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Butchering Layer Roos

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Maemujwok, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Maemujwok

    Maemujwok Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2013
    Hey ya'll! I'm fairly new to raising chickens. We raised them when I was a kid, but really I just had to worry about doing what my mom told me to and when the birds stopped laying, they were retired to a ranch that "rescued" birds. We have 14 1 month old chicks that we hatched. We've already decided to process any roo's that we get because the neighbors won't be too happy about them. The chicks are a mix of Long Island Reds and Sex links with the possibility of another breed thrown in. At what age will I want to process the roosters? Sorry if this has been addressed here before, I was having trouble finding an answer in the forum.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you mean Rhode Island Red, not Long Island, but that doesn’t really matter.

    There is some personal preference in this. The chickens you process will not be like the ones you buy at the grocery. They will be several weeks older so they will have more flavor and texture. You can’t cook them the same and get the same results because of the age difference. The ones you buy at the grocery were processed at 6 to 8 weeks old. If you try that with these chickens, there will hardly be any meat there.

    Some people process as young as 12 weeks. I don’t. There just isn’t enough meat there. I wait until at least 16 weeks as a bare minimum and prefer 18 to 21 weeks much more. They put on a lot of meat between 16 and 21 weeks, then really slow down on adding more meat.

    When I cook them, I don’t fry them. I use methods that cook them slowly for longer time periods and always with added moisture.
     
  3. Maemujwok

    Maemujwok Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2013
    LOL--Yeah-Rhode Island, not long island, guess my subconscious is ready for a drink, huh?

    Thanks. I was thinking 12-16 weeks so I will know for sure if they are roosters or not--or rather have a good idea. Will they be crowing by then?
     
  4. dbaydak

    dbaydak Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2013
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    Maemujwok,

    Thanks for asking this question, I've been wondering the same thing. We purchased straight run chicks and already I can tell that at least half our roo's. Most of the flock are egg layers, so I didn't think there would be much meat on them. I figured we could use them for soup chickens.

    Ridgerunner you info was very informative. I've asked around and most of the people locally say just get rid of the egg layer roo's as there isn't enough meat on them to other with butchering. I hate to waste money or meat and figured they were still usable as meat. They advice to slow cook them was perfect as we cook a lot of stews and soups.

    Thanks
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The problem is if you are buying all their food, it’s not very cost effective. You can buy them from the grocery cheaper than you can raise them. The meaties are a lot more efficient than the dual purpose for you to raise, but it’s still hard to beat the supermarket price.

    If you can get then to forage for a lot of their food, it gets a lot more cost effective. Then there is something about knowing where your food comes from.

    If you wait until they are say 18 weeks old, there is a fair amount of meat there but it’s still not the amount of meat you’ll get from the meaties at 6 to 8 weeks.
     
  6. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just butchered 8 layer roosters last Saturday. They were 3 months old. I live in the middle of our small town and don't keep roosters. I didn't want them to start crowing, so they got one-way tickets to freezer camp. They were eating their heads off, little greedy hogs at the feed and I wanted them off the feed bill. If I had waited until they were older, they would have started crowing and they would have eaten a LOT more! [​IMG] There was not a lot of meat on them, but one roo in a pot of dumplings was enough to feed me, DH and my mother for two meals. I skinned them to save time and besides, I knew I was not going to bake the perfect pretty bird and set before an admiring dinner crowd. [​IMG] That roo sure tasted good! Layer roos are definately not breasty, meaty chickens, but I had already raised them and invested time and feed in them, so I durn sure was going to eat them! I posted on BYC's sister site, sufficientself.com how I processed them. I included the link for you, hope it helps.


    http://www.sufficientself.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=13565
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Maemujwok

    Maemujwok Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2013
    Thanks for all of your responses. I do understand the layers won't be like a big breasty beast I'd get at the grocery store. I do a lot of slow cooking and soup making, so that's what I'll use the roosters for. It looks like about half of my birds may end up being roosters!!!
     
  8. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a picture of 2 Barred Rock roosters I butchered at 18 weeks. They getting too big for their britches and had to go. As you can see, there's not a lot of meat there. They were kept free range, so I suppose you could get more meat on them if they were penned with a full feeder 24/7.
    [​IMG]

    oh forgot to add that they turned out pretty good cooked low and slow in the dutch oven with some onions and carrots ;) Sorry, no completed dinner picture.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  9. Maemujwok

    Maemujwok Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the picture. Just out of curiosity, will the legs be like tha tif I don't tie them down? I've never seen them extended quite like that.
     
  10. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would assume so, I didn't have any butcher twine on hand so they just got vacuum packed that way.
     

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