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Earliest time to butcher?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KickinRocks, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. KickinRocks

    KickinRocks New Egg

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    I have my first batch of a couple dozen CornishX landing here in a few weeks. Truthfully, the wife and I are not big eaters. More interested in feed to weight conversion. It looks to me like they grow fastest in the first 4 weeks.

    What is the earliest time frame that you have butchered?

    I'm thinking that I may butcher some at different stages from 3-4 weeks, 5, 6, and maybe 7 weeks. Has anyone done this? And if so, did you keep track of feed to weight at different stages?
     
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup ! I now butcher ours at 30-35 days for @2 lb dressed game hens. [​IMG] Lot less labor and poop plus I save a ton of $$$ on feed. [​IMG]
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They may grow fast the first 4 weeks, but they put on the most weight at 5-7 weeks.

    What is the earliest time frame that you have butchered?

    At 4 weeks or younger, you'll be waisting your time. If you butcher at 5 weeks, you'll have Cornish game hens (less than 2 pounds dressed). This is where you will get your best FCR. Problem I have with this is you have the cost of the chick to account for, and with only 2 pounds of meat, 60 cents of your per pound cost is in the chick.

    I'm thinking that I may butcher some at different stages from 3-4 weeks, 5, 6, and maybe 7 weeks. Has anyone done this? And if so, did you keep track of feed to weight at different stages?

    At 6 weeks you will have nice fryer size chickens. This is supposed to be where you get the best FCR. Starting at 7 week, you will be reaching the large fryer size and after that roaster size.​
     
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:How did I know you'd be the first one to reply to this Boss.

    Are you really saving money or just not spending it? It's not like any additional feed is being wasted, as it results in more meat.
     
  5. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband and I are not big eaters either. I butchered my first meaties at 8 weeks. A few of them weighed 7 pounds which means we eat baked chicken one night, then chicken tacos, then chicken enchiladas, then chicken burritos and still have the wings and maybe a leg left! My next batch will be butchered at 7 weeks.

    I started keeping a log of their weight but I stopped because they are notorious for heart attacks and catching them to weigh them was too stressful. I was afraid I was going to give them a heart attack.
     
  6. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah! I'm glad someone posted this recently as I was going to ask the same thing. We love Cornish game hen but they are so expensive in the grocery store so we had decided to butcher half of our Cornish X that we got today [​IMG] (our first ones ever) as game hens and the other half at 7 to 8 weeks for the freezer. My mouth is almost drooling at the thought of succulent game hens!
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    If you are not big eaters, go ahead and butcher at 8 weeks, but cut them in half before freezing. 2 big meals with leftovers from each bird.

    Or even part them out or cut them into quarters before freezing. That is what will get you the most good meals for your buck.
     
  8. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Technically speaking, a Cornish Rock X butchered at 4 weeks is a "cornish game hen"

    Butcher them whenever they are the right size for your dinner table.
     

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