Dual-purpose Chickens – 5 – Where’s the ‘beef’?

In fall of 2014 I decided I wanted to raise some dual-purpose chickens.  The main focus was on incubating my own birds to raise as “panfrys”, traditional meat birds frequently used in pan frying.  So how did the “panfrys” do?

IMG_0435

They were good foragers, which IMHO adds to the taste.  I don’t have hard numbers on how much they foraged vs feed,  but they were very light on the feed compared to normal meat birds.

 

The birds were an average of 2lb dressed weight at 13 weeks and 3lb average dressed weight at 16.  That compares to the size of 1950s US Broiler Performance.  Next year I’ll try and get hard numbers on the feed ratio.

 

One limitation is that I averaged 20 chicks per incubation cycle.  Since I don’t do a lot of processing myself and the processing place is 70 miles away, it’s better to have larger quantities.  It’s feasible to raise two cycles together; however, to get a minimum of 3lb dressed weight, the older cycle will be 19 weeks old.  Roosters fights may be a problem at that age.

 

I plan on continuing research into the dual breeds for meat.  Three pounds is an ok size, especially for a tasty bird.  Hatching our own birds cuts out some costs and I’ll work harder next year to get good numbers on the feed ratios to determine what the actual costs per pound are.

-Jason

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