How do I get my roosters to gain weight?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brothab, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. brothab

    brothab New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2007
    I am raising some chickens that were hatched this spring. I am starting to get a few small eggs from my hens now which is good. My plan was to slaughter the roosters to put in the freezer. They are getting big enough that they are doing all the things that roosters do (fighting and mounting the hens).

    I only have the one pen for all of them and don't have the time or resources to build a seperate coop yet. They have constant fresh water and feed but the roosters are still not really gaining. They are big and tall but when you pick one up and feel the breast they are pretty thin.

    I am almost certain that having them seperate from the hens would help the situation. But as I mentioned before that's not practical right now. Is there anything else I can do to help them gain weight fast so I can slaughter them and end the aggravation to my hens?

    I have approx. 65 birds at an almost perfect 50/50 mix. I feed them scratch and kitchen scraps and also let them free range over about 1.5 acres every evening for a couple of hours.

    I am new to the board and looking forward to meeting all.

    Thanks,

    Brotha B.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well... you have "dual purpose" birds... Their breasts will never get big. That big breasted thing is a trait of the meat bird cornish x you get in the stores and butcher at 8 weeks old. I say if your roo's are doing roo things, get them now.... they will also not be as tender as the store birds. Be sure to age too... else they will be rubbber bands. Good luck.
     
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    BC, Washington Border
    If your birds are a typical dual purpose heritage breed the roosters really need to be 6 months old or so before they get any real weight on them. They never will be as meaty as a cornish etc.
     
  4. brothab

    brothab New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. I think you are right being that they are dual purpose breeds. They aren't supposed to gain weight like those things you buy at the store. I am slowly culling them out a few at a time. They make great soup or stew.

    Anyone in the Kemp Tx area that wants to buy a few?
     
  5. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    welcome to the board. you wanna sell some birds make sure you post it in the free/ trade/sale cadigory and you will problbly get some reasponses. what breed are they ??
     
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    I only have the one pen for all of them.
    I am almost certain that having them seperate from the hens would help the situation.
    I have approx. 65 birds at an almost perfect 50/50 mix.
    Therein lies your problem. Too many cockerels in the presence of the hens keeps them at a constant pitch, with either fighting or mating attempts. By that stage you need to have gotten it down to the BEST cockerels with the hens -which means 2-3 for the number of hens you have (30). The rest of the cockerels need to be elsewhere.

    I feed them scratch and kitchen scraps and also let them free range over about 1.5 acres every evening for a couple of hours.
    To keep it simple, feed them chick grower, kitchen scraps and green feed and STOP the freeranging. Lots of protein and good feed, with no running around will help to fatten them. Then 24 hours before butchering, stop feeding and give only water. This clears the crop and GI tract and eases the chore of the slaughter. The very best way to prep them is to put them in fattening cages for a month.

    Since separation, cages or better feed is not an option, I suggest you get on with the slaughtering and plan better next time. Besides, even small cockerels will taste good if well cooked they call them "young broilers" or "game roasters" and they won't seem so small...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2007

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