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    1. #1
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      janedoe's Avatar
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      Considering butchering birds.

      For the first time, I'm actually wondering if I should just kill a couple and see what they taste like. I am so frustrated. About a year ago, I picked up six Production Reds at a local feed store. Horrible birds. Two died as soon as they started laying. They are bred to lay like maniacs and are known for being cannibals in commercial settings but that's what they had and I rationalized that if they had plenty of space and plenty of food, they'd be fine.

      I could not have been more wrong. A few months ago, three of them turned on the fourth. Backed her into a corner and wouldn't let her move. I left it alone for two days to see if they could work it out because this was the most aggressive bird I have ever had but she was getting bloody so I put her in a crate in the basement where she recovered and lays a really nice large egg every day. But she is vicious. I have to wear gloves and push her to the back with a pail to get into the crate. Even then she's gotten in a couple of pecks that removed whole chunks of skin. Named her EB, short for Evil Bird.

      In the meantime, the other three stopped laying. Completely. Put all of my birds in the basement because of the extreme cold, each group in a separate crates. Almost immediately two of the PR's turned on the third. Today I had to pull her out. Again, not letting her eat or drink and she was getting bloody.

      It's all well and good in the basement. I have a million crates from transport days but they're going back out next week and there's nowhere to put the single birds. This one I just separated out will be useless if she doesn't start to lay again. And she's probably going to get aggressive too. Just ridiculous. Never again with the Production Reds. Never.

      Hope she's tasty.

    2. #2
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      SunDance's Avatar
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      Alfred Hitchcock's face just drifted across my brain...
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      Sunnie: gotcha day 03/08/09; birth unknown but given 07/01/02

      Danny: The Sundance Kid....Sunnie's boy....birth 03/31/09 (in my living room)

      Barb (ID formerly "Baffle")

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    4. #3
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      You're right Barb. They're possessed. I actually took EB outside so she could get some me time and I swear that bird started flying up to chest level and going at me. Over and over again. There's a wounded coyote hanging out in our neighbor's field. I'm taking bets that EB would win that fight.

    5. #4
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      I'd send her to freezer camp for sure.

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    7. #5
      Best Friend Retriever
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      At the very least they’d be good for making chicken soup. I grew up on a farm where laying hens were our main source of income. They were in cages, all 7000 of them. Very rarely did one reach out and peck us. Pretty docile overall. When it was time to get a new flock we’d get a few birds for stewing. Seemed to remember them being okay, not much meat.



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    9. #6
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      I bet they are delicious.

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    11. #7
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      At the end of a long, very difficult, stressful day at work, I just smiled! The images of what you describe running through my mind....to include you enjoying a tasty dinner of fresh chicken. :-)

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    13. #8
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      Never had chickens turn on me like that. A local egg farm gave me a dozen layers and I also had bantams. Not the turkeys, they were horribly aggressive, especially the toms. They all ended up in the stew pot.
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    15. #9
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      Oh wow. I messed up. It's just one bird but she was recruiting everyone else. She went after the only one left so I took her out, put the more docile bird back in with the number two bird and I'm going to try to incorporate EB back in with those when I put them back outside next week. That one bird though is not compatible with anyone. I was blindsided by the fact that she wasn't going after me. Need to pay more attention in the future.

    16. #10
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      We butchered one of our birds who seemed to be the one who was 'not fitting in' with the flock, and she also wasn't laying very consistent eggs. She was about a year old and the meat was really tough. Silver Laced Wyandotte, more of an egg bird than a meat bird. Ended up stewing her. I think if we end up butchering any others they'd be used for dog food - they're just not meat varieties, and getting older.

      Our rooster (Rhode Island Red) has turned into a giant jerk, if he didn't take care of the ladies so well when they were out free ranging he'd be next for the stew pot. But it's so cute to watch him herd his ladies under the bushes and trees when a hawk flies overhead. And I'm pretty sure the only reason the pesky badger hasn't gotten to the chickens is because of big mean old Pickles the Roo.

      But we never got the birds for meat, we got them for eggs and entertainment. The cattle, however....oh boy are they delicious. Processed three of our grass fed/grass finished six in September and it's been the best beef I've had.
      Mighty Thor, "So Much Dog", born 1/6/2014
      And baby Barley, born 3/9/2018


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