1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Mixed dual purpose breed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BusyBearMama, May 24, 2016.

  1. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    29
    128
    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    How old would you say English orp/ Sussex cross cockerels should be at butcher? For a decent size bird? Last year we did red broilers and I don't know it there will be a big difference?
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,668
    511
    318
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Yes there is a difference from a dual purpose and red broiler for butcher weights. Age of bird is what I'd be asking you, I can't tell you how your going to be cooking the bird. Meat hybrids grow fast, even a slower growing ranger will dress at a good size in 12 weeks. A dual purpose bird will be just as tender at that age, the catch is it wont be as big. For summer grilling of our dual purpose we butcher from 12 to 14 weeks of age. With breeding effort for early maturity I could get the weights up some but for now it's bit under 3 lbs dressed weight for cockerels. That's what we eat- extra, non breeding stock cockerels. Being smaller size I split them in half for grilling, aged three days. We don't fry chicken but read they can still be fried to around 20 weeks. Roasters we get from what is left of non breeding stock cockerels and take them as we want to eat from six months to winter. You can still roast a year old bird but it should be brined first to aid in moisture retention, and roast at 325F. After that they are stew birds. Crock pot cooking or stock pot but don't let the water boil, simmer at best or the meat will get tough. Cook bird for 40 min to hour low heat then pull out to cool. Take the meat off and put carcass back in pot water to boil down for stock. I only add bay leaves for stock. Each recipe will vary what spices used but all do or should call for bay leaves. Strain the stock hot into canning jars and you've got stock for cooking in the cupboard. The meat and reserved non canned stock can be used for whatever recipe you want from pot pie to gumbo.

    Size of roasting bird will depend on breed, hatchery or breeder stock and how long you let it grow. With Orpington/Sussex cross you'd expect a 4 lbs dressed weight 6 month roaster, 4.5 lbs from 8 month. It could be smaller or larger by bird and other variables. You can breed your birds to what you prefer. At a year old birds are still growing some. When your looking at standard live weights of breeds if one weight is given that's adult size. A heavy class dual purpose will gain about 1.5 pounds from 8 months to 18 months of age.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    29
    128
    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Thank you so much! Do you can the stock in a stove top or pressure canner? Do you happen to have a recipe of link you like... I haven't canned stock but I usually freeze it and that's a huge pain! I have canners and this year I would love to go that route. So it looks like 6 months is a good age for these guys you think then for 4 pound birds perhaps? I imagine that they'll get done sort of a couple at a time as they look decent. We still have some left from Octobers batch from the reds which were really fat. Should I feed these guys meat bird feed? I'm going to have them graze too a bit...
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,668
    511
    318
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Any liquid you want to can only needs to be over 180 F for the top to seal. Maple syrup, chicken stock, you name it, if it's liquid get it 185-190 F or more, pour into mason jar and screw on lid. It will vaccum seal. So I strain the stock when done cooking into another pot then use that pot to pour into mason jars- done deal. I get a gallon of stock from one cock bird. Gumbo takes half gallon to make so can up two quarts and put meat and stock in fridge until ready to make the soup or gumbo.

    You do let the butchered bird rest for three days in fridge before cooking. If I'm brining the bird let it rest two days in covered pot then add brine for last day. My brine solution is 7 weighed ounces of salt ( any kind, rock, table, sea) to a gallon of water. Let bird brine for 18- 24 hours. Worked on this solution for years now, 8 ounces salt is good but touch salty for me, 6 ounces still does the job of moisture retention and lightly salts the meat. 7 is good, give it a try and adjust to your taste by more or less salt or less time in brine. I figure if I'm going to brine I'm letting it sit 24 hours not half again the salt content to brine only 4 hours. That's just silly to me and you've got 3 days of resting in fridge anyway. I don't brine every bird but it is good for older roasters and helps with grilled young birds too.
     
  5. ShannonR

    ShannonR Out Of The Brooder

    124
    9
    48
    Sep 17, 2015
    northern California

    Not to sound like a downer or anything but, if you plan on canning chicken broth or stock please, please use safe canning procedures.The hot broth will seal the jars, but that doesn't make the stock OK to store on a shelf. Again, I am not trying to be a bummer or start an argument. I am more worried for the safety of people canning their own foods.

    Here is a link to safe chicken broth canning and it explains the reason WHY it should be properly canned and not just put into a jar while hot.
    http://newlifeonahomestead.com/how-to-can-chicken-stock-or-broth/

    Sorry if I've raised any hackles here.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    29
    128
    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Thanks I have a pressure canner and I sure love using it!
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,668
    511
    318
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by