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Author Topic: Chickens for meat - please help  (Read 5063 times)

CarolW

  • Joined Aug 2010
Chickens for meat - please help
« on: December 14, 2010, 08:48:06 pm »
We would like to start with meat birds but dont know where to start.  Should we buy fertilised eggs? or are chicks cheap (scuse the pun) enough ?
what do you feed them ? how long do you keep them before they are ready to do the deed? Can we keep them with our other chickens ? :-\  ???

One of our neighbours is a trained butcher and kindly offered to show me how to pull their necks when its time so I'm happy that I'll know what to do.




Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 09:26:29 pm »
We buy day-old Hubbards (a meat strain). They get chick crumbs to 7 weeks then grower pellets. They are under a lamp until feathered. We have a batch just now. Killed 5 cockerels at 10 weeks, weighed between 2.6 and 3.1kg dressed weight. The 5 hens and the remaining cockerel will be killed next week at 13 weeks. The hens aren't quite as big. We keep them separate from the other hens.

Consult the Humane Slaughter Association for humane methods of killing. We restrain them individually, then one shot to the head with a .22 airgun to concuss / kill then immediately sever the two arteries in the neck to bleed. We're going to try a cone restraint next time.

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 09:47:23 pm »
Rosemary, think ours are from the same batch but haven't dispatched any yet.  We tend to wait till we want to eat them; though with lamb, pork and beef not our own) in the freezer, god only knows when we'll get round to the chicken!

Do you just pop them in the freezer and bring them out as and when?

Can't imagine how I'd convince hubby to dispatch more than one at a time though!!

rbarlo32

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 09:13:24 am »
its easier to do them in batches after the first one you just do them. a lot easier than doing one at a time.

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 09:49:59 am »
Have a look at my web site it has some posts about breeding table birds.
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

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 03:56:45 pm »
are hubbards the same as sasso? do Day Olds arrive in post?

Bright Raven

  • Joined May 2010
  • North Shropshire
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 07:24:45 pm »
Hmmmm, there is lots of good advice on this subject.  I have gone for Barred Plymouth Rocks for my dual purpose birds. I also have a Jersey Giant Cockerell because I wanted to generate some good size table birds.
I haven't eaten a bad home reared bird yet and some have been of pretty dubious parentage. There are lots of breeds you can try, just take a shot at your best idea or a breed you fancy, see what happens.
Enjoy the journey, if it goes wrong then you learn and try something different next time.
Go for what you fancy. Have fun and good luck.
Julia xxx 3 acres and a day job!!!! Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Pigs, Veggies and Homebrew. Husband, son, pets, chutney and music.
If I am here it's because I am putting my feet up!

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 07:39:51 pm »
  I have gone for Barred Plymouth Rocks for my dual purpose birds.

what age / size do you do these?
we have 3 and I have my eye on the cockerel for a Sunday roast! I'm just not confident in knowing when he'll be ready...
Little Blue

Bright Raven

  • Joined May 2010
  • North Shropshire
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 08:14:14 pm »
I tend to dispatch after 24 weeks and pick them off two at a time one for Sunday dinner and one for a casserole and both for broth and stock. I pluck one and skin the other and prep the meat. The one with the biggest breast gets to be the roast. My policy is to eat them by volume. The loudest boys get eaten first. I don't let them get older than 10 months.

Check for breast meat by giving them a good fondle and imagining him on your plate! :yum:
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 08:16:35 pm by Bright Raven »
Julia xxx 3 acres and a day job!!!! Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Pigs, Veggies and Homebrew. Husband, son, pets, chutney and music.
If I am here it's because I am putting my feet up!

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 08:28:01 pm »
Check for breast meat by giving them a good fondle and imagining him on your plate! :yum:
;D ;D

Thanks Bright Raven   not really heard him crow, or any of the redcaps, they all kind of whistle & sing!
*off to check the diary for hatching dates*

Little Blue

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 10:31:36 pm »
My policy is to eat them by volume. The loudest boys get eaten first.  :yum:
lol   ;D :D ;D

CarolW

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 09:04:48 pm »
Thanks everyone, I am going to try & source some in the spring. :)

cluckingnuts

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • llyn peninsula
Re: Chickens for meat - please help
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2010, 12:08:43 pm »
I have a parent breeding flock of Hubbard Master Gris. As I'm now on my own + don't eat eggs, I've got rid of nearly all the egg laying breeds + half the dual utility.
I cross breeds such as Dorking, IG, Wyandotte to the Hubbard RBM hens and between them I can have birds ready for slaughter from 12 weeks on. All are free ranged and I have never had any problems with legs or heart.

 

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