Marans, Opringtons and Wyandottes as Table birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rachey62, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Hello all!

    We've kept ex bats and bantams for eggs for a few years now and have recently hatched a French Maran Chick (the other 3 eggs did nothing) using our silkie/sussex bantam, so got 3 other chicks, Black Maran, Silver Laced Wyandotte and Blue Orpington to keep it company. The intention is to use any that turn out to be Cockerels as Table birds (we hope to get pigs in the future and to the whole good life thing) I've researched the killing and accepted that I'll have to do that, not easy I'm sure but a nice fresh roast chicken will be worth it.

    My question is once I'm able to sex them (at 10 weeks or can I do it sooner) and determine which ones are males should I separate them from the rest of the flock and give them a different diet? do different breeds need different things to get them ready for the table and at what age do you slaughter and does the same age apply for all breeds?

    Any advice welcome, I like to be prepared...

    Thanks
    Rach
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there!

    Here is what we do - although we're not experts.

    We've kept our cockerels in with the girls until they start fighting or hounding the girls....I'm thinking it was around 10-12 weeks. If you just have a few boys you can probably keep them together for longer. Our cockerels were fed a 20% grower with some added scratch at the end all the way through - just like we fed our layer chicks.

    We've processed boys as young as 13 weeks, but prefer around 17-18 weeks. Any non-Cornish X breed is going to be more like a rubber chicken, and more so before 17-18 weeks. It's just something to know in advance so you aren't horribly disappointed. Our marans are always pretty meat around 17 weeks, though, and delicious!
     
  3. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Thank you! That sounds like fab advice! At the moment I'm thinking the Blue Orp is a definite Roo, very slow feather development, the Wyandotte I'm unsure and I think the Marans are Hens, Do you ever use your hens for Meat after there egg production slows down? would the meat be quite tough after a year or two?

    Thanks
    Rach
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Rach,

    We haven't used our hens for meat YET, but have a few to be processed in a few weeks. I've heard the meat can be very good if cooked differently (slow temps, in casseroles, etc.) I'm looking forward to making a huge batch of chicken soup and canning it with them. We'll see how it goes.
     
  5. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dressing out your birds wont be as hard as it seems,and you will get the hang of it pretty quick. :)
     
  6. smyler

    smyler New Egg

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    Hi, I have French marans and lightships I was told between 6 and 8 months for table, cockerals earlier if saying a nusience. Confused
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I slaughter cockerels at 13-16 weeks, before they start causing chaos and while still tender enough to grill for that crispy skinned deliciousness. Not much meat but the grilled bones make for some excellent stock. Anything older than that I pressure cook until meat is done as saved aside then a couple more hours to get that bone broth.

    Resting the cleaned carcass in fridge for 48-72 hours for rigor to pass is essential to chewable meat from any bird(except maybe CX?). Tho no homegrown bird I've eaten, layer or meat breed, is as soft as a grocery bird, they are more 'toothsome'.
     
  8. DaveMorehouse

    DaveMorehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have eaten our old layers at five and six years of age. We think they make the absolute best stock of any bird. We feed a lot of grain in their final summer and they get pretty fat. We skin them rather than plucking. The meat is cut off the carcass and cubed for soup. The carcass and fat are tossed in a water-filled pot with an onion, a celery stalk, a carrot, some salt, and a handful of thyme. We freeze the stock in one cup containers for use the rest of the year.

    Best wishes for your butchering.
    Dave
     
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