Originally Posted by Blarneyeggs I'm all ears!! You've already helped me with my hesitancy over my blue boy. I like his eye color, comb, and wing set, but he's only 6.5 lbs at 5 mos, where his hatch mate is 10 lbs. I think after he's promoted to 'alpha Roo' and isn't competing for food, that we'll see an increase in weight.
How long is 'too long' to keep a Roo for meat? Seems like the advice I keep getting from the Orpington threads is: keep em, keep em! But I can't house them all without them fighting or keep feeding them all until they've matured all the way, and WHEN is that, anyway?
Different bloodlines mature at different rates. I can not specify which is which. Just choose the one that is best for you. I have a bachelor pad. Its like a grow-out pen for older birds, to see which ones I may want to keep. This method is good to test you "own" bloodlines too. Keeping a bunch of birds until they are older help you learn what you see in chicks, what kind of adults they might turn into. As for maturing, you should see, the "sign" at 6 months for sure, then you can compare like aged birds only, then at 9+ months you can compare all of them. One thing I do notice is Splash and Blues take longer to mature. Well the lines that I have. The roosters I am talking about. Hens are pretty much even here for there grow out rate. The roosters don't meet there full genetic potential until 18 months, I start culling way before that! 6.5 lbs. is fine, he will probably finish at 7.5, if he is a slow grower 8.5. The 10 lb. boy, don't keep him just because of his size, he should have other stuff you want to add to your flock. To get a lot of blue this year I am having 2 breeding pens, for phase 1, 2 splash roosters with black hens, and blue and black roosters with blue and splash hens. That combo will give me the highest yield of blues, and still give me blacks to put in with the splash roosters. I hope this is not to confusing for you!!!