butchering age question - and other questions too

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by shaggy, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. shaggy

    shaggy Songster

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    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    i ended up with a roo instead of a pullet and it is currently 6 weeks old ---

    what is the best age to butcher a rooster for best taste and tenderness, or am i simply waiting for it to get big enough?

    how long before butchering should i separate it and fatten it up?

    any recommendations on what to feed it to fatten it up?


    ... are roosters more suited for being meat birds than hens?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

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    Feb 1, 2009
    Lexington, KY
    Most people will send their roos off around 16 weeks, give or take. At this age, they are easily sexed as roos and are about as large as they are going to get, without being too tough. If you want a large, tender bird, you need to get Cornish Xs which you can butcher at 6 weeks.

    I like mine in a dish where you do some slow cooking, like chicken soup, enchiladas or chicken pot pie. It will also depend, to some extent, on breed. What breed do you have?

    As far as feed goes, I just give mine the normal feed I feed the rest of my chicks. Chick starter, then grower.
     
  3. shaggy

    shaggy Songster

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    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    i meant to get a pullet -- but ended up with a rooster instead

    it was also supposed to be a RIR - but looks more like a RIR/EE cross


    thanks for your information, i suppose if it starts crowing, i will have to send it to freezer camp a little sooner than 16 weeks
     
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Two years ago we had the same thing happen to us. We got Roo when we wanted only layers. But we waited a year before we butchered him and he was not tough.

    Mainly the 16 week rule is for fryer's, if you won't be frying then you can wait a bit to get more meat on him. For a heritage Chicken 16 weeks there not that much meat there. 22 to 25 weeks the have filled out more.

    Tom
     

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