Wanting to raise Leaner/Cleaner meat, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by promiseacres, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. promiseacres

    promiseacres Out Of The Brooder

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    My DH will hardly eat any chicken I buy due to the globbs of fat and blod clots seen in the meat. So we are going to raise some chicks next year to butcher. My thought was to avoid the typical fast growing cornish crosses. We got our laying hens from Townline and will probably order from them again next year. Our thought was to order their heavy/dual mix straight run, then we can select some hens to ad to our layers if we want. Or should we just order 1 breed? Eventually I'd like to start raising chicks from eggs to sell. Most people around me have a few hens for eggs (therefore selling eggs is a no go) and get a small quantity of chicks every year. Most are also not too picky on breeds though I'd like to find a breed to stick with.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It would help if you could narrow down your wants. There are breeds for eggs, there are breeds for looks, and there are not very many choices for efficient meat production.

    Dual purpose don't do either job well, but have been bred mostly for egg production so none of them produce meat efficiently. The few that are the best for producing meat don't lay very many eggs.

    Does your family like the white meat or the dark meat?

    Your plan to get a mixed bunch would work. That way you might find that one of the breeds you get really suits you.
     
  3. Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't care about amount of meat you can get any kind of bird. Just remember lighter breeds are going to be very small. I personally have enjoyed Barnvelder, and Black Copper Marans. I think they both taste really good. They both get bigger than straight egg producers. Black Copper Marans are also valued by the french for meat.The bonus is they lay dark eggs which can be desirable. However, for egg production of course you'd get leghorn, sex links, or production reds.


    You need to decide what kind of meat you want. Lean could be any dual purpose. Slower growers move more, gain weight slower so usually less fat. I have found the copper marans had darker meat, very tasty but not fatty. The red broilers I grew were lighter then the dual purpose and less fatty than the CX. Black broilers had mixed results for fat. Orphington was good. My old layer I did in was very tasty and no fat also.
     
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    If you want lean clean home raised meat, try some rabbits.

    They have good feed conversion and the meat is very clean, almost completely free from fat, and the flavor is absolutely delicious. It is all white meat and tender.
     
  6. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not trying to start an argument, but!
    I am raising my third batch of CX and couldn't be happier. For the 8 weeks there is a little bit of work each day. But to get a 6-8 lb. chicken after only 2 months, wow.
    The only fat is located near the vent and can be trimmed while processing. The meat is fat free, as is all chicken.
    I helped a friend butcher 3 18 week old RIRs roosters and I would not be happy raising those birds for food.
    Raise what you want and enjoy yourself.
     
  7. promiseacres

    promiseacres Out Of The Brooder

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    well right now my 9 hens are definatly laying enough for me and my family so I don't need a strictly egg laying breed. But I know things happen so like the idea to get a 2-3 hens yearly for laying. I will be raising the chickens with a lot more movement, bugs, grass and veggies so I know any breed should be better than what we can get in the grocery. We prefer dark meat, though DH does like breast meat BUT w/o the fat. We probably will not process our own as there's a gal locally that does it for a reasonable fee.

    Thanks for everyone's input! And thanks to MaggiesDad the article was great!

    Dee
     
  8. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While I personally like all the birds I've tried better than a CX in taste (except the grocery store)..... I think at some point you should try a small batch of CX. They have many fine points such as feed conversion, size and time. Now that I've tried them, I've decided on other types and I'm working on my own plan. But there are days when 7 weeks and done sounds great. You can read all you want but trying will give you that experience to make long term decisions. Once you've tried homegrown either way you'll probably never go back to grocery store so..... Might as well plan for the long term. It's part of chicken math.
     
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking into naked necks (turkens) bred with meat in mind, and in just a few weeks should be able to taste one. What I'm doing is buying a Cornish X, a red ranger, and a naked neck from a local farmer who pastures all their birds to try to get an idea of what I'd like to raise. I am roasting them all using the same method to get a better comparison. So far the results have matched what I read online. The Cornish x did not have any of the nasty fat lumps I cut off store birds. The meat texture was better (firmer) than a store bird, with the dark meat being less "slimy" in texture than I find store birds to have. I did not notice any difference in taste.

    The red ranger had slightly tougher skin that was extremely delicious and crispy when roasted. The flavor was notably stronger, richer, and more desirable to me. I would compare the difference in taste to eating chicken as opposed to something that "tastes like chicken" if that makes any sense. I have never liked dark meat on store birds, and am hoping to find some I like so I'm not so wasteful when raising chickens to eat. I was able to eat quite a bit of dark meat off this bird, as it was even less slimy than on store birds and had much better texture and flavor. I am hoping I will like the darker dark meat of a dual purpose breed even more. I'd like to try a cuckoo marans, dorking, and a few mixes in addition to the naked neck, but the NNs are supposed to be well suited to the heat , and it'll be hot where I'm moving.

    Personally, I want a more sustainable set-up where I am free-ranging birds that are able to mate and raise young without the help of artificial incubators or brooders. For my tastes and goals, a DP breed sounds like the better fit for me. I just have to see if be taste test gives the green light on that. Hope you find a good match for you. :)
     
  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We raise Black Java's for egg layers - and the 'extra' cockerals that are produced are therefore table birds when big enough (or fiesty enough to get rid of!). I keep 1 rooster at a time. Our first rooster lived 18mo before he became too cocky and obnoxious - his replacement is now grown and filling his shoes, so to speak. So next spring, I'll likely have more baby chicks - the Java's make good momma's - had 3 of 5 hens become broody and succesfully hatched out chicks. This next spring, I'll have 8 hens, so perhaps more chicks? We'll see!

    I raised Freedom Rangers (what you're calling red rangers) this past spring. I was very very pleased with the breed overall. There was a great canidate for a keeper rooster and hens - but I chose to stay with the Java's as a primary flock. They are all in Camp Frigidaire. Tasty tasty birds! Tons of feathers though - we ended up skinning them instead of plucking. It seemed that they had an outer layer of feathers and an inner layer of feathers (not down, but close). Very pretty birds to watch - most were very friendly to us all - and while they were hungry, they generally allowed me through the gate to feed 'em.

    This fall, I'm raising CX's. Overall, I find the CX's to be less to my liking as a chicken in my yard than the FR's. The CX's are a bit more feed aggressive than the FR's were - and I don't find their nearly naked state of being very attractive (my sons have pointed out to me that when they breathe their bum's suck in and out - never noticed on the FR's). I find it nearly impossible to get through their gate to feed them and they peck me (shoes, socks, hem of pants, freckles, raincoat snaps, raincoat zipper, bucket, whatever they can reach) all the way to the feeder. I've been feeding fermented feed - and have ACV (apple cider vinegar w/ the mother in it) in their waterer too - so the level of poo isn't that bad from what the FR had left behind.

    However, there is something highly attractive about 9wks and done with the CX's. The FR's really needed the 12wks. And by that point, the boys were learning to crow (not too bad if you've only got a few - but we had 15 boys!) And being in suburbia, and illegal to have cockerals - well, that just didn't do real well. I'm pushing my luck with my one Java roo. So keep your environment, neighbors, ordinances and other 'politics' in mind when choosing. The CX's won't ever get big enough to learn to crow - or that's my hope at least!

    Since we've not yet eaten a homegrown CX, well, can't compare on flavor. But I did notice on the FR's that the hens had a lot more fatty tissue around the edges of the breast (like what you see in the store) than any of the cockerals did. Processing ourselves, we could simply snip that off right then and there!

    Because any of these meat breeds don't take long to grow out - try ordering a small batch (Welp Hatchery is where we got our CX from) and giving some a try. If you don't like 'em, you're only out a few weeks. With DP birds, you really need about 4mo to let them get big enough. We butchered some extra Java roo's at 17wks, and they were so scrawny...nothing like the FR's.
     

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