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Live weight/dead weight ratio?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chrissieg, May 21, 2007.

  1. chrissieg

    chrissieg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just out of interest how much can you expect to lose in the bucket?

    I'm sure somebody's asked this before - I did try a search, honest! [​IMG]
  2. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    It really depends on the kind of bird that you're butchering. Egg layers don't have a lot of muscle to begin with, so the majority of their weight is going to be in the bones and innards. (Feathers don't account for much of the weight.) We've dispatched extra layer roos, only to be disappointed by the meat yield, plus they don't taste as good (to us they have a different flavor). They tend to have really thin breasts and scrawny everything else. They pelvic opening is relatively small, and it's hard to clean them out.

    Dual purpose birds have more muscle, but still not like what you get with meat birds. They yield more breast meat, but not much. I would say that you are probably getting closer to half the body weight in muscle. They seemed to be easier to clean, but not much. They're okay for stew, soup, and frying.

    Meat birds have a very high yield of meat. You'll be surprised at how much muscle they have compared to their insides, and their pelvic area is very wide, making it very easy to remove the insides. (I thought they looked kind of empty for their size![​IMG]) Most of the work goes into pulling the feathers with them. They have a huge amount of white meat, and it's very tender compared to the other two. They grow pretty fast, so they can be butchered relatively young.

    I hope this helps some!

  3. chrissieg

    chrissieg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks a lot.

    I'm just toying with the idea of meat birds. My neighbour used to buy in grown birds and feed them up for another couple of weeks. We don't have the same breeds in the UK as you do or day old chicks posted out, but I'll make enquiries!
  4. chknman79

    chknman79 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    How do you go about plucking a chicken? I have read to scald them first in boiling water then the feathers come out easier. I have never done it before and since my chicks have turned out to be 12 Roosters and 5 hens the roos will be in the freezer except for 1 I will keep for fertilized eggs to raise more chicks.
  5. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I've done it 3 different ways:

    1. Dry pluck--right after you've chopped off the head and let it bleed, start plucking the feathers. This is the method we've been using lately, and seems easiest for us.

    2. Scalding water--dip the bird in the hot (but not boiling) water just long enough to immerse it without cooking it. It's smelly but will help the feathers come out easier.

    3. Scalding with paraffin--depending on how large your container of water is, use 1 slab to a whole box of paraffin (Gulf Wax). Allow it to melt in the water, then dip the bird in it. The wax will stick the feathers together in clumps, so when you pull them, they won't be everywhere.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    So after I am done butchering, keeping only body, gizzard, feet, heart, and liver, I get between 75-80% of live weight. I do restrict feed for 12 hours prior to butcher so that the intestines are emptied and it is much cleaner to do.
  7. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    the roos will be in the freezer except for 1 I will keep for fertilized eggs to raise more chicks.

    I didn't see this before...[​IMG]

    I would keep two roos. You never know if something will happen to one and you'll need a back up. I've had that happen, so I keep my two best now. If I don't have enough hens to share between them, I'll keep them separate so they don't work the girls to death.​

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