Sustainable Meat / Standard Bred Dual Purpose Bird Thread.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Egghead_Jr, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @lpatelski if you send me that spreadsheet I'll upload it to google drive for folks to download. My email is my byc username @gmail.com
     
  2. lpatelski

    lpatelski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sent it, thank you! I just found another format faux pas. Under the carcass dress% average, the average was not expressed in %, rather as a decimal. I have changed it and sent you the corrected copy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
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  3. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Great! Nice job guys.

    I put that Google Docs link first on post #2 in new Sticky Area.

    There is a market for heritage meat. Flavor of individual breeds due to texture, Dorking considered very fine to Brahma (all Asiatic class) being very coarse. That's all preference. Breese birds may well have superior flavor as they are promoted to or it may just be a French thing. French chefs using national birds like Maran hence the misnomer. I don't know but do know people are looking for sustainable ways to produce hybrids or Dual utility with emphasis in meat birds. Bird performance data is lacking. The hope is this thread can provide easy reference. The best way to do that? We'll figure it out.

    Age ranges in sticky #2 on post #2 for the cooking references look accurate. 12 weeks optimal and 14 weeks outside edge for broiler/grill. That article states Roasting age is most desirable. I'm not sure that's still true today. The current market will prove that out. My thought is we are a grilling and turkey fryer society. Costs to produce heritage to roasting age would surely limit it to a small niche foody consumer. $6.99 per pound (bottom end price in this market) for 20-26 week old roasters is not a large consumer base. Unless I've been reading the current economy incorrectly? Feed to raise standard bred birds to 10 weeks is relatively small. From that age on it's another matter. Focus to find standard or created line that reaches good weight at 12 weeks would keep costs low. Every week after a certain point will start to greatly impact cost of feed to meat output. The curve of feed intake on weekly basis will vary some for each line but must be looked at closely. There should be a magical week where good fleshing at the most economical rate is achieved. It will be very different from hybrid to capon to standard bred and line to line. If a 3 lbs dress carcass is achieved at relative low costs that's a real aim. What are those feed curves? That's another aspect of this thread. Obviously my ultimate objective is to find a sustainable line/breed with cockerels dressing 4 lbs in 12 weeks. Lofty but achievable by someone if not already done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  5. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm reluctant to say to much in response to your post #34 since I'm still so new to keeping chickens, but I do wonder at the loss of flavor with butchering birds so young. Personally, I prefer roasting age. That's my thing. I'm willing to devote more time to the cooking process to tenderize the meat if it means I get to enjoy superior flavor. Plus by waiting longer I get meatier birds....but I recognize that's not what you're trying to achieve here.

    I'll be honest...I'm fine with reaching the processed weights you mention at 18 weeks instead of 12 though I recognize this is far less economical. But that's just me. I'm really big on the quality and flavor of the food and can afford to put in that extra time and feed expense. That's also the reason why I'll be learning to caponize my extra cockerels. That said, I don't know of too many people in my area willing to pay even $2.99/lb for young, heritage chickens, let alone the $6.99/lb currently being charged for the more mature birds. Even some of my more affluent acquaintances with major food quality concerns balk at that price as they look at the local store fliers advertising chicken for $0.99 per pound. The mechanization of our food industry has effectively concealed any public comprehension of what it costs to raise quality food from hatch to slaughter. Reaching ideal butchering weight in a heritage bird by 12 weeks is a wonderful ideal, but I have to wonder what may be lost in the process to reduce costs.
     
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  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    777Funk let me use this photo and some info from https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...rter-inedible-why-could-this-be#post_16509285

    [​IMG]

    Fryer bird hatchery special at 9 weeks. Wanted to post this as it will visually show the contrast of body type from a standard bred bird for meat purpose and what hatcheries provide which is a body designed for egg laying. The photos of Buckeye in Sticky #3 showing how to select for breeders and body type strongly point out hatchery birds pinched body, relatively small heads and overall egg laying body not at all designed for meat. I liked this photo as it's all males with majority rear facing. From shoulder to rear there is a decided V when we're selecting for a U shape.

    Quick overview on weights that were posted of these. Pound each bird in feed to 8 weeks. They'd started butchering from 14 weeks on through to over 20 weeks. First carcasses were just under 2 lbs and last carcasses were 3 lbs.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    @DesertChic I'm with you in that I've no interest in commercial or side line business butchering birds. But in that I choose a "dual purpose" bird for better carcass and size for own consumption. What markets bear and what we can bear to feed and raise for personal consumption will have many parallels. If a New Hampshire line for example is found to produce a 4 lbs cockerel carcass in grilling age I'm not going to jump ship on my current breed. There's much work to do on Silver Penciled but while at all that I certainly can work it to make for better meat qualities down the line.

    For people working on breeds there is a lot of hatching going on. That's a lot of cockerels. Sure culls of females with smallest heads can be sold young to get #'s down but those male culls are mostly going by way of digestion. If people can improve meat quality, which in most cases of dual purpose breeds is working to standard of perfection too. Slight difference is to track growth for early maturity. What was done generations ago and lacking in present day. The trend of breeders is to evaluate the bird at adult age. This will continue to pull these breeds away from potential and original purposes. For the Silver Penciled and summer grilling with friends my goal of 3 lbs for a bunch of cockerel culls suits me just fine. Not even sure if this variety can do that.
     
  8. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm posting these pics just to document my "starting place" in my meat breeding, so to speak. These two birds are from my pure Naked Neck Turken line and I selected them as culls early on because of their poor growth. Here they are pre-processing:

    [​IMG]
    This is Ruby, a beautifully feathered bird that always seemed downright skinny...more feather than meat...and didn't come close to SOP for the breed. His live weight was 4.40 pounds and he processed out at 2.87 lbs at 19 weeks. Obviously quite small.

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    This is Jagger - lovely bird with a few more favorable attributes, but still much smaller than what I want to breed towards. His live weight was 4.85 lbs at 20 weeks and he processed out at 3.18 lbs.

    [​IMG]
    Rigor had already set in on Rudy when I photographed the finished birds, which is why legs are up in the air. Rudy had almost no fat on him and I'm wondering about how the texture of the meat will be. Jagger had a nice, thick layer of fat and definitely had more breast meat, but both birds were rather skinny in the legs and thighs for my taste.
     
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  9. AnthNDacula

    AnthNDacula Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not familiar with those breeders, so I really don't think so. I acquired the majority of my NN hatching eggs from a small breeder in Illinois, and the rest from a breeder/small hatchery in Oklahoma. I know that the Illinois breeder was working pretty hard at meeting SOP for her birds, but I believe the Oklahoma folks were performing a fair number of breed mixes with theirs.
     

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