Dual Purpose

Discussion in 'Meat Chickens' started by Apyl, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    I know there are breeds that provide more meat but I prefer using Dual purpose birds for my meat birds. We have butchered Production reds, Barred Rock, Andalusian, and Delaware. Of these breeds I personally feel the Delaware and Barred Rock was easiest to pluck. The Production Reds were scrawny, and the Andalusain had lots of hairs under the feathers. Here we use the hatchet method, I stick two nails in a log just wide enough to hold the head, pull the legs back and whack the head off. From there we pluck, gut, and wash. I know alot of people dip their chickens in very hot water before plucking but I do things old school and with costing the least amount. I dont want to buy all kinds of equiptment when I can butcher , pluck, clean ect by hand for free. My kids also help with butchering, we only do a couple roosters at a time and the kids help pick out who's next and pluck. I use ziplock freezer bags as my choice for storing and have not had a problem yet.

    So does anyone else prefer non meat breeds?

    Here is a pic of our very first butcher ( Delaware) lol He was butchered at 17 weeks old due to a leg injury. My husband got a little hatchet happy with the wings so thats why they look a little weird lol
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenAdmin

    ChickenAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    I've never done the water bath method, bu I've been told it makes it a lot easier.
     

  3. SamyIsh

    SamyIsh New Member

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    Any difference in taste between dual purpose birds and something like a Cornish cross?
     
  4. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    Personally I have never tried a farm fresh cornish cross. Since my family doesnt really like breast meat and the cornish is bred to have large double breasts I didnt find the need to try them out. Plus I have heard the crosses and pretty messy and stinky. With mine I let them free range with the rest until butcher time.
     
  5. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    Buckeyes are an excellent dual purpose fowl and super meat bird....they were even promoted by Chef Emeril Lagasse on one of his programs as the BEST tasting Heritage chicken available (below is a link to one of Emeril's video recipes for the Buckeye)!!! Because it takes 19-20 weeks for a Buckeye to fully mature into a good market size (some people butcher them as early as 16 weeks) they do tend to have a better taste than an 8 week old farm raised cornish cross. The obvious disadvantage to raising ANY Heritage breed for meat is the longer time to maturity (increased cost) but the major advantage is better taste....these are the type of chickens you Great Grandma cooked on Sunday if she lived on the farm!

    http://planetgreen.discovery.com/videos/emeril-green-preserved-lemon-bricked-chicken.html
     
  6. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    I believe the Cornish X get a bad rap. While I agree that the more heritage breeds that are used the better for chickens as a whole, there is a time and place for the hybrids. We ordered Cornish X this year and they turned out really well. They were fed every other day and I had them outside ranging with the rest of the flock. They are pretty funny to watch, especially when they are trying to figure out how to act like a "normal" chicken. We are using Red Star cockerels this time round, as we transition to heritage breeds for both eggs and meat. I would recommend the hybrids to novice keepers who want to have meat on the table with excellent food/meat conversion rates. As for taste, my kids love our chickens over anything from the store. I anticipate that will be the same as we experiment with different breeds.
     
  7. Riverdale

    Riverdale New Member

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    Well, maybe a *little*

    "Stewart" was a cornish X that weighed out at 14lb dressed.

    He was tasty. :D
     
  8. power

    power New Member

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    Dual purpose birds are those that are not real good for eating or laying.
    They can't compete with the egg layers or the meat birds.
    If you don't need that many eggs and don't care about eating them they are the ones for you.
    If you want eggs or meat they are not for you.
     
  9. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    In an egg production or an 8 week meat production "contest" I will agree with you, power. However, you are missing the real benefits of "dual purpose"....they ARE some VERY good egg layers, my Buckeyes will lay 220-230 eggs a year and even more importantly they lay ALL WINTER (try getting a leghorn to lay in the winter without a heated building and artificial lighting!). If you live in a northern climate a dual purpose fowl like the Buckeye will give eggs when many of the "egg breeds" wont!

    As far as meat is concerned, I will match one of my 18 week old Buckeyes against ANY 8 week old Cornish X in a taste contest anyday of the week....both birds will come in at the same dressed weight and the breast will be just as plump, too! We breeders of "Dual Purpose" know it will cost us a little more to grow them but the flavor is worth the wait. If you WANT eggs and meat Dual Purpose fowl are the birds for you!

    I think the "meat" birds, i.e. the Cornish X have a place in the food production industry or for those interested in short term gains....they grow extremely fast and can produce a lot more meat in a very short period of time. For people who don't want to raise "meat" birds all summer a Cornish X is the perfect solution. Without the Cornish X we wouldn't have KFC or McNuggets!!! (well we would still have them but they would cost 3X if the chickens were slower growers)
     
  10. Riverdale

    Riverdale New Member

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    You answered better than I could Jeff.

    I might have to try some Buckeyes next year (and being a U of M football fan, that truely concerns me) :p:D
     
  11. Riverdale

    Riverdale New Member

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    Scalding the bird makes plucking alot easier. About half the time, we skin the chickens.
     
  12. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    Researching on which breeds to have for specific purposes brought me to the same conclusion. It comes down to which variables each of us wants to take into consideration when determining what is the best breed of bird for our individual situations. Statements that paint a broad stroke on either side of the argument miss the point entirely. If my only concern was feed efficiency in a meat bird, then the X cross would be the one to with. I may not meet the same low cost of a major grower, but it will fit my desire for a constant source of meat in a short time. The same with a dedicated egg laying breed. However, the decision to find a good dual purpose breed is aknowledging that compromises are necessary. Otherwise, stick with two flocks. Overall, my desire to keep a mixed flock fulfills the needs of my family within acceptable compromises.
     
  13. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    Well said!!!:)
     
  14. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    There might be hope for you then, Riverdale....Go Bucks!!! :D
     
  15. mossflower

    mossflower New Member

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    Thanks for the pictures. I had heard that these were nice meat birds, but had never had the opportunity to check them out. They do look nice!
     
  16. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

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    Reviving an OLD thread....as a Buckeye breeder for over a decade I too raise this "Dual Purpose" fowl for both eggs and meat! Our Buckeye cockerels can be butchered at 17-18 weeks and our pullets are generally laying eggs at 18-20 weeks of age, too. If you are thinking about MEAT birds for 2013 consider some of the American breeds like the Buckeye, Delaware or Barred Plymoth Rock and you may NEVER go back to those bland "cornish cross" FREAKS!:D
     
  17. DebFred

    DebFred New Member

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    Ohio Birds

    Hi All.

    We live in the Cincinnati area of Ohio. No chicks yet. Plan on them in a few months. I want to start with about 6 or so. For eggs, but the ultimate reason is for meat.

    Some recommend Buckeyes, RIR, and Barred Rocks.

    Input?

    Deb of DebFred
     
  18. viper1

    viper1 New Member

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    Well

    The more I read and learn the more heritage breeds are sounding good. I was going to build a small coop to make things easy. But see where a bigger coup and run may be beneficial. My wife is starting to come on board and I like some of her ideas. but looking more like a 48 sq ft coop and a run of my choice up to 1000 ft.
    So My idea was get some Buckeyes and assorted hens and maybe a few Cornish x to get some meat started till the others get bigger. Figure with more birds food costs will arise but selling some eggs may actually make up for that. Coup would be inside the barn saving money also.
    She would like brown and white eggs. So along with the buckeyes would be good choices. Do most breeds tend to get along. Heard so much about the Buckeye it just has to be one type.
    So am i figuring ok or not.
    Oh also want all year layers that can take the Ohio heat and cold. I think i was told Buckeyes would.
    Also with the extended room could I maintain a flock by adding a couple roosters?
     
  19. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    You can ask ten different people that have chickens and get 10 different answers. :D

    I like the dominique, no matter how many birds I try ... I always come back to them.

    Best of luck!
     
  20. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Part of the fun is deciding on a breed and then seeing how they work for you. Might want to give yourself a little variety. Meyers hatchery has a brown egg layers collection or a white egg layers collection that gives you 1 of each type of 6 brown or white egg layers. That might be fun for your first go round. Just a suggestion. They are also selling whatever's left for $1.45 a chick. That's a great deal and you might be very pleasantly surprised. I swore I'd never own a Silkie and now I have two breeding pairs. Go figure. I wanted buff orps?!?!?! So have some fun with this is my best advice.