntary nerve impulses. This is normal. Expect a much bigger bird than your first roo when you go with the Cornish crosses.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Looks like you ARE headed in the right direction. Deciding to do this is the first step and you have that covered.

    I'm going to get a cone but for less than 20 birds do you think I really need a plucker?

    This really depends on how you usually cook your chicken. Our family does not eat many whole roasted birds. We tend to use mostly boneless skinless meat. Plucking is a waste of time for us unless we want a whole bird for roasting. We opt to skin them out instead. It is way faster than plucking by hand. If you can rent a plucker though I would do that. Try not to invest much money until you have some experience and really know what your level of commitment will be. My DH thought that me raising meaties was just a whim the
    first time but his tune changed when we served up the first bird. He is now firmly behind me in this and was very interested in plans for a homemade plucker.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  3. hunterjumper999

    hunterjumper999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    877
    1
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    Dec 26, 2008
    Box Springs
    the gross bird was by no means the birds fault. It was a very young ( tiny tiny spurs) "hatch" type game fowl. I don't know about games except that I had a friend drop off four roosters and let them free range in the yard. this one was getting very agressive so my friend opted to kill and bbq him for the fourth. I'm ok with blood. and i'm ok with death. i'm just not really into what she produced/

    a few things she did wrong right off the bat appeared to be wrong:

    NO grain feeding ... so of course he was tiny!
    did not remove the tiny blood feathers , some stuck in thru the plucking and were roasted with the bird then removed.
    to my knowlage did not remove the oil gland on the tail area...
    no resting or 'pre treating' of the meat so to say. just chopped, plucked and threw on the grill.


    The meat was ( when we could actually find some) not something i'd care to eat again.

    But i think I'd really enjoy some fresh chicken [​IMG]

    I think my best bet is going to be reading more and more and then ordering some in the spring. In 8 weeks it should consistantly be about 40-60 here during the day and 30-40 at night... thats too cold right?

    thank you for responding to each and every point.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    There's a lot of folks here who are enjoying raising & eating our own chickens. We think you should too. There's a lot of information & support available here & on other sites too. Check out http://www.HowtoButcheraChicken.com to begin. I don't know about raising meat birds in cold weather but you might want to wait & research & prepare to begin in better weather.

    I'm sorry your first experience was so unpleasant. I don't think game fowl would ever get really meaty no matter what you fed them, and freshly-killed chicken of any type isn't best for BBQ. But by having that for your first taste, all your future home-grown chickens will taste all the more fabulous!

    The same thing goes for plucking. The more birds you pluck by hand the more you'll appreciate having an electric plucker to do the work for you! But if you have the means to buy or build special equipment go right ahead & start collecting it. Otherwise, you can still get the job done well with basic supplies you may already have around your place.

    Please keep us posted, we're here to support you on this worthy endeavor.
     

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