How long does it take?

Captain Cluck

Songster
10 Years
Jun 19, 2009
183
8
129
Central Florida
How long does it take for a Cochin or Cochin x to get to a good butchering weight/size?

I have too many cockerels and want to put them in the freezer by the time they start crowing if not before. (crowing = grumpy neighbors)

They are a little over 14 weeks old and free range my yard. I am penning them up when we finish the pen this weekend.

What and how much should I feed them to get them to gain fast? I don't mind if they are the size of cornish "game hens" when we process, just as long as they have meat on them (they feel rather skinny right now)

I feed a mix of grower/finisher, rabbit pellets, table scraps, scratch or wild bird mix and they often get into the layer pellets when I feed the laying hens.

What should I change or add?
Thanks for any advice.

Edited to add: These are standard large fowl Cochins, Cochin x RIR, & Cochin x Ameracauna.
The hens are safe from processing. I want eggs!
 
Last edited:

Olive Hill

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
4,203
135
253
Generally speaking, you should expect to be able to process most non-meaties between 16-20 weeks. If they're on the smaller or slower growing side 20-24 may be more appropriate.

That said, in response to this...

I don't mind if they are the size of cornish "game hens" when we process, just as long as they have meat on them (they feel rather skinny right now)

Feed plays only a marginal part in the muscle development of birds. Most of that is genetic. If they're not genetically "thick" or "meaty" birds no amount of force feeding will make them any meatier, just fatter. The exception, of course, would be if they were nutritionally stunted. Beyond meeting their basic nutritional and energy needs however, there's not much you can do to force meat development. Not anything significant anyway.​
 

bwmichaud

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 19, 2010
155
7
91
I found that the birds I fed scratch just had a thicker layer of fat on their belly so now I just feed my DP cockerels a broiler mix @ 20% protein. The funny thing is, I had one of the birds that never had scratch had a thick layer of fat while the rest did not. All of the birds I fed the scratch had the fat though.

Brian
 

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