This is going to be my first spring raising meat birds. I have had laying chickens for about 4 years. We also grow a massive garden, so now we want to raise some of our own meat too. I get most of my birds from tractor supply. So far I have been satisfied with them, so sometime next week when they get chicks in I want to get another 15 layers and 10 meat birds. I do not want roosters. I have had good luck so far as I haven't had any roosters from them. But the possibility is there that I could get one. When do roosters start crowing? I'll keep the meat birds if any are roosters if the butchering will take place before they crow. I plan to butcher the meat birds between 6 and 8 weeks as has been the recommended time frame. How early can I tell if they are roosters? Thanks for the input there. The butchering. I plan to utilize this method here. http://theelliotthomestead.com/2014/09/how-to-butcher-a-chicken/ I like the cone idea to kill them. Seems easy enough and less hassle. And I plan on using a canning pot to scald them which will be heated outside by a propane stove. I am familiar with the rest of the process as I hunt wild game so I've done my share of ducks and geese. Thanks.