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Author Topic: Birds for the table  (Read 6532 times)

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Birds for the table
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:58:04 pm »
Advice please all you lovely people

Our adventures with egg laying chickens are going well, we're not getting the production we hoped for yet but we have 6 friendly birds that the kids are enjoying taking care of we are already planning on expanding the laying flock in the spring.

We are also thinking about birds for the table, but i need more info on these to help me decide whether they are a viable option for us, whats the best age to get birds for the table at? Am i right in thinking they are best not fully free ranging so they grow faster?

Am i right they are best kept seperate to the laying flock?

We'd be looking at doing 6 at a time probably as otherwise we'll need a bigger freezer!!!

Any help and advice greatly recieved!


Also does anyone know of a good supplier in the midlands (coventry area ideally) for meat chicks.
Voss Electric Fence

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 08:56:25 am »
Yes, I'm having the same questions: which bird, how long etc. A part of our garden is ruined because of having a greenhouse on there all summer, but there's no grass seed to be found anywhere so I can just as well have chickens on it for the coming few months  :D

I don't really like the idea of meat birds that can't stand on their legs anymore if they're over 20 weeks old - can anyone recommend a good hybrid?

Eve  :wave:


Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 10:04:07 am »
I keep my cockerels separate from the layers and pullets because they need different feeding. They are in a smaller area but that is through lack of space really.
I don't buy hybrid chicks but have good results from my own hatched Light Sussex and Buff Orpingtons.
The only advantage of hybrid birds is that they are designed to grow faster on less grub, but I think you lose out on flavour.

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 10:08:50 am »
so at what age would light sussex or buff O boys fed on growers pellets be ready for the table?

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 11:47:52 am »


I have been producing my own tablebirds for a good many years and have tried them all in my time.
To save having to write it all out again on here have a look on my website there is a bit about tablebird breeding and production on there.

The bird in the photograph is a Welsh Black x Welsh Black. The Oven ready is a Welsh Black dressed at 7lbs free-range 28 weeks on a grain diet.

www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 11:14:08 am »
7lbs... are supermarket chickens killed at an earlier age or are they just a smaller (fast-growing less flavourful?) breed?

Think I might need a bigger roasting tin  :D


Eve  :wave:

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 11:26:50 am »
as i understand it most supermarket birds are killed at 6 weeks...

part of my reason for wanting to bring on my own table birds is the flavour of supermarket chicken just isn't there.

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 08:09:12 pm »
6 weeks? Blimey!

Same here with the taste - and with 7lbs birds we'll have meat for a few days of just the one animal, so the whole it's-so-much-work-for-1-dinner argument is put to rest!  :yum:

I've ordered a few books of amazon and have been trawling the internet, too - can't wait, now!


Eve  :wave:

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 08:55:26 am »
We got 12 Hubbard day olds last night. They will be ready to kill at about 12 weeks. I paid £1.50 per bird. This tme I'm going to keep a note of inputs. The Hubbard is a hybrid; we raise them in a pen outside (once they are feathered) but not a huge pen, but they are on grass. We've had them before and the flavour has been very good.

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2010, 09:18:21 am »
Rosemary, what weight are these birds approx when ready? 12 weeks in a smallish pen sounds good, as I'm the kind of person who likes to do a small scale trial run first - we can try those big 7lbs afterwards, hubby got all dreamy-eyed when he saw those!  :yum:

And after 12 weeks our lawn still has enough time to recover next spring  ;D


Eve  :wave:

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2010, 11:09:27 am »
so at what age would light sussex or buff O boys fed on growers pellets be ready for the table?

I kill the first ones at 20 weeks and keep the rest for another couple of months, they have the best flavour.

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2010, 11:11:58 am »
Castle Farm, they look seriously good birds. Whereabouts are you and do you sell hatching eggs?

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2010, 11:13:41 am »
Just seen that you are in Hay-on-Wye, if you have some hatching eggs I will collect.

fiatmillie1969

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Cornwall
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 12:04:21 pm »
Hi there, i've kept table birds 4 two years now this is how i do it.

I buy in 25 birds at 2/3 weeks off heat coz i dont have heat facilities, costs vary hubbards £1.49 each and cornish game cross £2.45 each and French sasso £2.00 each.

I keep them in a house on stilts and in an enclosure 10x5 metres grassed with gooseberry bushes and a large tree.

I have a chap come to despatch and dress the birds ready for the oven, this costs £3 per bird.

I kill the cockerals at around 10/11 weeks and the hens at 13/14 weeks, they are super tasty and each breed is slighty different in taste bloody beautiful, nothing like the tastless supermarket rubbish thats injected with water, yuck!

Hope this helps

Shell from Cornwall. :chook:

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Birds for the table
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 12:39:48 pm »
Just seen that you are in Hay-on-Wye, if you have some hatching eggs I will collect.

Bit late for hatching eggs, but I have loads of growers available.
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

 

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