Need input please!! Less meat on my birds than expected??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chantecler, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2008
    Moncton New Brunswick
    HI All

    Well yesterday was the big day. We butchered 6 of our extra Chantecler Cockerels. It was our very first time and everything went very well.[​IMG]

    The only problem is that they were not very well fleshed out. The keel bones were easily felt and there was not much breast meat. They had lots of fat in the abdomen and were not thin by any means just really small breasts (LOL that sounds odd especially if taken out of context:lol:)

    The dressed weight was about 4 pounds. I figure live weight was close to 6 pounds.
    These birds were 19 weeks old and were starting to get a little rough with the "ladies".
    I know that Chanteclers, like many heritage breeds, are slow growing but at 19 weeks they had well developed combs and wattles, the spurs were growing and they were crowing like the dickens!

    They had free choice commercial grower feed, daily treats and free ranged on the weekend.

    We had one for supper tonight and it was absolutely delicious but small.

    Should I have waited a few more weeks?
    Is there something I could have added to their feed?
    Would switching to finisher made a difference?
    Or is this normal?

    Thanks so much!!
  2. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're probably used to seeing X breasts in the supermarket. "Regular" chickens, at least the ones I've butchered have markedly less in the way of meat overall. The flesh is more favorable, just less of it.

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