My Name is Neil Armitage. My journey into raising my own chickens for meat started in the late 1990's when I had a few surplus Barnevelder cockerels and my friend and butcher suggested I fatten them up for the pot.
Thus started my journey from egg producer to meat producer.
Late one September afternoon we processed 6 surplus males I was astounded by many things over the next few hours.
Firstly, their weight, several of these birds had 8 and a half pounds of meat on them and secondly, how much of a difference there was between these home reared chickens and their store bought cousins.
Below: The Sussex is an excellent dual purpose chicken.
Raising chickens for meat is not for everyone. The meat of home reared birds is firmer in texture and often takes longer to produce as well as being more strongly flavoured.
Over the years I have reared everything from modern meat hybrids through dual purpose to rare breed and specialist meat birds like the Bresse. I have even had the courage to try Silkie.
I rear my chickens in 6 an a half acres of Yorkshire and prefer to free range wherever possible.