Marans, post processing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sabella, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. sabella

    sabella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2011
    Newnan Ga
    When I started getting into chickens and decided on Marans I looked and looked for what one looks like processed. I never found it. So as a PSA, here ya go. This is a blue copper Marans cockerel. Aged 20 weeks, fed organic broiler ration and pastured. The last six weeks of which he ran amok. He and his brothers were processed yesterday. He is currently resting and will be cooked tomorrow. I kept the biggest cockerel (I picked my foundation roo because of his size) in order to keep breeding for larger males.

    It weighs 3.3 lbs. There is a lovely layer of thick yellow fat. The skin has a nice color and texture. There is depressingly little meat considering how much food he ate. Better than a single use layer bird, less than a single use meat bird, but still less than I hoped for. And I did NOT want to feed them another 4-6 weeks. My Olive Egger boys are even smaller. The keel bone goes WAY down the length of the body. I can barely fit my hand into the cavity. I will post pics of an OE when it comes up.

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought 15 Barred Plymouth Rocks in April specifically for meat. I'd read that they were tasty and I knew I did NOT want to raise what my kids call "Mutant Cornish Crosses". LOL They were raised on the usual stuff, but when all my birds were about 16 weeks, I began mixing my own ration because I want to avoid soy. All my birds are allowed to range over a large area all day and forage. Their food is pretty much just a supplement to what they feed themselves.

    When my boys were about 18 weeks, they were confined to a "fattening pen", which was just my 8x8 hoop coop divided in half temporarily with roosts and water on each side. At that time I began feeding them a "fattening ration" of equal parts organic oats, wheat, and corn with some kelp, yeast, and salt mixed in. I hand-ground it each day (my arms look great!) and then mixed it with water and cultured raw milk and let it sit till the next day. I fed this to them twice each day. I did this for TWO AND A HALF WEEKS (did I say my arms look great? LOL). My intention was 2 weeks of fattening, but we weren't ready to process them for another half week after that.

    At age 20 weeks, the boys were processed. After everything I went through and did, they looked just yours. LOL The biggest was 3 3/4#, the smallest not quite 3#. Hardly any breast meat, long keel that made it hard to get my hand in there... But still, they're tasty.
     
  3. mmktdox

    mmktdox Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think no matter how you try to "fatten" these breeds up, you're just not going to get that round shaped chicken that people are used to seeing in the supermarket. The cornish X is the only way to get that result. That being said, I've culled barred rock roosters and although they didn't have the large breast meat we're used to, they tasted great. I believe that the picture of your blue copper marans is exactly what chicken is supposed to look like! Let us know how your dinner turns out tomorrow![​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Virginia
    Just out of curiosity.....
    Watching my own flock of layers, they do very little flapping - LOTS of walking and running and a little jumping - but almost no flapping.
    The picture of the processed marans seems to have really nice legs.. so (please don't laugh at me) but has anyone ever considered setting up pens so that chickens intended for meat HAVE to fly or at least flap alot? Perches that are hard to reach, raised feed and water, entrances and exits that are raised, maybe even some exercise intended to work those wings and breast muscles???
     
  5. chickchickchiky

    chickchickchiky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2012
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    You know funny you say this because i have done this with my roo's to be processed. I put them in a chain link pen with t-post's as perches that they fly up an down from them to roost and get away from each other when being picked on by other roo's. I will let you know how that worked when i process them but it seems to have helped them cause i see them getting wider in the chest area for sure and the legs are feeling fuller. I have RIR, Marans, JG and Light Brahma all roo's and they are filling out nice far as i can tell so we will see.
     
  6. LittleRedCoop53

    LittleRedCoop53 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Hi...was just reading your post (marans caught my eye)...Chickens sure do eat a lot or so it seems they're always eating...anyway i get mash(whole grains and oats) from a local brewery...just a couple of buckets ...i get it free ... most brewery's have it hauled away by farmer and will have barrels of it, my hens love it and are laying regularly, they hardly eat their laying food which saves me $$$... anyway thought i'd just put that out there. :)
     
  7. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    My husband brews and we give the spent grains to the chickens (well, not all of them--I use some in yummy loaves of spent grain bread) and they LOVE it! We call it chicken crack. Hehe.
     
  8. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wouldn't that toughen and darken the breast meat, though? That's why thigh muscle meat is dark: the increased blood flow to muscles that work more. I put my boys in a "pen" for fattening to keep them subdued so their meat would be nice and tender. And it was--it's fabulous. The grains may not have made their breast meat any bigger, but they sure made it succulent! I read lots of studies and reports about the results of using various grains in growing and fattening table birds so that's how I decided up the type and ratio of grains that I did.
     
  9. maryhysong

    maryhysong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2012
    Claypool, Arizona
    This book about feeding poultry from way back when goes on a lot about using milk; skin, buttermilk,, ect. especially for fattening. Back when most farms were small, mixed farms the excess skim and buttermilk from the dairy were fed to chickens and pigs as a protein boost and for fattening.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=0j...QH-moG4Bw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    so if you have dairy animals or a source of extra milk it might be worthwhile to do a comparison of milk fed vs. non.

    BTW I love that chicken from the OP!
     
  10. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Because I was only fattening 16 birds, I made it a point to buy extra raw milk (it's what my family drinks) and culture it to add to the fattening mash. If I had hundreds of birds, that would get to be really expensive. They LOVED it and the research I read said it did improve the flavor of the flesh in many studies.
     

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