1 month away from processing, first-timer gearing up

lmblackburn

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 19, 2009
25
3
22
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!
 

Winsor Woods

Songster
10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
378
5
121
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.

Dan

Edit: give them all the water they want while fasting them.
 
Last edited:

kingmt

Songster
11 Years
May 1, 2009
1,670
32
231
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.
 

pdpatch

Songster
11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
619
5
140
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.

Tom
 

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