Thoughts on Meyer "Fry Pan Bargain"?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by drafthorserider, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. drafthorserider

    drafthorserider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are new to meat birds (eggs only thus far) and are planning to raise our own next year, but this year we need to purchase meat chicks.

    Has anyone had any experience with the Meyer Fry Pan Bargain chicks? They state they will be any of the following breeds and are all roosters: Golden Buff, Rhode Island Red, Black Star, Black Jersey Giant, Salmon Faverolles, Speckled Sussex, Cuckoo Maran, Welsummer, Black Australorp, Barred Plymouth Rock, White Plymouth Rock, Turkin, Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Buckeye, Golden Laced Wyandotte, and Dominique.

    We are not interested in the cornish x's, so are thinking of dual purpose birds intead as that is what we will raise next year. Would I process these types of chicks at 18 weeks or so? And also, how do I know when they are ready to process? Do I weigh them? If so, what is the difference of live weight vs. dressed weight?

    Any advice/info would be great.
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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  3. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did this batch last year. Fun to do and cheap. Seemed like nice birds to me. We got White Rocks, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orp, an Australorp hen, and 4 other hens as well by accident-a nice bonus. I didn't have an easy way to keep the roosters separate from the hens, so I processed some quite young due to the fighting, etc. They were quite skinny at 13 weeks, but some had to go. Most of the rest I did around 18 weeks, and they dressed around 3 lbs. The last one didn't go until at least 22 weeks (a barred rock), and I don't have the weight but he was significantly larger, and had extremely dark and flavorful dark meat. Almost like turkey, without all the tendons. Amazing flavor.

    If you can keep them from fighting by not having hens with them, then it seems to really help to let them get full-grown. I like to go by a few weeks after they start crowing. Then they are still fairly young and tender-ish, but more full-bodied. They dressed somewhere around 70% of live weight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  4. drafthorserider

    drafthorserider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meyers Hatchery in Polk, Ohio
     
  5. drafthorserider

    drafthorserider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DanIndiana,
    Thank you for your experience. It gives me added courage to try it out hearing your positive experience and advice. I think I will have an area available where I can remove all of the hens (if any) to keep them seperate when the time comes. The processing age/weight is helpful too. Thanks!
     
  6. drafthorserider

    drafthorserider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to let anyone checking out the thread know we went ahead and purchased them. They shipped Monday and arrived Tuesday (26 assorted chicks). All looked very healthy, but we lost one before 48 hours (when you are to report losses to Meyers). Not sure why as he looked like he was doing well. Meyers credited our account for the loss. So far I am happy with the purchase and would purchase from Meyers (Polk, OH) again if I needed to.
     
  7. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered some pullets from them last year and was very happy with the chickens. We're going to be making a trip in early May there to pick up an order of spring chicks, too. :)
     
  8. connor97

    connor97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Was wondering if you liked this bargain. Was thinking about ordering it myself.
     
  9. drafthorserider

    drafthorserider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We actually had a coyote or fox disaster, and lost most of these guys before we got a chance to process them. Up until that point all, save the one that died at 36 hours old, grew up to be healthy and all were males as the hatchery had said they were. We ended up with 5 or 6 different breeds and it was fun to watch them grow up and guess which breed they actually were. After the fox/coyote disaster we didn't have many left and decided it was best to process a bit early so we could revamp our pens. They free ranged during the day and were kept in a pen at night. They didn't dress out the heaviest as we probably should have waited longer to process them. Only 2-3 were crowing when we processed them, and the running around during the day seemed to thin them out a bit. The breasts were very good no matter how you cooked them, but we had to be careful cooking the wings/legs as they would get really tough if we cooked them like we normally cooked chicken. All in all, I think there wasn't anything wrong with this assortment of chicks - it was just error in our first attempt. You must be willing to keep them for 6-9 months or so. Next time we are going to try the cornish x's as they don't have to be kept around as long. We got a little tired of our laying hens being pestered by young roosters and of waiting to get them all into the coop at night, b/c one or two would try to keep the rest outside the coop until it was nearly pitched black - and sometimes we had other things to do rather than just try to round up chickens! Hope this helps!
     

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