wondering about dual purpose mutts ...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lynnemabry, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. lynnemabry

    lynnemabry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    Beautiful Lake County
    After being gone for a long weekend, and having a glut of eggs.
    I am going to put the couple of dozen eggs in my homemade incubator and hatch them.

    The roo is a hatchery white leghorn and the girls are leghorn, EE, BR.

    Any guess how to get them to gain weight fast?
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    you might get a lot of guesses . . . but the fact is that they wont.
  3. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    To get them to gain weight fast to be butchered at 18 weeks or so, I'd give them lot's of high protein feed and make sure they're never close to out, and supplement with other high protein treats, such as various bugs. I once heard of a BYCer growing her own maggots to feed to the chickens. They're free and very high in protein. But if you're like me you're [​IMG] right now, LOL.

    Leghorns are pretty well known for being some of the most slenderest chickens around. Easter Egger roosters usually aren't all that big either. The Barred Rocks are your only dual purpose birds, but when crossed with a Leghorn... You can certainly still butcher them, but if you're familiar with dual-purpose breeds like Buff Orpingtons you're going to be disappointed. If you're only familiar with the meat chickens at the store, you might as well give the roosters away as they become apparent, as you're in for a big surprise. [​IMG]

    To sum it all up, they'll be small and very slender and not at all feed efficient. That will be some of the most expensive meat you'll ever eat. BUT, they'll be absolutely DELICIOUS in chicken noodle soup and chicken and dumplings. [​IMG] But a roast chicken? Not a chance. You'll also get a bunch of "free" pullets. But if I were in your shoes, I'd give away the roosters as soon as they become obvious (Leghorns mature very early, by 6 weeks you should have most or all of them sexed).

    Just my $0.02! [​IMG]
  4. jdopler

    jdopler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2010
    Roggen, Colorado
    I'll agree on the size, but since they are free... Sounds like good soup makings to me, and maybe invest in a heavier breed roo for the future hatchings you do. But as one incubator junkie, Have fun!
  5. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Quote:So true. It can't be done with those breed combinations.
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I've eaten leghorns before. They taste just fine. Just not a lot to them. I don't think the size is the problem. To me, the problem is how much feed they eat in order to put on any weight. If they'd get to the little size without much feed, it would be different. But you'll put a lot of feed into them for every pound of meat that you get.
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Fact of the matter is that the extra feed required to grow out these egg layers with lower meat yield would pay times over for some meat chicks. You are going to need something like 5lb of feed for every pound of layer vs about 2lb of feed for every pound of meat chicken. Also if talking comparable sized birds meat chickens will grow in roughly 6 weeks what the layers will in 6 months.
  8. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    Quote:But the meat is so much better if you have grown it yourself.
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Quote:But the meat is so much better if you have grown it yourself.

    I agree I am going to be eating egg laying roos this year because I got a bunch as packing peanuts with my layer girls and I am going to also be starting a coop specifically for breeding DP egg layers and meat birds so that I don't have to buy. Leghorns wouldn't be top of my list for this because they are very lean like greyhounds in the dog world, but there is no reason you can't eat roos that you produce if you decide to keep them.

    I will be hatching eggs and selling the pullets and keeping the roos from each hatch. Mainly because I can't see eating the pullets when someone will want good all purpose layers.
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    There's a BYCer that loves Leghorns, he butchers them very young, 12-14 weeks I think, and has them for fryers. Although they're small, he says they're really tasty. And that eliminates 6-8 more weeks of feeding them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by