Yes it had to come. We have started to butcher the extra Roosters. 70% of the Buckeyes seem to be roosters, closer to 60% of the Australorps and about 55% of the Buff's.
We butchered 7 roosters two weeks ago to work our new system and it went well. I canned 5 Buckeyes and the 2 Australorpe's went into the deep freeze as roasters. It was experimental all around as I had not canned chicken before.
This post will give you a better evaluation of the bird quality. No Buff's yet, they are just a bit too gangly yet but today's results are a good mix of Buckeye and Australorp.
-Easy to pluck
-Very good breast meat for a Heritage breed.
-Nice sized carcass
-Overall a good bird.
-Not so easy to pluck, More tightly feathered- I had to rescald a couple of them and two had wing feathers that simply refused to come out.
-Nice color to the skin but more orange than white.
-Longer leg bones than the Australorp and a more immature carcass.[ We know they mature physically slower than the Australorp but they mature hormonally about the same]
- More muscle over the back than the Australorp but not quite as balanced a carcass.
- Decent size but the Buckeyes we butchered were the smaller misfits and bad footed roosters.
- Overall decent birds but they do need more time to grow into their legs and bone structure.
These birds have not been pushed with confinement and heavy feed, they run around all over the place and supplement their diet with grass and all sorts of things. We feed them squash and table scraps. Both breeds had a good amount of fat, not globs but enough to show they were healthy and doing well despite not being fed commercial finishing ration. The leg meat is quite dark as they are very active and this may not suit everyone's taste. I do know they are good dual purpose farm chickens but they do NOT look like store chicken with the body builder heavy breast meat.
3 of the Australorp are going to the deep freeze for roasting chicken. The rest of the 15 birds we did have been hot packed into 12 pints of meat. There is a lot of broth/stock in process with the bones. [ I suspect in excess of 12 quarts] and we will have chicken soup for supper.
So the evaluations continue. At this point we still have to butcher some of the Buff roosters, I suspect this will come about next week. In my honest opinion of these two breeds at this point in time the Australorp are the better farm chicken if you want to butcher them with lower inputs on a quicker time frame.
I am canning and making both bone broth and stock as I write this and the chicken looks good and the smell of stock fills the house.
Oh I also saved the feet, I have never used them for broth but I have read so much about how good broth made from feet is I have got to try it. I will say the Buckeye have the biggest feet and heaviest legs. They are a bright yellow, the Australorp feet look like they were the inspiration for Dinosaur coloration in Jurassic park....a very interesting black legs with creamy white soles.
Has anyone out there made broth with feet before?
Take care everyone and God Bless you all.