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Eating the Roosters

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ILikeBirds, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
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    I'm realativly new to the chicken game and intend to hatch a portion if my RIR eggs in the spring. These are strictly egg laying birds but I realize that about half of the chicks are probably going to be roos. Is it worth a shot to raise the roos to a decent size to eat? Or should I just try and five them away on craisglist or something?

    The idea of eating the birds apeals to me, yet I'm not sure how long I can raise them before they start to reek havoc in the flock.

    I live on 5 acres so maybe I could free range them with a couple hens at the other end of the property to keep them in one place until they're ready?
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there! I think it's worth it if you have the space. Just keep them separate from the hens and raise them together. The biggest problem we have with raising them to a nice size is the constant crowing. That just doesn't work with neighbors around.
     
  3. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I eat them all the time. When they get big enough, or become a pain, which ever becomes first. A rooster pen helps to stop over-mating.
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From my experience, DP roosters are fine eating, but they take about 18 weeks to be around 3.5 - 4 lb. It isn't a particularly efficient meat source, but there is some satisfaction in being able to produce your own chickens without having to order new chicks every year. Good luck.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    They are good on a grill if processed 11 to 12 weeks. Which is a good time to cull down to make space in the pen and keep noise down if any started crowing by that age. I've always culled in stages, 12 weeks, 16-18 weeks and of the remaining largest two pick which has best traits and temperment to breed forward and roast the other at 20-24 weeks.

    Feed intake gets high at 12 weeks and at best eating, 18 weeks is practically full grown and feed intake is same as adults.
     
  6. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    Thanks for all of the help, when the time comes I think I'll have to set of another pen just for the roos. I'm curious though, they won't be aggressive with each other if there's no hens around?
     
  7. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not had them do much more than scuffle when kept together. It may be different if you start mixing different ages and throwing new ones in, but if they're raised together (without females) they should coexist without a lot of trouble.
     
  8. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    SIMZ, do you raise you "meaties" for personal consumption or do you sell them? Do you use a cone when the time comes to "harvest" (poor word choice?) them?
     
  9. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should mention that I've only raised batches of cockerels a few times. [​IMG] Although, I pretty much constantly grow them out with my regular flock and then don't even have scuffles. The older ones keep the young ones in line.....although they're gone by 13-15 weeks.

    Meaties -- yes, we raise them for ourselves and sell them. My husband is the "dispatch man" and he uses cones. He's tried different ways and prefers to use a cone to harvest them. (I think it's a good word choice, by the way!)
     
  10. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the idea of keeping them together until about 13-15 weeks, that would save me the hassle of relocating them.

    Using cones seams to be the most efficient! if I have enough roos I might have to make myself one!
     

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