Personal Heritage Bird Meat Experience

PandaGirl

Chirping
Jan 27, 2021
71
47
53
Hi there,
I have posted a thread about using Orpington birds for meat just a few days ago, but I wanted to hear some peoples personal storys. If you have used Orpington for meat before I would love to hear about you experience. Also, at what age did you butcher them? I have some idea for when to butcher for a heritage breed, but I wanted an idea of when to do it for Orpingtons in particular. Or if you have butchered a other heritage/ dual purpose breed, I would also love to hear those storys! Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,690
147,716
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Most chickens are dual purpose. ;)

I raise layers for eggs, but slaughter and eat extra cockerels and older hens.
The meat is scant compared to a bird bred for meat, but still delicious.
How you rest the carcass and cook can make a huge difference in edibility.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,362
42,845
1,156
southern Michigan
It will actually 'taste like chicken', so way more flavor than the eight week (or younger) Cornishx birds from the store. Also have more texture, so much nicer, IMO, but not the same as those grocery birds.
I haven't done Orphingtons, but other dual purpose birds, and also the Freedom Rangers, really good. Twelve to sixteen weeks old, or older sometimes.
@aart does old hens too, and has good cooking advice.
Mary
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
666
1,149
216
If you have used Orpington for meat before I would love to hear about you experience. Also, at what age did you butcher them?
I bought 6 Buff Orpington hatching eggs on eBay from a Texas farm and four hatched. I got three roosters and one hen. I also hatched some Black Jersey Giants and Black Australorps. I got two Jersey Giant roosters with two hens and one Australorp rooster with 2 hens. In addition, I ended up with a white rooster from the Buff Orpington hatch, but I am not sure what breed it was.

One of the Buff Orpington rooster became the dominant rooster and another Buff Orpington rooster became his right hand man. They were mean and aggressive to the other roosters.

All the roosters were processed at 4 months and they were between 4 and 5 lbs. I did not process any hens because they were all kind of skinny at 3 lbs. The Jersey Giants were bigger than the other breeds at 4 months. I read that they take longer to reach their mature weight and keep growing past one year. The roosters were like puppy dogs and did not fight for dominance at 4 months. I also notice that the other roosters didn't bother them, since they were not mating with the hens.

I made fried chicken with one of the Orpington roosters, but I did not rest it in the refrigerator for a couple of days, so it was tough. I made stew, soup and cold ginger chicken with the rest.
 
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