Cackle fry pan special

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by benn2689, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. benn2689

    benn2689 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    queen creek arizona
    I recently ordered 100 chicks from cackle hatchery I ordered the fry pan special where you get 100 rooster chicks and 3 free ducks all arrived alive 2 dies the next day but they sent 11 extra chicks so we are still in the clear I am wondering if anyone else has ordered this and what age did you harvest you meat birds. This is my first time doing meat birds my dad has done them many time in the past but he is now disabled and o am looking for any and all advice I am planning to make a wiz bang style chicken plucker to help in the processing stage
  2. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2015
    Southeast Alabama
    growth rates will depend on the breed, it will also depend on what size chicken you want at butcher. Cornish X are typically butchered between 6 and 9 weeks for a 4-6 lb dressed bird.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Lots of folks butcher their dual purpose birds as they start to crow.

    Otherwise, the optimal age growth-wise is around 20 weeks. After that, for most breeds you're not going to see a gain in weight for the amount of feed you're pouring into them.
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    The fry pan special will be cockerels of dual purpose layer breeds, they will produce a lighter carcass than the Cornish cross with substantially smaller breasts. If they put a little size on by 14 or so weeks that's when I'd butcher. They'll get a little bigger if you keep them longer but they will really toughen up if you keep them too long. I'd rather kill them a little smaller and have something i can still grill or fry than try to get a few more ounces of meat and have to make soup or slow cook it to be able to chew
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  5. benn2689

    benn2689 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    queen creek arizona
    Thank you I know they are are not the Cornish breed
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I picked up seven panfry specials from a feed store a week ago. It was all they had left. They are a variety of dual purpose cockerels from Cackle. I was hoping to get a few more but they sold out quickly.

    You have a lot of options for when you butcher them. One big factor is how you are planning on cooking them. The older a chicken gets the more flavor and texture it has, cockerels change faster than pullets. When cockerels hit puberty the flavor really starts to change because of the hormones. If all you are used to is the chicken from the store this flavor may put some people off but some of us really like the extra flavor.

    Young birds can be fried or grilled, just like the ones from the store, but they soon get tough if you cook them fast and hot, like frying or grilling. I’ve seen different recommendations or opinions as to when they are too old for this, I think a lot of it is personal preference and what you are used to. Some people complain if they butcher at 12 weeks, some go longer than Blucoondawg’s 14 weeks. So take these things as general guidelines that you may need to adjust a bit to match your personal tastes. If you butcher at a certain age and don’t like how they cook don’t toss the ones that are left, just change your cooking method.

    The older they get the slower and moister your cooking method needs to be. Even roosters several years old can be cooked and come out a gourmet meal, like Coq au Vin. There are some stickies at the start of this meat bird section that covers how to cook birds at various ages.

    There is no telling what breeds you got with yours, just that they are supposed to be cockerels and full sized breeds. Some breeds mature faster than others. Different cockerels of the same breed will mature at different rates. Some will pack on meat relatively early compared to others. Brahma’s and Jersey Giants are slow to mature and slow to pack on meat, they will be mostly bones for quite a while. Others like Rocks, Wyandottes, Sussex, and many others will pack on meat earlier but there can still be a big range with them. How you feed them will affect it some also but there will still be a noticeable difference in individuals. So again take this as a guideline, not something set in stone.

    Some people butcher at 12 weeks for their own reasons. They may want to get them before crowing becomes a problem, before puberty kicks in, or just to be sure they can fry or grill. There is very little meat there. Mine continue to pack on meat until maybe 5 months of age, then they slow down a lot. They will still add meat for a while but at a much slower pace. Five to five and a half months is my preferred butcher age.

    There are some other things that might influence your decision. Mine forage a lot so I’m not buying all that they eat. They still eat a lot of my feed but at least I don’t have to pay for all they eat. That doesn’t put as much pressure on my pocketbook to grow butcher them young but they probably grow slower than if you feed them a high protein feed.

    I have limited freezer space, especially in the summer when I’m harvesting a lot from the garden and my fruits and berries. If I have to wait an extra month to butcher some I’m OK with that.

    How many people are you feeding? There are only two of us so we can get a couple of meals out of a relatively small hen or pullet, the second meal is usually leftover meat used in a soup. With a larger cockerel I can sometimes get a couple of lunches out of the leftovers in addition to that soup.

    The older a cockerel gets the harder it is to butcher. The connective tissue can be pretty tough. You plan on plucking yours so it will be minor to you but I skin mine. Age makes a big difference in how hard they are to skin. So how you butcher them might make a difference too.

    We are all unique. To me there are a lot of different factors as to when is a good time to butcher. Hope you can get something useful out of all this.

    Good luck and enjoy.
    1 person likes this.
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I ordered a fry pan special some years back. I think it was 25 or so from McMurray.

    Most of them turned out to be Rhode Island Reds. The majority of them I butchered at around 12 weeks, cut in half and BBQ'd. They were excellent. Not as much meat as a Cornish but very tastey non the less.

    I kept a few to about 20 weeks, butchered, froze and used in soups and stews in the winter.
  8. benn2689

    benn2689 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 29, 2016
    queen creek arizona

    Have u tried them in a pressure cooker that's what I am thinking of doing
  9. jessica5113

    jessica5113 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2016
    batesville ar
    they are amazing in a pressure cooker! We just done a barred rock roo that was aggressive to my hens and other roos so we made a meal out of him and put him in a crock. We were then given a roo to cook and we done him up like a turkey [​IMG] so so good! [​IMG]

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