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Author Topic: Table birds  (Read 9065 times)

Wildman

  • Joined Apr 2008
Table birds
« on: June 07, 2008, 12:25:19 pm »
Hi All, I keep about 58 ex bat hens that we see as pets that give us eggs. I am looking at keeping some chickens for meat (Table birds), can anyone tell me about this. How much they are to buy, what age, how long do you have to keep them etc. Any info would be a great help.
Than you
Voss Electric Fence

jacyjones

  • Joined Jun 2008
  • Aberystwyth, Mid Wales
Re: Table birds
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 03:36:53 pm »
We have tried to raise birds for meat but found this difficult. We bought 13 cobb cross ross birds at 5 weeks old and wanted to just kill when we needed to eat a chicken. However these birds are bred to mature very quickly and ate me out of house and home. they grew so fast we could not keep up and should have killed them all at the same time after 2 or 3 weeks. they were like turkeys and i found them quite scary when they charged at me for food. the meat was not good cos they are not meant to be free range and the legs were tough. I lost 2 straight away because their legs could not carry them. it was a disaster and put me off for good. I now buy happy free range birds from the farmer's market!!
I have made inquiries since and there are birds bred to grow slowly but they are expensive and not easy to get. i can't remember any names but poultry magazines do talk about them. I think to make it financially viable you would need to breed your own but that is not somethng we are set up for. Hope that helps.
Husband, 2 teenage daughters, 1 horse, 2 Springers, 2 White khaki campbells, 5 black rocks, 1 warren and 2 pet rats :)

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Table birds
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 05:54:12 pm »
I get day olds and raise them to about 14 weeks. Last lot I had were SASSOs and at the moment I have Hubberds. Very easy to keep, grow like mad and cost about 80p to buy!
Total costs work out around £9 per bird including killing, food etc
Mine came from Poulet Anglais
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Table birds
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 07:30:34 pm »
We bought 5 Hubbards at £1 each at a week old from a forum member who had a surplus. i think they came from Poulet Anglais originally. They were very ehalthy, grew like weeds and we killed them all at about 12 weeks and froze them. The meat is lovely. As birds they were pretty dull - eating and sh***ing seemed to be all they did, but boy, did they grow!

I'de definitely do it again - in fact sourcing more chicks is on my to do list.

Wildman

  • Joined Apr 2008
Re: Table birds
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 08:34:29 pm »
Thank you for that all of you. JACYJONES, sounds like you had it bad. Do you think if you killed at 2/3 weeks it would have been OK and worked out OK. WOLLYSHEPHARD, £9 PER BIRD, I have seen free range in the shop for £8. so it looks expensive to do. ROSE, what did you feed them on and how did you cost out in the end?. Thank you all again

jacyjones

  • Joined Jun 2008
  • Aberystwyth, Mid Wales
Re: Table birds
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 10:15:43 pm »
Yes - I think if we had killed after a couple of weeks it would have been ok. We were naive and wanted to keep them alive and happy, only using one when we wanted roast chicken. we went for the wrong breed and ended up with commercial birds that are designed to get big quick!! It taught us a lesson and we are now happy to keep our layers and enjoy their lovely eggs!! :D
Husband, 2 teenage daughters, 1 horse, 2 Springers, 2 White khaki campbells, 5 black rocks, 1 warren and 2 pet rats :)

Wildman

  • Joined Apr 2008
Re: Table birds
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 10:18:42 pm »
sounds good to me

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Table birds
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2008, 05:58:48 pm »
Thank you for that all of you.  WOLLYSHEPHARD, £9 PER BIRD, I have seen free range in the shop for £8. so it looks expensive to do.

The problem with raising at home versus supermarket freerange is scale!
A farmer raising 10,000 free range birds in a big unit gets to buy his feed in bulk at a fraction of the it costs me! Therefore it is going inevitably to cost me more.....however......my birds have more individual attention, I know exactly what they are fed, I can take them 10mins down the road to the poultry abattoir or kill them myself at home ............they have no packaging.....and I prefer to know the birds I rear really had a good life!

My costings include feed. cost of buying them and despatching at the abattoir, electricity etc it does not include my time!
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Wildman

  • Joined Apr 2008
Re: Table birds
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2008, 10:11:02 pm »
Thank you for that

 

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