1 month away from processing, first-timer gearing up

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lmblackburn, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. lmblackburn

    lmblackburn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2009
    Mon. County, WV
    Just wondering what you do with the birds before butchering. I have 9 - 16 week old BO & BR that I plan on butchering. I ordered 20 (10 pullets, 10 cockerels) and they've all been together since day one. They free range during the day and then all roost in the same house. I've read that you want to take away their food for 12 hrs before processing. I thought it might be less upsetting to the rest of the flock if all the meat birds were out of the coop the night before...that way they'd all be confined and ready to grab and process. So, if I do it that way...where do I put them? I have a few pet crates...a giant sized dog crate, a small dog crate and a cat crate. Would that work?

    I'm also trying to figure out which roo to keep w/ my hens. I'm partial to the barred rocks...so most likely one of them, but how do you choose? I have 2 EE, 3 BR & 5 BO hens.

    Thanks in advance for the advice. I've become an addict of this site! Way to go BYC!
  2. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I keep my meaties in a chicken tractor that I just wheel up to the processing station.

    I've heard of people who are gearing up to process coop birds who go in at night and pick the "chosen ones" up one at a time and put them in crates etc. That way there's no running away in the morning. Ideally, you'll want to fast them for at least 24 hours so I'd go grab them the in the middle of the night 36 hours prior to the deed. Crate them up, fast them, and then you'll have no problems when it comes time to process them because they're already rounded up.


    Edit: give them all the water they want while fasting them.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    The crates will work fine & it does make it easier to clean them out if they haven't ate for a while but doesn't mean you have to do it that way. Good luck.
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    As far as picking the Roo to keep, it they are with the females now the most senior Roo is the one to most likely one keep.

    If your not sure which one he is, watch them, when they mate he will try to stop the other males. When the males challenge each other he will win the challenge and the lesser male will back off.


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