Standard Breed for Meat Birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jzuhde, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. jzuhde

    jzuhde Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2010
    Nevada, TX
    I wanted to raise some standard breed birds for eating. How old should they be when I take them to slaughter?
    Any information would be great :)
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am raising Dorkings for conservation, improvement, eggs, and meat. Last year was my first year with them and after choosing our 4 best boys, we slaughtered the remaining few (kept all the girls). They were about 20 weeks when at processing and we decided that in the future we'll wait much longer. The processed birds were pretty small (2-3#). Now, granted, this is a slow-growing breed, but I think that for most dual purpose standard breeds, waiting until they are closer to 1 year old is probably best. Our 4 boys are now almost 1 and I'm going to narrow them down to the two best in the next week or so and then breed those two. The other two will go to freezer camp. They were in tight quarters all winter (too tight, I found out--I'm going to do something different next winter) so they ought to be nice and tender. I 'm guessing they're about 9# now, so it will be interesting to see what their processed weights will be.
  3. I'd say 20=30 weeks
  4. Eggsaggerate

    Eggsaggerate New Egg

    Feb 14, 2013
    Hi jzuhde,

    I have sent dual purpose birds around 20 weeks. They were more bone then meat. I switched to meat birds (white rock) for roasting and have used them ever since. This year I am planning to send them around 10-12 weeks. It depends on their growth and when I can get a slaughter date - the abattoirs book up early. Much longer then that the birds put on too much fat. When I have kept them for 12-14 weeks, the birds dress between 6-8 lbs or 7-10 lbs pre-processing. I like this size for family dinners, with enough for leftovers. The processors suggest feeling the birds' chest to see whether it is well covered or weighing a few birds.

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