Egyptian Fayoumi Chickens Become Delicious Dinner Items

Our 6 Egyptian Fayoumi roosters had gone absolutely mental on us.  They were terrorizing the flock and making all the pullets a nervous wreck.  We simply had too many roosters on the roost, which is what we get for buying birds “strait run”.

Additionally one of the supposed “sex link red pullets” is neither sex linked nor a pullet but a now maturing Road Island Red Rooster.  The gang of six attacked him to the point where he actually had gone into the floor of the chicken coop and disappeared for a few days, we thought he had been taken by a hawk.

But Dorothy was sure she heard something in the coop.  In the end we did hear him and pulled up the floor to get him out.  He is now my buddy and literally clings to my leg when we take a walk.  Well, that means I have a nice big old gentle rooster and didn’t need any of these psychopaths.

I really wanted to grow them out a bit more but I have to go to out of town for a bit and leaving Dorothy with yet another chore (moving their heavy chicken tractor twice a day) didn’t seem like the right thing to do.  So I got up at 0600 and slaughtered and dressed these guys.

They are about the size of a nice dressed out pheasant.  They all weighed only between 2 to 2.4 pounds and averaged right at 2.2.  So when we cook them we will do them in pairs which should feed Dorothy and I well and leave enough for a small pot of soup from the left overs.

If you are considering Fayoumis all I can say is don’t unless you have a shit ton of land and basically want feral birds that come back to roost at night and DON’T buy them strait run.  The cockerals were crowing by 3 weeks and fighting at 5 weeks, trying to harem up the hens at only 6-7 weeks and had turned into complete psychopaths by 90 days of age.

At that point they are really way to small for slaughter.    They just seem like a breed that isn’t really very useful on the small homestead.  I do think a large block of land with them going 100% free range and only Fayoumis would work with a rooster to hen ratio of say 8 to 1.

They don’t care about heat, they eat bugs and forage like mad, they don’t eat much commercial feed at all, etc.  That is one reason they mature fast but don’t grow fast is you can’t keep them on commercial feed as soon as they have the option for grasshoppers and field weeds they just have no further interest.

I know some wanted to have me film this, well, Dorothy wants no part in the slaughter of our animals so doing so would have made this a lot more of a chore.  We are going to bring in 25-50 meat birds for the fall, we will run a butchering workshop on those and that will be filmed.

26 Responses to Egyptian Fayoumi Chickens Become Delicious Dinner Items

  1. Quite the coincidence that you’d post this today. I’m getting ready to take care of a freedom ranger rooster this afternoon. He’s starting to get loud and fighting quite a bit. So he’s going to graduate early.

  2. I’ve got a combination of 25 Barred Rock and Partridge Rock (I think). They are about 7 weeks old (best guess), none are crowing yet…..I bought the last birds that Atwoods had for less than $10 for the whole bunch. When they start crowing the roosters will be noted and will head to freezer camp. Have a good time in Montana Jack.

  3. Maybe the wrong breed, but not the wrong idea. Getting straight run on a good meat bird would make you pretty happy when they get big enough to fight and drive the ladies mad. Actually , when you get under production hacking your own eggs, you will find that’s where you get your meat birds, except when culling every four years or so from your layers. I buy a different breed every year so I can keep up with their ages. So far, so good. I’m not hacking my own eggs, as I don’t want to mix the breeds.

    • Modern Survival

      Agreed if the breed grows fast enough to be culled out young enough to get a good yield. Actually though for meat birds I prefer to buy all cockerels, they don’t fight that much if there are no pullets to fight about.

      If you are doing like two tractors you can also just separate them as they become mature and end up with pullets in one and cockerels in the other.

      Generally cockerels cost less then pullets anyway and they get bigger faster. But I totally get your point. It is all dependent on your land, management, goals, etc.

  4. hatching not hacking. lol

  5. Any chance they’re just in the spirit of things over in Cairo right now? :-)

    • Nate (flippydidit)

      Perry could be on to something. Were any of them wearing suicide vests? Could be the beginning of an Arab Spring in Texas.

      We culled out 8 of our straight run RIR’s and kept three roosters. Those three are now free ranging and separate from the ladies.

  6. We have a new name for our roosters: “Roasters”!!!

  7. Jason Smith

    I am interested in raising and butchering my own chickens. If you do need a camara guy let me know as I do not live very far from you.

  8. The Kosher King Broilers are only available in cockerels. I haven’t been able to find and rangers in all cockerels. Only straight run on them. Also, if you get Cornish X in all cockerel you actually pay more. So, maybe the Kosher King is the way to go. I’m not sure how they are with the heat down there though since they are black and were developed in PA. You might need to wait until September to start them and slaughter around thanksgiving or even Christmas time.

  9. I am suprised anyone keeps the hens and roosters consistently in the same pen, as the roosters can tear into the hens to the point of maggot infestation….which happened to the ‘nice’ one we had after a dog attack……I am STILL distraught over the damage those dogs did…been like 10 years…got a goat and I think one of our ducks too then…got a cow and other animals down the way…so tragic and preventable…

    Lesson learned: pay close attention to your neighbors.

  10. George McLaughlin

    We had Fayoumis in Hidalgo, Mexico where I taught in a Bible Institute. Unfortunately, we lost our roosters very early on. But the ladies were outstanding layers and thrived in the desert heat, laying an abundance of small eggs.

    When we returned to the US. we purchased some straight run Kraienkoppes and had that flock, free range, for over a decade. They were very good, being excellent at predator evasion, raiding their own young and foraging. But the carcasses were not that large, and the hens, when broody, were death on ducks.

    Then we tried some Buckeyes. Wow! This breed is calm and gentle, lays quite well and produces a great carcass. It’s the only kind of chicken I’ve ever tried that actually does taste better than others I’ve tried. Strains differ. What we got through Ideal Poultry laid well but did not go broody until their second year. We purchased some chicks from Laura Haggarty, in KY, which were show quality. Those birds grew larger and brood in their first season. They lay nice large, brown eggs, abundantly too.

    • Modern Survival

      So I looked up Buckeye chickens and looked at some pics of both hens and roosters, not sure now that my RIRs are RIRs, when you buy from TSC you never know. The two breeds look almost the same but the coloration of the tail feathers on the males is a bit different and my pullet that is actually a cockeral has got that look to him.

      I guess it isn’t that important, the thing is I now have happy calm birds except for the two fayoumi pullets, who are skiddish but do at least get along with the other birds.

      Though the geese did lay the smack down on the chickens today when they tried to take over their stock tanks, LOL.

  11. George McLaughlin

    I don’t have a great eye. But I can say that Rhode Island Reds have a more rectangular body shape. Buckeyes are more blocky. Buckeyes have a pea comb, which Rhode Island Reds generally don’t have.

    Having said that: most Rhode Island Reds, unless otherwise stated, are actually Production Reds, which are crosses of the Rhode Island Red. Some of the Production Reds I’ve seen have been very nice and pretty mellow

    http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/buckeye.html

    Another breed, which I hear is excellent, is the New Hampshire. It shares a common ancestry with the Rhode Island Red and was developed with a bit more emphasis on meat. Last I heard Cackle Hatchery carried a really good strain of New Hampshire. I have no experience with this breed. But I’ve heard from a good source that it is very good and that Cackle’s strain is exceptional.

  12. Doubt that any TSC birds are buckeye. They are hard to find and expensive at that. I wanted to do buckeye but they aren’t a common breed at all. However RIR is a good part of their heritage. We have been doing isa browns but I want to change to barred rock next time. More meat on them for when they go to freezer camp.

  13. George McLaughlin

    If one is only going to purchase chicks, raise and utilize them, and then purchase some more, then I’d say, just go with what you can get at the feed store. But if you want to maintain a flock, long term, without purchasing more birds every year, that changes the picture. Then it is really worth while to purchase higher quality stock.

    When we first purchased Buckeyes I bought a dozen hatching eggs from a breeder. That was in 2007 and it cost me $20. We lost most of those chicks to chicken snakes and bought 25 chicks from Ideal Poultry (which is pretty economical). I can’t say much about how the first batch would have done, other than that their eggs were pretty small for such a large chicken. Ideal Poultry’s birds were pretty good. But in 2010 we decided to pay the price for 25 really well bred birds, from a private breeder. We have never regretted it. We did, however, pay $150 for those 25. So, it’s important to “breed up” with that expensive stock.

    According to most sources the RIR shares some common heritage with the Buckeye. But it is not at all a parent of the breed.

    • $125 for grown good breeding stock is a great price! I just paid $240 for 11 1 year old ducks and that was a bargain.

  14. Well, good to know. I don’t think I’ll be buying any of this breed.

    A couple of days ago my wife and I butchered a bunch of Black Austrolorp roosters from a straight run. We still have more to butcher but it began to rain on us. I will say that they were delicious. The roosters got along for quite a long while but then like a light switch went off, they began to go at it. But they’re not as bad as other many other breeds. If there is one drawback to the breed, it might be that they are pretty docile which makes them sitting ducks for predators if you make them free-roaming yard-birds.

    Thanks for the update. I will probably steer clear of this breed but will likely diversify into something else next year.

  15. What does the term “strait run” refer too? Never raised chickens never owned one so no clue.

    • Modern Survival

      Basically you get what you get of a particular breed. Such as strait run on Buff Orpington would be all Buff Orpington chickens but you have no idea how many will be cockerels or pullets. If you buy a lot of birds the ratio tends to be at least close to even but if you only buy say half a dozen you can end up with most of one or the other, kind of like rolling dice. It just basically means they haven’t had their sex determined.

  16. If you know how to do it (it’s not easy), and you get the “kid” at TSC making minimum wage, he really won’t care when you whip out the magnifying glass and sex your own chicks, btw.

  17. We acquired a few of this breed with some free chickens and coop from some folks who were moving (being foreclosed and forced out of their farm despite being up-to-date on payments)

    We ended up with one hen, and two roosters. They didnt know what they were, I did some research and found out. One of the roosters had a throat problem and couldn’t crow, it would go through the motions of crowing (flapping, deep breath, and look like he was screaming his head off) but no sound came out other than a “cough” and a whistle like “phhheeewwww” We named him Wheezer.

    Wheezer was the first to go, beat to death by the other Fayoumi rooster and the huge spangled grey cock we were also given. All we had were hens on our 4-acre homestead. I forget what happened to the other healthy fayoumi cock. It “disappeared”, either Eric shot it, or it was taken by predators. We had a little Ameraucana stag but the Fayoumi and the grey made him disappear. Eric eventually shot the fayoumi hen as well… she was violent to the other hens, pecking anybody who was sitting on a nest until they left… even when she didnt need to sit, and bitching at Eric because she wanted to roost on his workbench and press… clucking and griping at him and even attacking his head if he happened to be using it during the day and she came into the barn and saw him.

    Small, poor-quality eggs compared to our barred rocks and Ameraucanas. Not a worth-while breed if you ask me.

  18. Love the mental image of your big tame, scared silly RIR clinging to your leg! When I was a kid, we had a gorgeous pet rooster for years and years. He roamed the yard at will and was always gentle. Sadly, he was ended by our dogs when we left one weekend. Watch out for the dogs! :(

    • Modern Survival

      @Becca yea after being stuck in the floor for 4 days he was pretty dehydrated and hungry. I think having me pull him out (though he bit the hell out of me when I did), water and feed him, protect him for a day, then seeing me abduct his tormentors and take them away has made him a buddy for life.

      He was really getting aggressive because he was so hounded and frankly outnumbered. Now he follows me around, perches on my shoulder, etc.

      Fortunately our dogs are not an issue. Max has always been a good care taker. We have worked with Charlie and lot and while he occasionally bounces to make the birds run for his amusement he has never been aggressive to them. The geese often bite him, they will come up and grab his side or his cheek and pull on it, he doesn’t even react. He has that bull dog toughness in him.

      For a few days since we put the geese on free range they had it out with him and he never flinched. Then the other day I looked under our pool deck and what do I see, Charlie laid out asleep in the shade surrounded by 7 snoozing geese and of course as always one goose on the watch for danger.

      I tell you geese are the greatest livestock for a small farm. They warn you of strangers and they look after each other and your other birds. When I was a kid we had a gander that would literally intercept a hawk diving at a chicken, grab it by the wing or neck and beat the shit out of it until it withdrew.

      This is my first time with Toulouse and they are just wonderful. No pecking order like chickens, more of an all for one and one for all attitude. I have seen for instance them grooming each other, chickens never do that. I have also seen them get one too many into one of the stock tanks where they barely fit. The last one to get in often has one leg over the edge and just can’t pull it in. One of the others will often grab the stuck foot and gently pull it into the tub for the stranded stuck buddy.

      Geese certainly can’t work everywhere, they are noisy and that rules out the burbs but if you have the right location for them, I can’t recommend them highly enough. We love walking them each evening around the property, they just follow like a pack of happy dogs.

      • My mother still tells the story of one of our aggressive geese (I didn’t know there were any other kind!) going after and literally pulling the stuffing out of my brother’s diaper!