The first Buff Orpingtons have made the grade.
Some Notes of Interest:
They may be a loose feathered breed but wow do they have a lot of feathers. One thing I noticed about them was the thicker feathered area on their Butts. The Buckeye had this too. These two breeds have fluffy bottoms that amuse us when the wind blows but when your cleaning them you see just why they are so fluffy and why the cold has almost no impact on them.
The Buff's are very pale skinned, not white like the Australorp but a pale cream.
They have good thighs and drumsticks but the breast area on these [smaller poorer conformation birds] that we butchered is shorter in length than the Australorp and Buckeye. Still they are also younger birds by nearly a month.
They averaged 4 pounds dressed. In fact the 30 birds we have done have averaged 4.75 pounds.
We were very pleased about that.
We can see why the Buff Orpington is so popular, they are beautiful, vigorous birds with a wonderful disposition and great maternal traits. They will also give you good table birds in cull roosters. They free range exceptionally well. The only drawback we have found is the young roosters when they start to reach puberty are awful, not people aggressive but all the other poultry is terrified of them including the turkeys. They will mount anything.
As to eating quality. We had a stew made with a Buckeye and it was really good. I used a 13 bean soup mix and my slow cooker with home canned stock and tomatoes. I used my own dehydrated onions, celery, carrots and turnips. Then I added some dehydrated mushrooms we bought at the Amish supermarket.The Chicken was exceptionally tender and had rich flavor.
I have been experimenting with broths and stocks. I learned that your not supposed to stir stock. I followed this guideline for the most part and I have some [well what I think] lovely clear stock from the Buffs. I have been canning the stock in both quarts and pints. I have also made some flavored stock with Mexican Spice I have for a spicier stock.
The chicken itself is going into quarts and pints as well, more quarts than pints. This mix of jar sizes should give us options when we use it.
Now back to the sweatshop....Ralph made a tactical error yesterday and lit the woodstove while I was canning......we had windows and doors open and it was still hot in here!
God Bless everyone and remember to learn new things and get your pantry filled with your own home grown goodness. It is good for you on so many levels aside from healthier food.
PS: if you notice in the photo I have an All American Canner. Ralph bought it for me when we were in Virginia. We bought the small one [910- 7 pints,4 quarts] for a number of reasons and I love it. However it is way too small to do this amount of canning and Ralph ordered the 930 [19 pints- 13 quarts] yesterday.