• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Cuckoo Marans for dual purpose?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cuckoo Marans for dual purpose?

    I'm toying with adding these to my home flock. The hatchery catalog says they're a decent dual purpose bird.

    Anyone buy straight run and raise the males as broilers/fryers?

    Do tell. Thanks.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

  • #2
    I haven't had them.. but I have friends who do. They are the awesomest birds. IF you want to raise a few (so you don't need to buy them every year.. her's are really unbroody, so she uses Partridge Cochins are the "broodmares"... lol...). She also has Barnevelders. Both are dual purpose, and lay very very dark brown eggs. She has a few Wyandottes too, and they are a nice dual purpose breed (she has the Columbian and the Silver somethings). They lay a lighter brown egg. I love them. She also has Heritage turkeys.. they are the coolest. (she got the bourbon reds and the royal palms..).
    "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

    Comment


    • #3
      Can only tell you about the hens. I have 4 that we bought from a neighbor getting rid of their chickens. They are easy to work around, not terribly skittish. Ours are not as friendly as our other hens but we got them as adults and I suspect they were not handled much (most of our other hens are almost lap chickens). Good production of very large, very dark brown (really pretty!) eggs, and they have been laying well even in winter. They are decent sized birds (just a hair smaller than our Brahma hens, a little bigger than our Orpingtons and Delawares), so I suspect they would be good dual purpose birds.

      We are just going to get some straight run Cornish crosses for meat this spring, as I think our flock of hens is complete for the moment, until some get old enough to stop/slow down their egg production.

      We have LOTS of heritage breeds, so feel free to PM me if you have questions about other breeds. I just might have some... yea, we have too many chickens!

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html ( I had been looking when I posted earlier, and couldn't find this).

        Here is a listing of the "rare/heritage" (whichever term you prefer) breeds. My friend got most of her birds from three sources.. www.darkeggs.com, Sandhill Preservation (they have a website), and then a commercial place (starts with an S, and i can't think of it). She wanted to try to get a good assortment of blood lines in their. The best came from darkeggs and sandhill, but the others were good too.
        "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got a heritage breed - Buckeyes. They are a dual-purpose chicken. However, they are very, very slow maturing birds. If I remember correctly they aren't ready for the freezer until they are well past the 24 week mark. I've got 3 older hens and 4 pullets - and a runt roo. The pullets just turned 14 weeks old and I surely don't see them laying until late spring, early summer at the earliest.

          Have ya seen this chart? http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenders.../chooks.html#m
          "Concern for animals is a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done." Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811-1896

          Ponies are cool!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks!

            Are you thinking of Stromberg's perhaps? I used them last year. I received very healthy vigorous chicks.

            I'm a big fan of the albc.

            I'm pretty sure turkeys are going to be on my order this year, too. Just need to set aside a separate area for them and throw together a proper roost.

            I'll definitely go with heritage breeds.

            EL - I'd forgotten about that chart! Thanks. So you like the Buckeyes even though they are slow maturing? I guess I could extend the insect control by adding a slower maturing breed that would be free ranging when the other birds are put up?

            I'm trying to stay with breeds that are really good foragers and can handle temperature extremes. So far my flock has handled high heat and extreme cold very well, though I did do things like fans, add ice to water, and (against my better judgment), heat lamps when it was below 0 degrees. No sickness, no weight loss or heat/cold stress. Whew.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

            Comment


            • #7
              So how do you prepare your birds for the freezer? I grew up on a small farm; dad chopped their heads off; Mom & I dunked them in boiling water, plucked them, cleaned them & cut them up. I have no desire to do any of that. Is there someone who will do it for you or is there some less messy way that has been invented in the last 40 years? I would love to eat free-range, homegrown chickens if I could sort of catch them & toss them in the automatic chicken processor & have them humanely treated & come out the other end ready to cook or freeze.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                You and me both!

                I'm afraid the process is generally the same as it was when you and I were kids. The only thing I did differently was use killing cones. We made them ourselves and it is SO much easier - especially on the bird. We killed only two at a time (at the same time). No stress, no spatter. I'd be happy to describe exactly how we process the birds but I think some folks get really upset. So I won't volunteer details unless asked.

                I let our neighbor hunt deer on our farm and in return he gives us apples and stuff like that. He came over, and brought a friend who owed him a favor. So it was kind of a party. Guess that sounds odd! You know the old saying, "Many hands make light work"

                Maybe you could find a local that you could pay to come over and process the birds? Or maybe just help your process them?

                If you want to take a look at those killing cones - I think hatcheries sell them. Those things really make a tremendous difference.

                Originally posted by Evalee Hunter View Post
                So how do you prepare your birds for the freezer? I grew up on a small farm; dad chopped their heads off; Mom & I dunked them in boiling water, plucked them, cleaned them & cut them up. I have no desire to do any of that. Is there someone who will do it for you or is there some less messy way that has been invented in the last 40 years? I would love to eat free-range, homegrown chickens if I could sort of catch them & toss them in the automatic chicken processor & have them humanely treated & come out the other end ready to cook or freeze.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would love to hear the details on how you process them. You can PM me if it's too gory. I live in the suburbs, but my friend "boards" my chickens w/her flock. This is our first foray into it, and my 5 meat birds have had their numbers come up, as soon as I can get up the nerve and the temperatures stay above 20 degrees. I actually have 4 cuckoo marans in my little flock, and the two roosters certainly look big enough to be used for meat. It hadn't occurred to me to buy them specifically for that, but if we try to raise them, I'm sure we'll end up eating any roosters that we end up with. My friend does pretty much all of the care of them, but she likes their temperments. They just started laying, and the eggs are definately cool.

                  I have some barred rocks, and those are the ones that I am really hoping to raise as dual purpose. I also have two of the aracaunas, too, plus the 5 cornish ones. I will probably end up sticking with the barred rocks and the marans, but my friend and I got a little carried away with the chicken catalog I intended to get 2 or 3 hens...I called my DH later to tell him we got a few extra chickens. He warily asked "How many chickens do we have?" (umm, 14)

                  It has definately been a fun project. It is so neat to go out there and find an actual egg! That didn't even come from the store! My husband just build them a cool "chicken high rise" nest box with 10 nest spots and a couple of roost/perch things.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Strombergs, that was it. She had also used McMurray in the past, but she went with Strombergs, Sandhill, and Darkeggs last year. The chicks were healthy from all 3, but after they grew up.. the ones from the latter two were just a better quality, vs the standard, which is important when helping to preserve the rarer breeds
                    "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                      Thanks!

                      Are you thinking of Stromberg's perhaps? I used them last year. I received very healthy vigorous chicks.

                      I'm a big fan of the albc.

                      I'm pretty sure turkeys are going to be on my order this year, too. Just need to set aside a separate area for them and throw together a proper roost.

                      I'll definitely go with heritage breeds.

                      EL - I'd forgotten about that chart! Thanks. So you like the Buckeyes even though they are slow maturing? I guess I could extend the insect control by adding a slower maturing breed that would be free ranging when the other birds are put up?

                      I'm trying to stay with breeds that are really good foragers and can handle temperature extremes. So far my flock has handled high heat and extreme cold very well, though I did do things like fans, add ice to water, and (against my better judgment), heat lamps when it was below 0 degrees. No sickness, no weight loss or heat/cold stress. Whew.
                      I have Wyandottes. They handle the cold well and love to free range. I haven't seen how they do with our extreme heat yet. They have been through high teens to 20s with out a problem and no heat lamp.
                      No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evalee Hunter View Post
                        So how do you prepare your birds for the freezer? I grew up on a small farm; dad chopped their heads off; Mom & I dunked them in boiling water, plucked them, cleaned them & cut them up. I have no desire to do any of that. Is there someone who will do it for you or is there some less messy way that has been invented in the last 40 years? I would love to eat free-range, homegrown chickens if I could sort of catch them & toss them in the automatic chicken processor & have them humanely treated & come out the other end ready to cook or freeze.

                        We have several poultry processing plants near us that do people's homegrown chickens. The closest one charges $3 a bird. Having done our own for the first time last year, I will DEFINITELY be springing for the professionals this year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pony89 View Post
                          I would love to hear the details on how you process them.

                          My husband chopped their heads off, then we hung them on the gate and let them bleed into a bucket. Then we took them up to the house, where I had a large cauldron of hot water going outside, over a propane burner. Dip the chicken in the water, swirl it around, take it out and try pulling some feathers out. If they don't come out easily, dip some more. We hung them on the washing line and plucked them there. A small propane torch passed quickly over the body will get rid of little fuzzy bits. Took a while before I could use that line for laundry again... Hubby took off their heads and feet and handed them to me for gutting. You cut a slit in between their legs, reach your hand in, get a good grip, and pull. Then you sit down for a while and try not to throw up, before moving on to the next bird. Rinse inside and out, and you're done. If you really want them, you can fish out the heart and liver and stuff, but by that time, I had had quite enough of guts. The dog got the lot.

                          It is important to let them sit in the fridge for at least a day before freezing or eating them. That relaxes the meat.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You probably wont be very satisfied using a breed like a barred rock or cuckoo maran for dual purpose. They take too long to get to meat size, and get tough. The birds that are bred strictly for meat, such as the cornish crosses, or colored rangers, are ready for processing at 8 to 10 weeks; they will have good size and be tender. They are definitely worth getting if you want to put birds in the freezer. The dual purpose birds really arent, unless you dont mind cooking for a long time in a crock pot. The meat chicks are amazing critters, you can practically watch them grow.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              But once you've seen a real chicken, it is incredibly depressing to watch a meat bird struggle through its short, fat, exhausting life. We raised meat birds one year. Yes, they make better eating than the Barred Rocks and RIR that we've raised before, but is it worth it, to know that the bird you are eating could hardly support itself on its own legs? Also, they're prone to falling over dead at random, due to their organs being too small to pump blood to their genetically enhanced gargantuan muscles.

                              I'll take the tough, scrawny one, thanks.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                How long does it take you to butcher one? When I helped my friend with one, it took about an hour (we are definate newbies, though!) and I started fantasizing about going to the grocery store and picking up a nice shrink wrapped one for 5 bucks. Will it get better? Is there any cost/effort savings at all besides knowing that your chicken had a happy life before going to the great freezer in the sky?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If you butcher them yourself, there is definitely a cost savings. I've never added it up, but day old chicks of a boring variety are $1-2. Depending on your local feed prices, you'll put about a couple of dollars worth of food into it before you slaughter it. If you're a newbie, and you consider paying yourself for the time that it takes to slaughter them, definitely not worth it. We did five chickens in four hours. My farrier can do five chickens in an hour, so her cost per bird is considerably less!

                                  Our grocery store birds are $9-10, so it probably comes out about even for us to send them out to be slaughtered. The added bonus of knowing what they ate and the conditions in which they were raised makes it worth it to us.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    You need to come visit me! An hour?

                                    Lemme tell you about the butchering day at our place.

                                    I got up, did my morning chores, hooked up my trailer, grabbed a horse out of the field, groomed him, tacked up, loaded, went hunting. Hung around at the tailgate, drove home, cleaned up my horse, cleaned tack, finished up barn chores.

                                    Went up to the house and changed clothes.

                                    Prepared for butchering. On one side - the butchering, scalding and plucking area. On the other side - processing. Bleach and bleach spray and sharp knives at the ready.

                                    The night before I had marked which chickens were to be processed. I locked everyone up with only water - so their intestines were empty by processing time. (important safety precaution for us)

                                    The killing cones were hung from the front loader on the tractor. Made out of spare sheet metal - they help ensure a quick kill, no blood spatter, and the bird is also VERY calm when you put them in. Underneath the cones were lined trash cans.

                                    I caught the chickens and handed them to my husband - he put them in the cones. He and a neighbor killed them. (I don't mind doing it but it was faster if I caught them, handed them off, and then wham - done) After they bled out, we scalded them (it was next to the killing cones) then brought them back to where the trash cans were and quickly plucked them. This only took a few seconds per bird.

                                    Put them in a lined trash can with ice water with a bit of bleach added. Repeated until all the birds were done. Didn't take long at all.

                                    Then we prepared to process - of course washing our hands with hot soapy water first. (The table had everything laid out - so that the bodies and contents were never close together. Quickly gutted and the bodies put in another trash can filled with icy water. (it's important to cool the body quickly). Every few birds we did a quick rinse of the table and knives with bleach water. Purely precautionary on our part - it was a warm day for October! Basically two people did the work and two sat around and talked. Then they'd complain and we'd switch then we'd complain and switch back. But basically it was a two person job if you omit the complaining and standing around talking.

                                    I brought the cooled birds into the house and placed them in our fridge and covered them with damped flour sack toweling.

                                    Went back outside and cleaned everything up. Ended up with two small trash bags. Cleanup took about 10 minutes.

                                    I did not keep the heads and legs for soup, nor did I keep the crop. Some people use that for soup, and the crop is evidently good for some recipe. I wasn't interested and my relatives said I'd been wasteful. I agree but everyone has their limits.

                                    Late that evening we vacuum sealed them. Normally we'd have waited until the next morning but I needed the fridge space.

                                    I think from start to finish it only took a few hours. It's all about having a good process and everything set up logically. Food safety is important but is accomplished (this is only my opinion!) with making sure they have not eaten anything, ensuring the killing and plucking area is a bit separate from the cutting area, making sure the bodies are cooled quickly, and you keep some bleach or other disinfectant around.

                                    The greatest improvement, to me, was the killing cone. It was much less stressful for the bird, and this is important to me. It was a quicker kill, no blood spatter, and processing time was cut significantly.

                                    Hope I haven't grossed anyone out. My poor dogs sat at the processing table the whole time - hoping we'd drop something. Normally I'd have composted the guts and whatnot - but was worried they'd dig it all up.

                                    I will not process anything at our place but poultry. Anything bigger than that is a damn mess and I did that when I was a kid and I'd rather have needles stuck in my eyes thank you very much!

                                    I can't help you on the cost/effort savings. Certainly if it's taking you that long it's a pretty hard sell.

                                    If you live near me you are welcome to visit us at our next butchering day. Before you get this vision in your head of a quaint farmstead, it's not. It's like an "anti-quaint farmstead". The animals live better than I do.

                                    Most important factors for me:

                                    Quality of life for the bird. These fellas spent their lives outdoors, put themselves to bed in the coop, lots of sunshine and scratching and dust baths. When I was canning, I'd throw the scraps outside and the entire flock would come running up for their treats. Unfortunately, every time I stepped outside I'd be mobbed by chickens. If I was empty handed - I was thoroughly scolded and lectured by them.

                                    Eggs - Bright orange, tasty, and for cooking - absolutely no comparison to store bought. Especially for pastries and breads.

                                    None of the birds I raised were tough but I may have just gotten lucky? The Australorps are downright mouth watering tasty tasty. But a bit more work to pluck.

                                    Humane death - this factor is arguable. For a vegetarian or vegan, even home raised and butchered is not humane and I respect their opinion. If I screw up - there is no USDA inspector to fine me or shut me down. If I abuse my birds - again - no film crews or jail time.

                                    All I can say is that my personal sense of ethics, my personal morals and sense of responsibility guide me. As does my insistence upon a good education in animal husbandry; including housing, nutrition, behavior, and welfare for the animals in my care.

                                    That may or may not be adequate depending on one's perspective and I don't know how to satisfy those people. Can't please everyone.



                                    Originally posted by pony89 View Post
                                    How long does it take you to butcher one? When I helped my friend with one, it took about an hour (we are definate newbies, though!) and I started fantasizing about going to the grocery store and picking up a nice shrink wrapped one for 5 bucks. Will it get better? Is there any cost/effort savings at all besides knowing that your chicken had a happy life before going to the great freezer in the sky?
                                    Last edited by JSwan; Jan. 26, 2009, 10:00 AM.
                                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                    -Rudyard Kipling

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      We go in halves with the guys that work for us. We raise 'em, they clean 'em and we split them. Everybody's happy.
                                      www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                                      Comment

                                      Working...
                                      X