how long do I raise PRs for?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rudibell, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Rudibell

    Rudibell In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2010
    Star Valley, Wyoming
    New to this, settled on trying to raise half a dozen PRs for meat in Western Wyoming (6000' elevation, cold nights, but lots of sunshine). They'll start indoors, of course. How long do I want to plan on feeding them, until they're a good size for slaughter? I don't want them to get too tough, so what should I plan for?

    All other hints for a rookie appreciated!
  2. mountainpridefarm

    mountainpridefarm In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2010
    My RIR roo is 6 months old and I would definitely butcher him now, I am assuming their growth rates are quite similar. If it were a hen I would not even think about butchering her at 6months. if you are ordering from a hatchery I am sure that they are more of the egg production types and will really not make a good meat bird at all. If you are thinking sustainability and heritage breeds I would stay away from the Cornish Xs but would look into Dark Cornish, or some Freedom Rangers.
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    The roosters, if you want them to have pretty tender meat, you should butcher about the time they start to crow (16-20 weeks). The meat of a six month old rir is not going to be as enjoyable...or may limit you to using it for soup or stew. With the hens, it's just a few weeks behind, i believe (20-25 weeks). I haven't butchered hens yet, but that's the information i remember. The time to butcher corresponds to sexual maturity.

    I recently butchered two rir roos a little bit late, but not too much - right at 20 or 21 weeks. They were great for roasting. If you want them to be big enough earlier than that, i would definitely limit their movement - meaning don't let them free range, but keep them in a small but comfortable space - so they don't run off all their calories for several weeks before you plan to butcher.

    I know the breeding has changed a lot, but plymouth rocks used to be THE meat bird back in America's earlier days, so i say go for it. I have really enjoyed my rir meat, and i image rocks would be pretty similar.
  4. jmagill

    jmagill Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I am in Star Valley as well and just getting back into chickens. I had four and a bobcat just got them.

    I did broilers the first year I raised chickens here. I think you would find them the easiest if you are just going for meat.
    The problem here in Star Valley is keeping them safe from predators and sheltered in the winter.
    If you don't want to keep any for eggs in the winter, the broilers are fast and easy.

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