At what age do you cull?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by justlearning, May 16, 2011.

  1. justlearning

    justlearning Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    Want to know what to do--if it happens. I am new to this and have 5- 2 week old cornish x's. At what age do you cull? (I think I read 8 weeks somewhere) Also if a bird diesnaturally prior to culling--can you still eat it. Or do you throw it out? I read they sometimes die of a heart attack at the very end and did not know if one was alive at night--and then dead in the morning if it was still safe to eat. Hopefully this won't happen but want to know what to do if the situation occurs.
  2. BoomChickaRocka

    BoomChickaRocka Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2011
    Its not really about a time, its more about the size they are. X's will get to about the right size at 8 weeks depending on the conditions theyre grown in.
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Just my opinion, but cull and process have to separate meanings. To me, we cull weak birds. Process is what you do whe your birds hit your goal weight. Sorry about the semantics.

    We cull when we notice a bird is going downhill. Listless, bluish tinge to comb, heavy breathing. Culling is not planned.

    We process when the birds are 9-10 weeks for CX. This gives us a larger bird. Processing is planned, as in I rented the equipment for the processing the day I ordered the chicks. Lots of folks will plan to process their birds around 7-8 weeks.

    I never eat a bird I didn't make dead.
    1 person likes this.
  4. EtienneSA17

    EtienneSA17 New Egg

    May 10, 2011
    I have also been doing big birds for sale. Ross 308. They have a constant supply of food and this can make the birds lazy and a bit over weight but they grow fast and are tasty.
    The constants consuming of food causes the birds to have heart problems that affects other organs too. Most commonly you will have a bird flip over on it's back in a dead mans pose with legs in the air.
    I was getting at least 5 in a batch of 100. They have a heart attack and if I find them in the morning I soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes if they stiff to loosen them up abit then pluck and prepare them for our dinner. Perfectly safe to consume.

    To stop the flip overs I have given them a fasting Period of about 1 hour every other day from 5 weeks till 7 weeks when we send them to the big coop in the sky.. :) it has almost stopped the flip overs all together. If you stress the birds they will also flip over a few hours after that from a heart failure. I moved 130 birds 3.5 week old birds from the indoor shelter to the chicken tractor and had one flip over that night. at just over 3 weeks it was a small bird but made a really tasty snack.
    Hope that helps.
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:Thank you for pointing this out. Semantics bother me as well. The actual definition of cull is: ".......the process of culling usually implies the killing of animals with undesirable characteristics."
  6. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    Our birds are processed around 7wks old.

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