Feeding Heritage-cross Cockerels for best table result

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sgoff, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. sgoff

    sgoff Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Ruston, Louisiana
    I have a few black sex link cockerels that I am going to feed up for the table. Anyone have some ideas of best feeding practices to result in best table fare? I will likely caponize down the road, but these are my first, and when I slaughter, I will use them as practice, but for now, I want to maximize their table value without caponizing. I am looking at a standard grower/finisher but with some supplementation to plumb them up. Also probably will free range several hours a day. If I free range, should I lock them up the last couple of weeks to tenderize? Also what age would you suggest for slaughter? (only a week old now, so I got lots of time to plan!)


    Thanks in advance for the info and suggestions
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I don't have much experience with laying birds for meat, but I do know that if they are butchered young, the amount of exercise they get by free ranging will not make the meat tough. Not unless you are chasing them to make them run half a mile every day.

    Well, I do have some experience with laying breeds. I butchered a bunch of leghorn roosters 40 years ago. They were excellent eating, but chickens seem to have changed over the ensuing decades. My RIR's back then were nothing like the RIR's of today. So old experience is probably not still valid. I got 20 chicks for $1 and lived where I barely had to feed them so it was worth it. I wouldn't even think about raising leghorn roosters today.
     
  3. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    Limit their area they can run in to prevent tough meat.

    Feed higher protein feeds to bulk them up.


    For breeding stock, which are usually a little bigger bird and closer to the old time birds.

    We have Buckeyes and White Rock that are breeder stock and can easily get a 4 to 5 pound dressed bird in 18 to 20 weeks even when they free range.

    You can let them grow out more if they do not seem big enough.

    Limiting activity will help to prevent tough meat.
     

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