First time raising meat birds...all roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hollymc9, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. hollymc9

    hollymc9 New Egg

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    Ok, don't make fun of my question please :) But we are raising chickens for the first time and we are only doing this for meat. So when I placed my order (3-Buckeyes, 12 Delaware, 10 Jersey Giants) I was advised to go with all males since I was not interested in any eggs at this point. Made sense to me. Was this the right move? I selected the breeds that I did because I was not so thrilled about the whole broiler growth process (so fast). Just want them to be raised as organically as possible so that I can have good hormone-free, humainly raised chickens for my family. I believe that the breeds I ordered are nice dual purpose breeds, but make great meat birds as well. Am I on the right track? Any advice would be appreciated. Fyi, we will eventually have chickens for eggs, but just not right now.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jerryb

    jerryb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see no reason why you will have a problem. Your plan seems to meet with your desires in regards to your food. give them a good healthy place to live and plenty of clean water and I think you will be rewarded.

    I am going to raise some dual purpose birds for meat this spring as well. we have a small flock of laying hens and I am going to give it a try. I have an incubator and can buy fertile eggs (barred rock) from a nearby amish farm for $1.50 a dozen so I am going to fill the bator and see how it goes. I doubt you or I will save money, but I am sure we will both have good chicken in the freezer.

    cheers,
    Jerry
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, don't expect to save money, but I do like my home raised chicken.

    There are a whole lot of myths about roosters on this forum. I agree you can have problems with a lot of roosters, but I don't. If you have only roosters and no females for then to fight over, you are no worse off than raising a group of all females. You'll probably see some fighting as they start to mature, but you'll see that in an all-female flock too. And you will get a lot more meat from roosters. Your plan sounds perfect to me.

    I recently got an order of 21 chicks, 3 pullets and 18 roosters. They were raised together and integrated into my regular flock of 1 rooster and 6 hens at about 8 weeks old. I had no problems, and there were females involved. I put most of the roosters in the freezer at 17 weeks and 18 weeks of age. According to a lot of the myths on this forum, I should have had horrible problems, especially since they were adolescents. I did not.

    I had a lot of room for them to roam and I think that helped. I fully agree that you can have problems with the numbers of roosters and pullets I had. But I did not.

    When you get sexed chicks, it is possible there can make mistakes. Don't be shocked if you find that you wind up with one or two pullets. If you do and space is limited, you may need to separate them. That's just something you will have to watch for. But if you get lucky and get 100% roosters, you have it made.
     
  4. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to agree with you I have 23 hens, 5 roosters and 3 juvenile roosters. The only time I really have to remove a rooster from the group is when they get to breeding age and start trying to breed with the girls. They sometimes can be really rough and will throw the girls around. I have to say though that 23 hens all running at you because you are a rooster and have made them mad can be pretty intimidating. One of my juvy roos tried to breed a hen that didn't want it and ALL of them ganged up on him. I think it took him 2 days to work up the nerve to come out and be in the group again. Just goes to prove the girls always get what they want.
     
  5. hollymc9

    hollymc9 New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2011
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    Thanks so much for the replies! I will definitely post again once things are moving along. Now if I can only keep my sanity come March with 25 chickens, a 2 year old, and a newborn all at the same time :) Thank goodness my husband is on board with my project!
     
  6. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an added thought regarding the Jersey Giants. Though they are the largest of the chickens, it will take almost two years for full size. The first year is mostly building thier frame. Post a query on the Jersey Giant Breed thread for further thoughts. You may wish to change your order.
     
  7. ChickenAsylum

    ChickenAsylum Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried to eat a 16-week old roo and it was dark, gamy and inedible! What's the secret?
     
  8. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most people who have your problem haven't rested the meat. At least 24 hours in the fridge. A DP rooster that is free ranging and flying will be darker meat also.
     
  9. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not only does your approach make sense, it's what TONS of people do on a regular basis. Many of the hatcheries advertise "Fryer Pan Specials" (or some other name, that one is Meyer's I think) where they sell you just males at a discounted price--usually from some dual purpose breed (often you don't get to choose).

    Of course, you can't beat the growth rate, size, or feed conversion of the standard CornishX--but I think you already know that and want to purposefully go the slow growth route anyway. As far as having multiple roosters together, generally if you raise them together you won't have a problem.
     
  10. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This makes perfect sense to me - good plan! We're trying to find our favorite dual-purpose breed and have an order in for several roosters. Since we have layers we also ordered a female of each breed so we can hatch next spring from our favorite breed. I've heard great things about Delawares and have three of those coming. I hatched some Black Copper Marans last fall and was incredibly impressed with the amount of meat on them at 17 & 18 weeks. They may very well be the breed we go with.

    We just butchered the rest of our excess roosters last weekend because we were having problems. It was mostly because of the boys pestering the females and not letting them back in the coop. Our plan is to keep the boys separate when they reach that age next time just out of pity for my girls. :) Live and learn.

    Chickmommy - we just ate our 5th butchered rooster (16-22 weeks) and didn't have that problem except for the drumsticks of one. We even ate a 8 month old rooster and didn't find that. We do let the meat rest in the refrigerator or ice water for three days before cooking. So far we've used the crock pot and used the meat in soup, chicken sandwiches, or chicken salad and it's been fine. We oven-fried one last night and it was ok except for the drum sticks. Try all that and see if it makes a difference. 16 weeks shouldn't be tough and stringy by doing those things.
     

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