When to Process???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Chica Lady, May 24, 2012.

  1. Chica Lady

    Chica Lady Songster

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    Mar 31, 2012
    Taylors, SC
    I am thinking of processing some of my chickens. Not sure of breeds. Probably mostly farmers mixed breed. They are 13 weeks old now. Any ideas on breeds would be appreciated, also.

    I started with chickens for the eggs, but now I am considering raising meaties. Don't have alot of money for any special considerations (like separating, diet, etc)

    What breeds do you think would be best for me for dual purpose? Maybe keep the girls and process the boys?
    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Pics of Chicks. They are 13 weeks now.
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  2. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Well they look kinda of slender in the pictures. And i'm thinking at least one looks like an Easter Egger. I'd definately process the boys (keep one if you want). I just ate 3 americana's this week and they were tasty even though not near as much meat as other breeds. If you really want to keep birds to be meaties, I'd go one of two routes if I were you (maybe three routes).

    Route one, invest in a few known birds from larger breeds. They don't even have to be pure bred but larger like barred rock, orphington, cornish, maran, black giant or some freedom rangers. Keep a few hens and a rooster and hatch out your own steady supply of dual purpose birds eating most of anything you hatch and fresh eggs for when you aren't hatching. The advantage here is I can have a lot of their food be forage and kitchen left overs.

    Route two, buy cornish cross in large batches to get a good price and buy feed in large batches from local mills to get a good price. Process and freeze. The advantage here is it doesn't take much time and can be cost effective if you are careful and buy food in bulk from a mill.

    Route three any of the combination of one and two but sell off a few of the birds charging enough to make your feed free. I do this with eggs but it is harder with meat as the large operations get such a break in the feed price. Around here though there is a guy who does this through craiglist and he pre-sells as shares in a CSA but he does it all including cleaning. The advantage here is that your food ends up being almost free or course you have more than paid for it in time. This is not a way to make a good living (at least not to me) but it is a way to make your food cost effective.

    I do route three with eggs and starting to do it with my gardening. I just keep some extra layers the work isn't really that much extra for a few more birds. I am starting to do it with my garden, when I get toward the garden producing more than I can eat fresh, I put a price on the things I've raise the way I want, and it pays for my seed habit. I personally wouldn't do it with the meaties cause it is too much work for what I'd get out of the bird but there are those that do.
     
  3. Charrod464

    Charrod464 Hatching

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    Oct 19, 2012
    I think that Barred Rock and Partridge Rock are the best for dual purpose birds. I raise both of them and they are both plump birds. Plus they are very good winter laying birds.
     

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