First time with meat birds. Roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by FakeFarmer1, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. 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.
    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.

  2. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Songster

    Dec 12, 2013
    Lancashire, England
    1) Roosters take varying time to begin crowing, some will crow as early as 8 weeks and others won't crow until months after that!

    2) Sexing chickens can be difficult. At eight weeks there are only two ways you can tell their gender. The first is feather development :
    Roosters tend to grow feathers slower and in different areas to pullets.
    The second is comb development :
    Roosters get their combs faster and their combs become redder more quickly

    ETA : I have linked a great article about raising chickens for meat :
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'm guessing you're concerned one of your laying breeds will be a rooster, correct? Mis-sexing does happen. You'll usually have an idea around 6 weeks who is a cockerel. Cockerels can begin crowing any time, but it's usually after 13ish weeks. If you do get an Oops male, it's easy enough to raise him with the pullets until he begins getting hormonal. Once he begins crowing and/or harassing the pullets, go ahead and butcher him.

    Meat birds, assuming you're talking about Cornish Cross, don't live long enough to start crowing as a rule.
  4. That's good info, thanks. I have had good luck with TSC chicks. So far I haven't received any roosters from them. But my co-worker has.
    Good to know I will likely not have crowing issues with the meat birds. And If I get a rooster with the layers I will probably butcher it or give it a new home.
  5. cackler

    cackler Songster

    May 9, 2009
    Central Kansas
    I have some roosters that were supposed to be hens so going to process them. Does anyone know if there are foods to feed them so they taste better? They are a year old. Pressure cooker at the ready. :)

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