Cornish rock butcher time?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hargraves, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Hargraves

    Hargraves Out Of The Brooder

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    Vidor texas
    Do you HAVE to butcher cornish rocks between 6-8 weeks? Guess I'm disappointed cause I didn't hear of that till my chicks turned 2 weeks old(yesterday)! I gotta get where I don't attatch to my feathered friends so much. Lol Husband says look at them as food and not babies. :(
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'm no expert on meat birds, but I'd imagine the recommended slaughter age relates to the fact that much beyond that (in commercial settings, where they have light and food 24 hours a day or some such set up) the birds would simply become too heavy to support their own weight and have other health problems.

    I hope some members will help out, but i would have thought that if you have raised your birds in a manner more akin to a BYC then they should not have grown at quite the same rate as those bred in the meat industry and you could extend their lives a little longer.

    At the end of the day though, they are in for the chop so a few more weeks is not really going achieve too much. Your hubby, as with most hubbies, is quite correct! [​IMG]

    All the best
    CT
     
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  3. ccstar800

    ccstar800 Out Of The Brooder

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    If it is 6 to 8 weeks old then it is time to butcher it.
     
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  4. Hargraves

    Hargraves Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I'm totally new to chickens so I have tons to learn... From what I've been reading on here, you butcher the chickens when they're young if you plan to eat them.. I thought you could get a couple years of eggs from your laying hens before butchering? Does this just depend on breed or is it the same for all? And are they still suitable to eat at, say, 3 years of age?
     
  5. Hargraves

    Hargraves Out Of The Brooder

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    I know meat birds grow more quickly than layers.. My previous questions moreso applied to layers. We lost 3 cornish rocks before I discovered I was over feeding them. :(
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Sorry, i am not so familiar with breeds (i live in Kenya and we don't have "breeds" - they are either mutt birds or commercial birds). If your birds are dual purpose birds (make good meat birds, but lay well also) then sure, keep them for a couple of years or until their egg production declines. I have some dual purpose birds that i will keep while they are laying well, and then they are for the chop. Older birds require slow cooking - stews really, but gosh, they taste very good and the stock you get from them is superb! Theres no upper age limit on when to eat a bird but generally the older, the longer and more gentle the cooking required (a crockpot is a good investment if you don't already have one).

    I'm not sure its possible to cause chicken deaths by over-feeding. I think its fair to say that most members here give their birds free access to food during daylight hours - they only eat what they need - then again, my dual purpose birds look like sumo wrestlers [​IMG] and i will not be keeping any of that breed again in the future. My birds free range the garden, so they have their layers feed and whatever else they can catch.

    Hope this helps a little

    Cheer
    CT
     
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  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    As I understand it, meat birds will pig out and whilst it is unlikely they would over eat to the point of death as such, they do reach a point where their hearts and joints cannot cope with the weight and they either suffer heart failure or become unable to walk if they go much beyond 10 weeks, unless you ration their food and make them work for it by scattering it about rather than letting them just sit at the feeder and trough it down. Having said that, if you are already attached at 2 weeks, then by 6 or 8 weeks you are only going to be more attached, so it's kind of immaterial whether you keep them another couple of weeks after that and risk them dying anyway.

    If you want chickens to keep, then get layers and foster your affections on them.... it's much more rewarding. ,
     
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  8. Hargraves

    Hargraves Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay! Thanks. We're not in it for marketing, just "self sustainability"and we deffinitely have and use a crockpot! Very helpful. About the overfeeding- I emailed the hatchery I got my chicks from when my cornish rocks started dying. We had 5 and lost 3. And that's basically what they told me.. Between overheating and over eatin. Wasn't aware you can't house them in the same brooder area as layer chicks so the first supposedly died from getting to hot, so I separated them and lost another that night, and the next day I lost the 3rd. That's when they mentioned too much food.
     
  9. Hargraves

    Hargraves Out Of The Brooder

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    We plan to eventually be eating them all, we started with some grown hens almost at lay age, which are laying now.. Ordered some layer chicks and meat birds and got a whole lot of extra males with the order, which will be the first to go from that batch. And we want to start trying to hatch our own eggs once the young chicks are outside with the adults and they also start laying. We have 7 gold sex-links(2weeks old) and we thought our older hens were Welsummers but they are only laying off white eggs(started laying a couple weeks ago), we think the males are Australorps which we have 16 of! Plus the 2 older ones we already had with the older hens. We may end up with some strange breeds. I was hoping to be able to hatch cornish rocks but that was before learning of the young butchering.
     
  10. vinnytheweed

    vinnytheweed New Egg

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    The Cornish will live a least a year if you let them run free and don't over feed them also they are not the best egg layers but will give at least 3 eggs per week I get large double yoked eggs all the time from them but I only feed my a little over 1/3 pound and let them get the rest from my yard and woods. They do very well when treated like a animal not a meal or a egg vendor just remember it's alive and wants to live. [​IMG]
     

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