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Trying to decide which "dual purpose" chicken to get

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bearcat73, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. bearcat73

    bearcat73 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Southwest Ohio
    I'm trying to decide what kind of chickens I want. We need dual purpose chickens because we will be eating some of them but we also want eggs. They need to be calm because my kids will be playing with them.

    I've narrowed it down to a few breeds, some common and some rare: Australorp, Buckeye, Delaware, Dorking, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, and Sussex. Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

    I grew up having chickens but my dad would always have a variety of breeds, and we only ate the eggs, we did not eat the chickens.
     
  2. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Oh gosh, I don't recommend letting your kids playing with ones you want to eat! Um, they are all nice, I like the Austrolorps, and BO, they are nice birds, but I would never have the heart to eat them if they were that nice. You may just want to go ahead and get meat birds to eat. JMO
     
  3. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    yeah Please dont let them near them or let them see you do the old Chop chop. I bought the orpingtons for the eggs and they are really friendly and sweet
     
  4. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:I have to respectfully disagree with this. I think it's ridiculous that we only think of the chickens we eat as pre-packaged chicken meat. For centuries, kids have grown up seeing realistic scenarios of raising animals for meat. I say, if they want to watch, let them.
     
  5. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

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    Jan 20, 2008
    I think most people on here will be cheering on the orpingtons . . . certainly miss prissy, and from going through countless posts I wouldn't hesitate to take her advice on practically anything.
    I know some member of my family (I think it was a great aunt, my memories are vague regarding this) kept a flock of chickens for eggs that her children played with and adored. When those hens would go broody, she'd allow them to hatch, but the children were told the new chicks were food, so don't get attached. The original hens were never eaten, so the children didn't have to worry about getting attached to those, so they were free to participate (nearly) guilt free when chopping day came for the offspring. As the original hens got too old to lay, they would "mysteriously" disappear while the kids were out, supposedly taken by some predator.
    Anyway, the point to all that was . . . it is hard for anyone to eat something that you've played with and treated as a pet, but there are ways around it that wouldn't traumatize the kids horribly.
     
  6. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    Quote:I have to respectfully disagree with this. I think it's ridiculous that we only think of the chickens we eat as pre-packaged chicken meat. For centuries, kids have grown up seeing realistic scenarios of raising animals for meat. I say, if they want to watch, let them.

    i dont mind you disagreeing. just my opinion. I dont like prepackaged meat as I buy processed chickens from a farm. Just saying. I dont know there age so I dont know what they would think. if they want to watch thats fine.
     
  7. bearcat73

    bearcat73 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Southwest Ohio
    I will probably be getting them processed elsewhere, but if my husband learns to do it, he'll be doing it. I have one daughter who I know will watch. (I could NEVER watch, btw) My 10 year old daughter watched my husband prepare the deer that he shot back in November. And she has no problem eating it.

    I don't think my kids will be getting close enough to the chickens to consider them pets, but they will be around them, so I don't want mean ones. We have horses and goats and cats and dogs that are their pets. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. I don't know. But when we do process, we'll do several at a time, so they won't be able to tell which one it was anyway.

    I would consider doing different eggs layers and meat birds, but what are some meat only birds? I have ethical issues with cornish rock so I will definitely not be getting them.

    I just thought it would be nice to have dual purpose ones so that we eat the roos and keep the pullets for eggs.
     
  8. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You're aware that 'dual purpose' is not the same as the birds you get in the grocery store, yes? More along the lines of the rubber chicken used in gags in older comedies? (well, in terms of structure -- better flavor of course <g>)

    To get a grocery-store-like chicken, with a buncha breast meat and fairly tender, you pretty much would need to raise meat birds (CornishX or 'slow CornishX'). You can't breed them, just eat them.

    Otherwise I think pretty much anything from a large-framed bird, e.g. not a leghorn, will do.

    Freedom Rangers and 'homemade cornish crosses' are somewhat intermediate between the two, I gather.

    Just making sure you know what to expect,

    Pat
     

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