Buff Orpingtons for meat

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Someone had mentioned before that they butcher their Buffs---about how long does it take to get them to butcher size? Do they dress easily, taste good?

I'd like to get some hens this spring, and was curious if it was worth getting straight runs.

-- Tracy (zebella@mindspring.com), January 23, 2002


I have raised Buffs. They are one of my favorite breeds. I have ordered the straight run heavy layers. I ended up with a good mix of breeds. The extra roosters were butchered earlier but I can't remember how long it took them to get large enough. But I do remember how easy they were to dress. Very few pin feathers and the dressed out bird was beautiful. By far the best looking that I have done. I really hate dressing the black breeds. They are much harder to get clean. I like my buff hens also. Mine have been very gentle and are beautiful birds. The one I have left hatched out some chicks last fall. I keep her for that purpose and that my daughter loves her too. I am sure she is not laying enough to pay her way, but maybe we will get spring chicks.

-- Susan D (mdefran@cei.net), January 23, 2002.

Hi Tracy! The Buffs are great for meat, as Susan said. I think they are my favorites too. They dress out nice, they are really gentle birds, and they make good mothers. They don't grow as fast as a meat chicken (cornish rocks), but they should be ready to clean in about 12 weeks. If you don't like to pluck feathers, try skinning them. Good luck!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), January 23, 2002.

I have to agree with Susan & cowgirlone, their one of my favorites and butcher nicely. But fair warning, they are so gentle and so tame sometimes its hard to butcher certain ones!! Very broody, with nice large brown eggs.

-- Suzanne (weir@frontiernet.net), January 23, 2002.

I haven't butchered yet, but am wondering not if I'm up to killing them, but how in the world I will catch them. I'm not good at that. I've heard there are these long wire things that you can use to grab their feet. Anyone use these? Any sneaking up on a chicken tips?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), January 23, 2002.

I always catch mine in the henhouse in the morning before I open up the house for the day. You have them somewhat corraled then. It takes some work and quick action and I like my husband to help. I catch them, he puts them in the crate.

-- Nancy (nannyb@huntel.net), January 23, 2002.

Ann, I have one of those metal hooks, works pretty well. I use it when they are all running around-they get pretty upset. It's easier catching them when they are sleeping for the night or like Nancy said, first thing in the morning. Just pick one up while it's roosting and lock it away until time to clean. Suzanne is right, sometimes it's hard to pick one to butcher, they are so gentle. Good luck!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), January 23, 2002.

Wow, thanks for all the replies. I was wondering if it was worth the effort to butcher them, sounds like it is. I was thinking about buying an incubator, and then thought why spend that much when I can just get some Buff hens to sit the eggs!

-- Tracy (zebella@mindspring.com), January 23, 2002.

I'm not sure what we did different or wrong but we had a buff rooster that was very aggressive and got butchered, and that was the dang greasiest, fattiest bird! We butchered 5 that day and the buff was the only one like that. Makes for a slippery little bugger of a carcass! Got him in the freezer now so I can't testify as to taste.

-- Susan/MO (smtroxel@socket.net), January 23, 2002.

It's by far easiest to catch chickens at night. Failing that, I go out to the henhouse, standing near a corner, facing the corner, and drop a handful of corn at my feet. When the chickies gather round to grub, I reach down and get the one I want. It helps if they're not too flighty, but Buffs generally aren't.

-- Laura Jensen (lauraj@seedlaw.com), January 23, 2002.

We use an old long-handle fish landing net to catch chickens.It's best to catch them the day before and put them in a coop without feed for awhile.Makes cleaning them a bit less messy.

-- VickiP. (countrymous@webtv.net), January 23, 2002.

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