White plymouth rock or jersey giants for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by marlene, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking of getting some birds for meat.
    Here in the uk we do not have hatcheries or the meat birds available in the usa, so i am looking at the best option of bird for me to hatch for meat.
    I have been reading a lot on this forum and a few uk sites to try and get an idea as to what is best for me to get and so far i have come up with plymouth rocks and jersey giants, purely because i want a large bird.
    Does anyone know how long these birds will take to grow to a decent size for processing? and are these good choices for me requirements?
    Also the plan is that when they pullets come into lay i will hatch out their eggs to keep my stock of these birds going.
    I do have some light sussex pullets with a LS cockerel and i' wondering if i should hatch some of these out for some meat, also i have Ixworth's (british large breed) which i could breed also, and the ixworth is suposed to be a tasty table bird.
    Sorry for going on a bit lol, but fed up of spending good money on chicken meat at the supermarket that is tastless as seen as i keep chickens already for eggs, i thought might as well start producing my own chicken meat.
    Any help, ideas and suggestions appreciated.
    Marlene.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Between Rocks and JG's, I'd go with the Rocks for sure. I haven't kept JG's but my understanding is they are a very slow maturing bird, so you would be feeding them a lot longer to get them up to size. The LS would also be good eating. For both the LS and the Rocks they should be a decent size by the time they are about 16 weeks. I've waited as long as 25 weeks and they got bigger in that time, but were still pretty tender but if you are looking strictly at feed-to-meat conversion, you'd probably want to look more around the 16-week time frame.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I am uninformed about the UK and the White Rock breeding over there. Here, the White Rock is huge. In contrast to the Jersey Giant, I agree with HEChicken. The WR will very likely mature faster. My son in law and his dad want me to grow them out some traditional meat birds this summer. I will likely order White Rocks. I probably do 50 of them in a tractor, on pasture, with supplemental grower feed as needed. I like the 18 week mark. Just a preference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  4. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both for the input.
    From my research the rocks here in the uk are not as big as they are in the usa, but i agree that it is probably my better choice of the 2.
    I don't mind too much if they are slow to mature or the the feed i would use for them, my aim is to provide a nice home grown meal that has taste, and i would probably process as and when needed.
    Also if i leave some to mature, i would hatch from them to replenish my stock.
    Well that's the idea anyway, will have to see how it pans out.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Why not stick with the Light Sussex? Are they slower to mature? Thought they were largest of the Sussex and they are a UK traditional table bird. And reading up on the Ixworth they were designed as a table bird in 1932 from Sussex, Orpington and Indian game. Sounds like you've got two good dual purpose birds already. I'd grow both out to 16 weeks and see which carcass and flavor you like better then stick with that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  6. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for that.
    Was looking at the other breeds because i want a bigger bird, but now you mention it, my ixworth's are pretty big birds.
    I think i will try hatching the LS and ixworth's first as i already have them, and then see how they turn out and taste.
    Thank you Egghead_Jr
     

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