skinny meat bird carcasses

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pat3494, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. pat3494

    pat3494 In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    Northern Florida
    I processed two BOs yesterday, one hen and one roo, and they were skinnier than I expected so I decided to wait a while before processing any more. They are 23 weeks old and I think I've been doing everything right (Flockraiser feed, access to grass, and yogurt and cracked corn for treats). They had some fat on them and no evidence of parasites so I'm thinking either the Florida heat stressed them or they are just too young. They have been laying delicious eggs for about 3 weeks and the remaining roo has been mating with the hens for the same time. AM I expecting them to look too much like a supermarket chicken? Will waiting a few weeks affect the tenderness of the meat? Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    I've noticed the same, it's just the DP aren't really going to gain weight like the CornishX in the same amount of time. I've been told 16-20 weeks is the max time to wait otherwise you'll get some tough meat. I did a New Hampshire Roo here back 3 weeks or so and he was 5 lbs at 18 and a half weeks, but he was also kinda tough though we let him sit in the fridge for days in water. Most of the meat was his legs! I've been butchering my Cornish's this week since they're 8 weeks and omg [​IMG] they have ALOT of meat for their 6lb body's!
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    welcome to BYC!!!! yep you hit the nail on the head a BO is not a supermarket chicken, totally different breed and body type. Sounds like you are feeding them fine, that's just what you get. Spend some time reading through old posts on this thread, you may decide skinny is what you want or you may decided to jump in a try raising some frankinchickens! Both are great, just different.
  4. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I just had the same experience butchering a 20 week old New Hampshire rooster. He was a big hefty thing before we plucked him! Then we got maybe half a pound of meat off him, and that was tough and stringy and gamey. Not inedible, but not really the way one expects chicken to taste, it was more like eating a wild pigeon. And way too much work for that little meat, I think the only thing really meaty about him was his wings! (He was free-range and had full flight capability, not wing-clipped)

    Much as I hate to, I'm ordering the "franken-chickens". [​IMG] I've got some young Plymouth Rocks that are looking hopeful for starting a meat bird line, I'm going to try keeping some pullets from the Cornish cross and putting them in with Rock pullets and a Rock rooster from this line, they are chunky and fast growing so far.
  5. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Your birds are probably really all fine. Raised proper and healthy. You did everything right. They are just not meat type chickens. The DP that people often talk about is a term that's over 60 years old. At one time those heavy breeds were considered a meat and egg type chicken. Not so much anymore. ( we have more choices now) Sure people eat them. Why not if you got them there's no sense in wasting them and those type depending on age may even have a different taste that some may like. But if it's a meatier bird your looking for you have to choose a meat or broiler type.
    Some chickens look big with feathers on, but can be pretty skrawney without them. Will
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Marans fill out pretty fast and they taste good. Another one I want to try is a sussex. My girls feel real meaty. Orpingtons wouldn't be my choose in DP's. Faverolles are what we are growing to see if they are good and how long it takes to meat up.
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Quote:Very well said!

    and I LOVE your sig line, gonna steal that one! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They will always be skinny since they aren't meat bird as previous posters replied. Do butcher them earlier rather than later, and age at least 3 days if you are used to the soft fall apart meat birds from the store. Else they will be "tough" and "stringy" compared to what you are used to.

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