How to fatten up a bully rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mrstiffanymayer, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. mrstiffanymayer

    mrstiffanymayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Bakersfield California
    I am considering culling my rooster. He is 17 weeks. When I feel over him, his keel bone is pretty prominent and while he is pretty big now, he feels mostly feathers. He free ranges and has the option to eat grower feed at any time.

    How do I go about getting more meat on him if I want to eat him? How long will it take to fatten him up?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You'll never be able to "fatten" him up as big as the birds you can find in the store. The birds in the store are a special cross breed that get to market size in 42 days or so. They are double breasted and naturally get big due to their genetics. Your little bully is likely single breasted and the keel will always stick out no matter how you feed and house him. Since he is 17 weeks, I'd send him to freezer camp sooner rather than later if you want to eat the meat, since too much older and he'll be too tough. Just with hold feed overnight and do the deed in the morning. Enjoy the meat he does have.
     
  3. werecatrising

    werecatrising Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2009
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    So it is normal to feel the keel? I was starting to worry about my girls. They are nice and plump everywhere else, but their keels are somewhat prominent.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yep, feeling the keel is normal. If their keel sticks out, and forms the tip of a V shape to their breasts, that is healthy. If you can pinch the keel, and not have any breast meat on the sides, as in a Y shape, that is too thin.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    What breed is your rooster? Some breeds, & some individuals, are just beefier than others. Most of my dinner guests are standard or mixed-breed roos and I let them grow to about 20 weeks before butchering. They're not as meaty as the commercial meat breeds, usually around 3-4 pounds dressed. But they're always tasty & tender the way I cook them, slowly simmered in herbed water until the meat melts off the bones. Then I use the meat in dishes like soups, stews or chilis so it goes farther.
     
  6. mrstiffanymayer

    mrstiffanymayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Bakersfield California
    rooster Cogburn is a new hampshire red. I think I might be able to wait 3 weeks and cull him @ 20 weeks.

    Now I am really excited!!! Yay for chicken soup!
     
  7. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    I have a frizzled cochin roo that I can feel his keel bone, it sticks out a bit. He's just so busy all day with his girls and constantly patrolling the place [​IMG] I do see him at the feeder, but he never eats any treats I throw out, he gives them to his girls [​IMG] He free-ranges all day so I know he has plenty of opportunities to eat. He's a busy body and I figure it's just "him".


    The rest of my chickens are fat, probably too fat. Mr Frizz is not [​IMG]
     
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, if you plan on culling him then you will need to cage him for 24 hours to clean him out. Why not confine him a week and feed him up before the 24 no feed before butcher time. I know my hubby says for the pigs we have to do it 3 weeks ahead but that is to sweeten them up. If roo is confined then he is not running off his fat and his muscle will get tenderer.
     
  9. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't bother trying to fatten him. It will cost more in tiem and feed than it is worth. Just crock pot him.
     
  10. achaeos6

    achaeos6 New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2009
    What about Jersey giants? They dont put their weight on till later. When is good to butcher them?
     

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