So.... we have decided to finally take a foray into raising some fowl for the table/freezer. We have a LOT of young cockerels, many of them Rhode Island reds. Rehoming them has not been easy--can't even GIVE these guys away. Our girls have been hatching out chicks this summer, as well, and it looks like we have about 5 more roosters in the yard. DH built a pen for meat birds just this past week. So we decided that since we buy/eat SO much chicken anyway, this is a good time for us to take the plunge and use our dual-purpose birds for purpose #2 (i.e., raise them for their meat). So I have some questions. How old should DP chickens be when you butcher them? We are not going to free-range the birds meant for processing--we are going to keep them penned up, albeit in a very spacious pen where they will *almost* feel like they are free ranging anyway! The RIRs we're putting in the pen are about a month old, and I was thinking we could process them around mid/late November would that be workable? Should we feed them meat builder/broiler food or the Nutrena All-Flock that we give to everybody else? Are there other things we should give them that will give them the healthiest, best-quality meat and not tooooooo much chicken fat? Any advice would be deeply appreciated. Thanks to all!