Dual purpose birds..processing question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mrs. Feathers, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    We are new to raising dual purpose birds (Black Australorp and BA cross) and from what we have been reading here were hoping to wait until 18 weeks to process our birds.
    However....yesterday morning we began the Backyard Roo Choir with all our 14 week old boys joining in with our Head Roo in an ear shattering round of who can crow the worst. Ghastly
    We are planning on processing them this weekend as we do respect our neighbours.
    I am hoping someone can give me some feedback from personal or shared experience of processing at what will be 15 weeks.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    They'll be puny, but what can you do? They'll be usable... just very small. Good luck.
  3. robk0220

    robk0220 Chirping

    Mar 12, 2010
    Wapwallopen, PA.
    we have buff orpingtons and salmon faverolles, we just processed 5 buff orps at 20 weeks of age and they were still on the puny side. we go by weight for our processing, I just couldn't stand to keep the 5 of them around anymore. they were being mean, so it was time to go.
  4. Jeremy Parker

    Jeremy Parker In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] you should try 40 roo's at 15weeks trying to crow [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Thank the Lord I'm in the sticks!

    I also go by weight and size of birds!
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I had 5 Dels and when they started to crow and I had 4 more weeks to 16 wks and I couldn't figure out how to fatten them up I gave 4 of them away. Even Nick my older roo at 2 years doesn't seem to be very big. I guess we're so used store bought that even at twice the size we'd think they were puny.

    Does anyone have a secret for fattening up dual purpose chickens? Seems to me we have lost the edge on raising these breeds to the APA standard size. Now who knows how to bring them back?
  6. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I process around 20 weeks and generally my processed birds are 4 to 5 pounds – it is usually a balance between when I need room for the next batch of cockerels and the processing cockerels weight. I keep them in a smaller run – not tractor small – about 20 feet by 15 feet – and feed a 20% protein feed and mix my own whole grain scratch with NO corn. I feel there is enough corn in the processed feed – it is the main ingredient, so do not feed extra. I try and keep feed in front of them - but the wild birds will clean it up – so I feed them 4 to 5 times a day. I do plan on expanding my grow-out pen, I like the birds to be able to actually move around, run after each other and build muscle (I have found that my dp birds do not grow muscle well at all in a tractor type grow-out).

    My cockerels run with the main flock until they start to harass my hens and the head roo has to start disciplining them. Then they generally go as a group into the grow-out pen.

    I have roosters – who range between 8 and 13 pounds. My breed is mainly heritage Orpingtons and for meat I cross them over hatchery Dels, APA Ameraucanas and EE, and hatchery Cochins.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  7. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for all the feedback. I guess we will give things a try and see how the birds process for size this time. Our reality is that we may not be able to take them to the age we would like because of the noise....but we`ll have to make that decision about the future when we see how this goes.
    We have the flock of 22 together in a run that is about 1000 sq. feet including their under the coop shade spot. Lots of big boulders and plant growth that they get exercise climbing over around and through so I am hoping they have great thighs at least:drool
    We have a set up for a divided run but haven`t gone there yet as all are still getting along.

    Horse Feathers, what do you put in your scratch? I would like to make our own also as the feed store version is very heavy in corn so we have avoided it for the same reasons you identify. We have been feeding them 18% growers with lots of veggies and fruit, BOSS, and some oatmeal/rice as treats, plus whatever bugs and plants they are scrounging in the run.

    Hopefully it will be worthwhile to keep the boys as we really want to have the heritage meat/egg birds. We have mainly Australorps with Australorp/Americauna EE`s. We have some 7 week old birds that are shorter but seem to be developing with more mass so we are looking at keeping those for our breeding stock. Hopefully we will be able to keep one roo or we will just continue ordering fertilized eggs from a local farm. Our bylaw is such that we can have a roo depending on the noise level (and neighbours)
    Jeremy....I can only imagine 40 of them....[​IMG]
  8. ducks4you

    ducks4you Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    You'll have to let us know, but I was disappointed in the small amount of meat on my 7 month old RIR roosters, that I butchered last year. The taste was great, but I'm going to look into Cornish X's to butcher for meat, next time.
    BTW, you have been here, right?
  9. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    If u get rid of all but one roo he should be able to take care of ur girls w/ very little noise. He'll go back to crowing in am And danger.. They are very territorial and if there's another roo in the area you'll have alot of crowing. And u have ALOT in one area. [​IMG]
  10. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Quote:Yeah...no kidding! My head roo is a pretty quiet guy and at least he has a nice sounding crow. These hormonie teenagers are something else.

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