Meat Birds

The dorking are a good dual purpose breedWe have been growing on our heavy breed cockerels for some time now and processing them for the table. They make an excellent table bird. Our cockerels have had the opportunity to free range: they run around developing muscle and graze on nature’s offerings of bugs, worms and lots of greens. When they get to a good size and have had a good life (8 to 10 months) we prepare them for the crock pot or the freezer. They make a delicious meal and the following night we have chicken soup for dinner. Homegrown chicken cannot be compared to the tasteless, white watery chicken bought at the supermarket. The meat is full of goodness, darker in colour and rich in nutrients and flavour.

We are finding more people are enquiring about growing on their cockerels for the table. Keeping a pen of cockerels alongside your layer flock is a good way of running birds for both meat and eggs.  Unfortunately crowing cockerels cannot be kept in town so this is a practice best left to lifestyle farmers. Each season when you hatch out your chicks, approximately half with be pullets (your future layers) and the rest will be cockerels (your table birds). This is how man has done it for centuries but modern man and his obsession with mass production and cheap food has lost sight of natural processes and quality food. Eating chicken that has been grown naturally under the sun in a happy healthy environment will be much better for you nutritionally than commercially grown chicken. We recommend rhode island reds, sussex, dorking and plymouth rocks as ideal table birds.

For more information on meatbirds read our newsletter.
Good housekeeping and raising your own meat birds.