01 April 2015

Eggs and meat

For the month of March, we had 74 eggs laid ... possibly one or two more as Ninny's recent eggs have been breaking.  No layers were lost, and three of the four pullets started laying.  Not a single day did we come in completely empty-handed, and this past Monday we brought in five of the six eggs laid.

Yesterday's caponizing attempt went better than previous, and I have finally figured out where to cut.  All I needed to do was change my perspective to the opposite side of the bird, then it was clear as day.  Yesterday's tally is one dinner and one partial-capon.  It's progress!  The first cockerel jerked when I was about to snip the membrane, and then the blood started gushing.  I had nicked the vena cava, and honestly it looked like he bled out faster than all the ones I cut the jugular.  The second one had one teste twice the size of the other, and twice the size of the other cockerel's, and when they start to grow large they don't hold together well.  Even though I think I fished out all the pieces, I could not locate the second teste afterwards.  That boy is relaxing by himself in the chicken hutch, and looks lazy until he sees me coming.

Oh, here is yesterday's bleed out cockerel, a red broiler from Ideal.  My opinion of these birds is still the same as it was at the beginning of March: not terrible, but really nothing to recommend them over any others (unless on a really good sale).  If you want a lot of meat and want it fast, stick to the Cornish crosses.  If you want slower but more flavorful meat, find a decent line of heritage dual purpose birds.  I can personally recommend Luanne of 8 Acres Farm in Alachua County - the lady from whom I am getting black phase Blue-Laced Red Wyandottes.  If you are local enough to pick up, she often has extra cockerels she'll sell as meaties.  I need to either fix my current digital scale, or buy one that won't need batteries.  I'd actually like to keep track of carcass weights as I go, especially when I start breeding my own birds.
carcass of almost 10 week old red broiler

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