How old should a chicken be to butcher it??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rufflemyfeathers, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]I forgot how old you can start butchering chickens to eat?? Thanks for your help.

    Carol
     
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    what kind of birds are you going to butcher? I do my meat birds at 8 weeks, but if you are doing a dual purpose, you could probably let it go to about 12-16 weeks. The olde they are the tougher they get, but there are ways around tough birds--as in brining, slowcooking,etc.
     
  3. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have RIR and I plan on putting most of my roosters in freezer and few hens..want to keep one rooster or two and some hens for eggs and breeding...
     
  4. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anytime before 24 weeks you will be ok! After that the your chewing on a tire.
     
  5. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would think it depends on the size of bird you want,when mine feel like there is a good bit of meat on them I butcher them,(extra roosters)some wont get real big no matter how old they are so I cook two of those for dinner
     
  6. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks you all for the in...I will keep in mind 24 weeks or less.
     
  7. The Monkey Mama

    The Monkey Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For RIRs you probably want to do it around 15-16 weeks - your feed conversion will go down after that and you won't add substantial meat. AND, for the roos once they start crowing and the testosterone gets flowing, the meat isn't as good. After 16 weeks it is only going to get tougher and less yummy IMO.

    Don't get me wrong, our last "dinner" roo was 26 weeks when we did him in and he was good to eat - but I brined him for 3 days and slow cooked him for about 8 hours before trying to eat him.

    Kelly
     
  8. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do my dual purpose at about 16 weeks. That is very true about the roosters crowing. You want to dress them out about the time they start crowing really good. The longer you wait the tougher they taste. I also do mine at older ages, but I pressure them or crock pot them.
     
  9. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh thanks for letting me know the weeks and about the Rooster I did not know so now I will plan on when they are going into my freeper outside what keep for breeding and eggs. Thanks and Merry Christmas!!! [​IMG][​IMG]


    Carol
     
  10. OPIE

    OPIE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have a good weight in mind for there birds when you buthcer tham or do you just butcher at an specific age?
     

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