How do you choose and stick to it?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mommyofthreewithchicks, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    So I jumped into raising chickens this summer with full force. I got 10 somewhat older chicks to raise and then decided I really did want the chick phase and ordered 35 chicks. I had the thought that any roosters we would eat and now that it is fall and time to kill said roosters I am having second thoughts. My favorite chicken is the head rooster- he keeps his flock in line, he isn't too bad to look at even though he is a turken and he is I wouldn't say nice but he is not mean. I have 5 roosters in that bunch and lately when I look at them I think of how pretty they are and how nice their babies would look. Mind you I have yet to see an egg out of the hens but I swear they should be laying any day!!!

    I know in my head we should be packing these boys up for the freezer but I keep going to war with myself on it. The babies are still to little- they would make half a drumstick right now so I will have to cross that bridge when it comes but the older ones are at the crossing road right now.

    How do you choose who goes to the freezer? And how do you stick with the plan?
  2. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    Think of all that feed those excess roosters are consuming, and how tasty they would be in the pot. The feed bill is what did it for me...
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I choose what traits I want carried over into my flock....meaty build, hardy in all weathers, good forager, good disposition, smart about evading predators.

    Then you just do what you have to do with the rest. That is one inevitable fact when you raise chickens...that they eventually die and, if you intend to eat them, you will be the one doing the killing.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    How do you choose who goes to the freezer?

    I have certain goals for my flock and what I want from the offspring and the rooster. I keep the rooster I think will bring me closer to my goals. Your goals my be eggs, looks, behavior, ptotection, or something else. I have no idea. If you know what your goals are it is easier. Not necessarily easy, but easier. If you are not sure what you want, it is real hard to choose. If it helps any, I do sometimes change my mind on which rooster I keep. I'm trying to decide between two right now.

    And how do you stick with the plan?

    I can't help you with this one. Either you do or you don't. I do.
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You could be sad to have to dispatch such handsome birds, or be glad that your meat comes wrapped in such attractive packages!

    I know, it can be difficult to do away with birds you've raised, enjoyed & admired. But it helps to think of them ALL as candidates for the chopping block, and then you can decide to spare a certain few who show exceptional qualities.
  6. 9 Feathers Farm

    9 Feathers Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 30, 2010
    St Johns, MI
    Compromise with yourself, keep one or two and eat the rest. Remember too many roos will lead to fighting, which may lead to injuries or even death (better to eat them now as oppose to bury them later).
  7. Jared77

    Jared77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Howell, MI
    How do you choose who goes to the freezer? And how do you stick with the plan?

    The real question here is "What is the plan?"

    Once you established that, and your reasons/goals for holding anybody back then you evaluate your birds and see who fits those reasons/goals and that's who's held back. The rest are unnecessary for breeding and are culled from the flock. Or you don't hold anybody back so your not judging and process everybody. That might help ease your mind as your not having to make a decision on who's better.​
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  8. Shaun

    Shaun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    SW Central Michigan
    I know how hard it is to cull out Roos, but as some of the folks have mentioned, how many do you need ? One, to be honest; two will often try to fight the other to the death to be the only one; three will work, but do you want to feed three?

    If you've never ate something you've raised before, here's the advice of a one time non-farm girl who has now been on the farm for 25 years.

    1.) Decide with your head, not your heart, how many roos you want to keep, bearing in mind some of those little ones will be full grown soon.

    2.) Take a good hard look at the roos, look for temperament (a biggie for me, as I have a young grandchild), predator watching (another biggie for me) and conformation to those qualities you want to have in offspring.

    3.) If you've never butchered before, or watched birds butchered, find someone who will do it for you the first time. Have them cut the birds up, so they look less like what you raised and more like the stuff from the store. Put the birds in the freezer for a few weeks before you get out a package.

    4.) If you've never butchered before, but think you can watch, find someone who can help you and let them do it the first time or two. Be the person who totes the water, bags the feathers and soaks the birds. I had a dear friend who helped me at first. If you think you can learn, have the friend do the killing and then have them show you how to do the rest. Don't think you have to do it all yourself the first time, or the second time...

    It's never easy for me to take a life, even after all these years - but I can, and even appreciate the meat afterwards. Remember, any animal you've raised yourself is going to have had a far better life than anything you got from the store. I figure that if I've given them a good life, and a quick death, I've honored the animal and done my best. Good luck.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    shauns advice is very good. If I might add this to it as well, once your pulletts hit laying age the roos are going to begin breeding them. Not only will the roos begin to fight amongs themselves but too many will wear out your hens and you have a good chance of them getting hurt, then you have the possibility of dispatching a good laying hen as well. - definately not worth it.
    also when you cull all the way back down to one roo they really step up into their roll as "flock daddy" and are usually quite pleasant to be around.
  10. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    Well tomorrow is the big day. Boy those boys made me so mad today that they WILL be dinner! They picked my silkies head feathers all off the poor things head! So since Dad is coming tomorrow anyway I asked him if he would mind trying to remember how to butcher a chicken- Now I just need my big girl pants to pull this off!!!

    I know which three are going- and it is to bad that Dad doesn't think we should do all 5 (can you tell I am MAD) Darn Chickens. I caught all but one tonight and put them in dog crates and I suppose will have to feed them in the morning in there as I am not chasing them down tomorrow!

    How much do you feed/ not feed them the day of the deed?- Dad is not coming till after work. What do you wish you had known the first time?

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