Yum Yum vs. Wow what a great personality!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Queen of the Lilliputians, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Just out of curiousity, and for future reference [​IMG] how do you folks avoid getting attached to your future Sunday Dinner? I'm thinking part of it might be having a big enough flock that you can have a few favorite (and permanent) members? Anyone had birds that were SUPPOSED to go in the freezer, but they decided to keep as pets?

    Also, since there is a pecking order in the flock, does removing some cause a flock-revolution? And do you keep your head roo and hen, to maintain some order, or is it based on something else?

    I'd love to feel like I would be able to cull with a minimum of guilt. Still not sure how I feel about doing it myself, although I'd know at least the birds had a great life, and weren't stuck in a horrid warehouse or shipped in those tiny, nasty cages.
     
  2. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Personally--and this is just personally, mind you--I would keep the ones with the best personalities as breeders, providing they were typey and also laid well, etc. A friend of mine has been working with his herd of Nubian goats for 30 years the same way, and I'm not kidding you: they're the best goats you'd ever, ever want to own. They all have mild, sweet personalities because he just doesn't breed any he doesn't like.

    I had a buck from him that was the most amazing gentleman, a snugglepuss... and if you know anything about bucks, you know they're not necessarily known for their easy personalities, especially around breeding time.

    For me, I want to raise my chickens the same way. If I have a biddy that is beautiful and typey... but is so mean that she pecks me ruthlessly when I try to gather eggs whether she's broody or not, she's probably going to be the one I'd choose not to keep, if I was choosing. If I have a rooster that's especially rough with the hens, he's probably not going to be kept as a breeder, either.

    I'm not saying I'm going to ignore type; I'm just saying it's not going to be my prime concern. Of course, I'm beginning with Faverolles, which are in general sweet-natured, genteel birds... and that will help a lot. If I'd started with Leghorns, I might REALLY have my work cut out for me, because they're just a much more nervous, less friendly breed to begin with.
     
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    it doesnt matter if they are broilers or your laying flock.you raise them an you give them a good life.an you say to yourself i raising food for my family.so i can know whats been put into them.an when butcher time comes.im going to butcher them.an when its time ill butcher my laying flock.
     
  4. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    If you're raising for meat--or for that matter, if you're raising for eggs--it's important to renew your flock. Layers lay best when they're one or two years old or so, (and obviously you need to slaughter your meat birds)so I do agree with wynedot55 in that regard.

    My point was just that if you really want to have long term enjoyment and a healthy flock, it's important to select your breeders. Personality is important to me, so I'll select for that, among other things. So is health, so I'll select for that. I'm not just going to breed all my birds nonselectively, and so saying... if I was going to cull, I wouldn't simply cull because their two years (or 8 weeks) were up. What if I had a pair of meat birds that weathered a heat wave like none of my other birds did, had no leg problems, were perky and friendly and in excellent health? Wouldn't it really be in my best interest to see if I could breed those two and produce more healthy birds just like them?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

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    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    In answer to your last question. Yes Only if said meat birds are of a dual purpose breed. Cornish roasters and cornish crosses will EVENTUALLY die. That is in their genetics. I tried the whole rescue the poor meat birds once and even free ranging the girls eventually got to where they could not walk more than 10 ft with out having to rest. That is when they were humanely put on the dinner table.
     
  6. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    We are actually coming upon this topic in our home right now. We've raised our cute as button little fuzzbutt chicks into 5 week olds. We can now tell the boys from the girls. And although we are fond of some of the boys for their looks, personality, or a mix of both...we all know that the day any of them attack me or are too rough with a hen, into the pot they go. No matter who they are! If you intend to breed, you need to cull to keep your flock healthy and in tip top shape. Yes, when you remove a hen or roo, the pecking order gets "revised". Thats just Chicken Life 101.
     
  7. ccr

    ccr Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Well, it is a topic that is hard....I raise Cornish meat birds and that is what they are - meat birds - as others have said, they are only meant to live so long...we slaughter at 8-9 weeks.

    I have had a couple moments where taking them to slaughter was harder than other times. During the course of catching them all for slaughter one morning, I noticed I was a couple shy....went looking and where did I find them? Actually sitting in the nest with one of my layers....now that was hard to pick them up and put them in the crate - when they had hidden themselves so well!

    You should have seen the look on the laying hens face! [​IMG]

    However, I have also got them to slaughter and compared them to some of the other birds waiting to be killed...and they always look the best. Some of the birds I wouldnt even touch - filthy! Mine are always clean and white, healthy and of a good size. Why would you want to eat anything else?

    So, I say to myself, well, they have had a better life than some - I raised them well, gave them everything they needed as well as lush pasture, the best feed, clean water and a clean house to live in! I did the best I could for them while they were with me - I think that is all you can do.
     
  8. BobDFL

    BobDFL Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Central FL.
    We have a rule that nothing gets named until we can tell if it is a boy or a girl. Girls get names (they lay eggs after all), excess males are numbered.

    The saying here is Names are pets and breeders, numbers are what's for dinner. My 15 yr old DD is OK with this, but my 8 yr. old DD is still learning. This doesn't mean all numbered birds get eaten, some have gotten repreives when someone decided to buy them or they turned out to be better than their dad (type and personality wise) at which dad gets a number and the son gets a name.

    By only being numbered the attachment is kept way down. A funny consequence to this approach is my neighbors and friends (who don't eat any of their birds or animals) always asks if a new animal is named or numbered. That's were most of the repreived animals go, to them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  9. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    LOL, Bob...i understand that concept...but i'm going to refrain from telling my treecutter your story....

    his name happens to be 5.6. that's his race car number and that's what everyone calls him....LOL
     
  10. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    There are usually one or two that stand out from the rest that I end up being attached to. Those are the ones that get actual names. Some are noted and named for the sake of conversation so we know who we're talking about. All the others are just kind of "there", serving out their lives serving their purpose, whatever that may be.
     

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