Cream Legbar chickens are a popular breed to keep on backyard farms.
But when their egg-laying days are done, you might start to wonder about their meat.
Can you eat Cream Legbar chickens?
Cream Legbar chickens are safe to eat, though they aren’t known as high-quality meat birds. The amount of meat they produce is a little lower than average (around 6 lbs for a hen). Still, they don’t taste any different than other hens, so if you’re done with their laying, enjoy!
What Do Cream Legbar Chickens Taste Like?
All chicken meat has a similar flavor, but as any chicken chef will tell you, they have distinct flavors.
Some edge toward the rich flavors we expect in dark meat, while others are plainer.
I best saw Cream Legbars taste describe something like this:
If this sounds like what you want, go ahead and enjoy them. Keep in mind what we discuss in the following sections about their size and production value.
Do Cream Legbar Chickens Make Good Meat Birds?
Cream Legbars are great for several things, but being a meat bird isn’t one of them.
The males or roosters need around 6 months to reach a decent size, and many wait until they are 9 months before meat harvesting.
Some also harvest them young, at around 20 weeks. This younger meat is more tender and rich, but there’s a lot less.
At this age, the roosters are around 3 pounds in size.
Males can get up to 7.5 pounds when fully grown, which may take up to a year.
Compared to other breeds, this puts them as mediocre regarding meat production. And a lot of farmers say they don’t produce as much good meat for this size.
Hens reach sexual maturity and start laying between 4-6 months of age. At their peak, they weigh around 6 pounds.
This is even worse than the roosters!
The meat tastes fine, though. There are just many other breeds that make better meat birds for production on a larger scale.
Good backyard chickens for meat include:
- Rhode Island Red
- Plymouth Rock
- Jersey Giant
- New Hampshire Red
Our recommendation with Cream Legbars is to raise only the hens if possible. Use them as eggers and then harvest them once their production stops or slows down.
Can I Just Keep Cream Legbar Roosters To Eat?
Keeping just the roosters as a meat bird isn’t a bad idea, though other breeds will give you more bang for your buck.
This is not just in terms of price; it’s also in the cost of food to value ratio.
But if you love this breed, roosters are fine for meat, and they taste good too!
Cream Legbar chickens are an autosexing breed.
This means you’re able to tell male and female chickens apart right from the moment they hatch.
This is somewhat rare in the chicken world. Most breeds don’t show differences well until weeks and months later.
Cream Legbar chicks are sexed right from the get-go. Female chicks and male chicks are easy to pick out.
If you want males for meat, go get them.
If you want hens for meat, this is fine, but it’s not ideal. Opt for a different breed in this case.
Are Cream Legbar Chickens Good Chickens?
Don’t misunderstand me; Legbars make great chickens for your backyard farm!
Just because they aren’t great for meat doesn’t mean they aren’t good.
Cream Legbars are known for their calm and docile personalities.
They get along well with bigger, more aggressive breeds and don’t pick on the smaller ones.
Some farmers even go so far as to call them the sweetest chicken breed on the planet!
Though, they usually opt for the Faverolles in this regard. Still, number two isn’t bad!
I read one farmer on Reddit say they are the cuddliest chickens too. I can’t say this is a good idea, but take it as you will.
Legbars also aren’t one of the noisier chicken breeds. They sit right in the middle.
They lay around 150-200 eggs yearly in terms of egg production.
Read more about the Cream Legbar chickens laying habits in our article here.
They do slow down in winter as they aren’t particularly cold-tolerant.
While this isn’t stellar compared to other eggs-cellent breeds, it is up there.
Plus, their eggs come in those light blue, powder-blue varieties.
Cream Legbars are great at foraging for their own food, so you don’t have to worry about their diet as much.
They do moderately well in warm climates. Coming from England, these blue egg layers don’t do as well in the bitter cold we experience in the northern United States.
Further Reading: Are Cream Legbar Chickens Cold Hardy?
Cream Legbar Cost To Meat Ratios
If we look at the average cost of raising a Cream Legbar to fully grown and how much meat you get off of it, we’ll see it doesn’t make as much sense to keep them for this purpose.
|Grown Size||7.5 pounds||6 pounds|
|Value After Processing||$9.15||$5.40|
|Cost of Processing||$5.25||$5.25|
|Cost of Food for a Year||$165||$165|
As a rule of thumb, you keep 75% of the original weight in meat to eat.
For a 7.5-pound rooster, this is 5.6 pounds. For a 6-pound hen, this is 4.5 pounds.
The price of the meat varies. If it’s processed into breast meat, no bone, it’s over $3 per pound.
But the processing cost is higher.
Rooster meat is less desired too. It tends to be leaner and a bit tougher.
Let’s look at just the whole chicken in general.
A whole chicken costs around $1.52 per pound. This puts the profit of a Cream Legbar rooster at $9.15 and a hen at $5.40.
The cost of processing a chicken in this weight range is around $5.25, and the cost of food per month per chicken is around $13.
Raising chickens for meat isn’t really productive.
Eggs, on the other hand, are much more lucrative.
So how do the mass chicken keepers do it? They raise them en masse and cut deals on the cost of food, processing, etc., to lower the overhead.
And the living condition for chickens isn’t great either.
Cream Lagbars: Tasty or No?
All in all, raising a Cream Legbar just for the meat doesn’t make much sense. But if you raise them for eggs and process them when they slow down, they’re quite tasty.
These birds make great farm animals for new owners and are safe to eat!