Raising Orpingtons or Rocks for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by irf1983, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

    252
    2
    131
    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    Does anyone have any experience raising orpingtons or standard rocks to process. How long do they take to reach weight. Taste compared to broilers? I want to raise a flock that I can breed myself for meat. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    21,917
    72
    418
    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Four to five months of age, from chick to butcher weight. Males will get the weight faster than the pullets. If you want the quickest time around, I would suggest you to buy Cornish X's or Freedom Rangers.

    All chicken taste the same to me, broilers, Cornish and regular Leghorns, farm raised, they tasted better than store bought ones.

    Go for it!
     
  3. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

    252
    2
    131
    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    Quote:Thank you, I've looked at the FRs and crosses but I dont want the accompanying health issues. Plus I want to be able to breed my own meaties when I need to restock. Trying for a quasi-self sufficiency thing.
     
  4. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    259
    3
    121
    Jul 13, 2009
    FRs don't really have those health problems that CXs do (In my opinion/experience).

    You could always caponize a Orp or Rock roo, that'd give you a nice big bird. You would have to keep uncaponized for breeding but that's easy enough.
     
  5. harleyhappy

    harleyhappy Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    Jun 1, 2010
    I have never raised meat birds, so I can't speak from personally experience. However, I have been trying to learn from this forum and would like to recommend that you read the following thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=362918&p=1

    Basically what I learned was "Not all birds of a breed are the same. Different parentage will develop birds with different characteristics. Some BR (or any other) lines will grow bigger and faster than others."

    One member raised Barred Rocks for meat and they achieved a weight of 4 lbs in 16 weeks, another member raised Barred Rocks for meat and his birds achieved a weight of 6 lbs in 16 weeks. In the first example the person was raising hatchery birds, in the second example the person was raising birds from a flock that his family had been improving for generations.

    If you could possible get heritage rocks, I suspect they would be meatier than modern hatchery rocks. At some point in the last one hundred years, rocks were one of the main meat birds, and if you could get some of that stock you would do great. The above thread also explains how to select for better meat birds as you maintain your flock.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

    252
    2
    131
    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    Quote:Awesome, thank you.
     
  7. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

    239
    0
    89
    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    That's because hatchery rocks are bred for egg production, as an egg laying breed. That's why they're typically toward the front of the print catalogs, where the egg layers are presented.
     
  8. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,450
    16
    171
    Jun 15, 2008
    I have raised RIR and BR from my parents' stock for 6 decades. While they were far superior than what one can find today, they still couldn't come close to the Cornish X in Size of carcass, or TIME to butcher ( 6-8 weeks vs. 16-20 weeks) or even in COSTS associated with keeping my own breeding flock vs. buying genetically superior X bred terminal meat chicks. They have the highest feed conversion rates of ANY chicken out there. So 3 years ago I switched and will not switch back anytime soon. [​IMG] Most of the health issues are mainly caused by people that didn't educate themselves first but force them to live in an environment and/ or consume feedstuffs that they are not genetically selected to thrive in/ with. [​IMG] [​IMG] So, educate yourself first , then do the math...
     
  9. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

    252
    2
    131
    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    Quote:I definitely see what you're saying. There is a big part of me that wants to just order some rangers and have at it. But I'd also like to know that i can breed my own meat, not that I'm expecting to have to. In my mind, which is certainly not always correct, I figure I can order a small flock of rocks or orpingtons, process 20 or so, and keep the best for breeding. If I can continuously breed my own, then by the time I finish eating the first batch, i'll have another batch ready, even though it may have taken some extra weeks. If anyone wants to talk some sense in to me I welcome it because i am stubborn once I get an idea in my head. Plus my wife would appreciate it.
     
  10. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,450
    16
    171
    Jun 15, 2008
    OK... [​IMG] Just a few thaughts to ponder... with a true meat bird, it has the genetics to have the best feed conversion rate in chickendom = $$$ in your pocket. They are much more uniform in size and rate of growth = allows you to butcher all at once which saves in labor time allocation, which lowers the price of each bird. From receiving the chicks to harvest is 6-8 weeks of age to send them to freezer camp = no more daily chores and vigilance for predators for 16-24 weeks + no more keeping a breeding flock = $$$ in your pocket from not having to feed them 365 days a year + additional $$$ savings by not having to build additional housing.( this could run from a couple hundred to thousand ++ $$$ This alone can be the difference between a $6 / chicken and a $ 15 / chicken ) You can order an exact number of chicks any time the you feel the need = freedom of time management. Now you can have the freedom of time to spend with the wife and kids. = HAPPY WIFE !!! [​IMG] PRICELESS !!! [​IMG]:
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by