Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kellim, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. kellim

    kellim Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    SC, GA Border
    Okay due to the fact that my son has a progressive neuromuscular and metabolic disease as well as autism we eat as natural as possible. We have acquired around 25 chickens several of which are silkies and silver sebrights and to which this question does not pertain. I love the fact that my son gets to eat fresh laid eggs that haven't been filled full of who knows what and the fact that the chickens seem to calm him when he watches them. My question is, we are not using cornish x or a typical meat bird, we are using some that we would really like to try. I have some RIR's that are only about 15 weeks old and want to wait till next year to butcher. We also have some Jersey Giant mix as well. I am still trying to talk myself into this and I think once we do it once I will be fine. U was wondering if there was anything in particular that I need to do in raising chickens for food. Any advice or tidbits of information would be wonderful. I know how to butcher a chicken, my grandfather used to do that, but his chickens just ran loose outside and then when he wanted one he would just go do the deed and prepare it and eat it. Do I worm them? Do I vaccinate them? If by some chance they were to have worms what do I do? I haven't seen any but that is always in the back of my mind. Please tell me any advice you might have as I really think this would benefit my family and son.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  2. Gallina

    Gallina In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2008
    Broad Run, Virginia
    If you wait until next year to process those RIR's, they are going to be very tough. Only good for stewing...
    They were probably ready to be processed 5 weeks ago! If your other chickens are that old , they need to be processed also. Any roosters that reach adult age are very gamey and I hear not worth eating!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    If you let your meat chickens free range they will have more muscle and less fat, which means they will be a little tougher. Free ranging is also where most of the parasites are picked up while foraging (though if you do a chicken tractor there's still the risk).

    I've never bothered to worm my meat chickens and have never had a problem. But I also won't free range them so what they eat is what they find inside their pen.

    15 weeks is old enough to butcher any roosters, though Rhode Island Reds don't have a lot of meat on them (in comparison to other breeds) and may be a little tough if you haven't been trying to fatten them up.

    Since meat birds don't live very long there isn't much that needs to be done besides the regular feeding, watering and cleaning. Vaccinating is a moot point - you don't even want to use a medicated feed for the chicks.
  4. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    if you decide to worm those older birds, use eprinex. there is no withdrawal time on that.

    1/4 cc on bantams, 1/2 cc on standards. just lift their wing and you'll see a bear spot where you can administer the liquid. it's like putting on advantage on a dog or cat.
  5. kellim

    kellim Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    SC, GA Border
    Thanks so much for all the replies!

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