Anyone raise Delaware's for meat? They are supposed to be fast growing, but I don't want the usual broiler chicken. I wanted to see if anyone liked using this breed and how long they take to mature to butchering size. I also wanted to breed them since they are on the list for the conservancy. Since I don't mind getting straight run chicks for eating purposes. Plus, they are supposed to lay during the winter which would be nice.
Delaware Chickens for Meat
I don't have the breed. I have Orpingtons and Brahmas, which are quite large. Just wanted to put out there that straight run can be OK with dual purpose chickens, too. I have big breeds that lay decently, so I keep the girls and eat most of the boys. Roosters can taste just fine despite what some say!
We also don't happen to have that breed, but we do raise many others & incubate eggs to have new ones all year round. I just wanted to mention that if you keep a light in the chicken coop all winter, almost any good laying breed will lay all winter. :)
We eat all the roosters of any breed, ideally just about the time they start crowing. Once they've passed 6 mos of age they start to get tough (but are still fine for the stew pot). And then we eat the hens after they've been laying a few years (if we can keep track of which ones are the oldest!). We've not tried broilers yet.
The Jersey Giant & Buff Orpington roosters we've butchered have been huge!
I do love Buff Orpingtons, but they don't lay as well. Things to think about for sure. I'm also thinking about Buckeyes for meat, plus the hens are supposed to lay during the winter without lights. I definitely like to keep lights off the chickens during the winter just so they have a chance to re-coup after laying the rest of the year. It helps them reset their ovaries and everything. I'm going to get Golden Comets for laying hens.