I want to eat a few birds (barnyard mixed breeds) that I hatch. The problem is the size and age (3-4 months old) that I want to harvest them I can't tell if they are roosters or hens yet. They look the same. I only want to eat the roosters. How does everyone else sex their birds?
How to sex a young chicken?
At that age you should be able to tell. The boys will start to get their saddle feathers in and should also have bigger/redder combs. If you post some pics I'm sure we can help out.
They'll be good for small fryers at that age. The meat chickens that you can buy can be processed at 8 weeks, but the "normal" chickens aren't big enough at that age. You'll probably only get 1/2 the meat from the chickens you're talking about at 4 months of age as you would on the meat chickens at 8 weeks, but since you're hatching them anyways you may as well use them! You may have to slow cook the ones that are 4 months old as they start to get a little tough at that age. As long as you know not to expect chickens w/ a lot of breast meat like you see at the store then it should be a pleasant experience.