Is it even worth it to butcher my bantams?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by seespotbitejane, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    So I seem to have bad luck with my chickens. I started last year with 10 straight run chicks. I was prepared for a 50/50 roo/pullet split. I got 7 roos. Then (we were still working out coop security issues) a predator got in and got one of them. At 7 to 3 odds were good it'd take one of my extra roos. Nope!

    I was able to get rid of a couple of the roos but they still had my pullets outnumbered so I bought a few more hens to balance things out. I got hens that were already laying just to be on the safe side, but then I saw some silky pullets on CL who seemed like they should be old enough to be relatively sure. I met their showgirl brother who was crowing already. I had them for a couple months actually before they started getting into fights and one of them started crowing. Then several more weeks later, the other two followed suit. I am so ticked at them.

    Anyway, the long and short of it is that I have about 4 too many roosters give or take some chicks who will not surprise me at all when they start to crow, and so far I've not had luck finding homes for them. I want to hold out for a while with the silkies because they are handsome fellows and not from hatchery stock and when they aren't all crowing in unison they're relatively quiet. But something's gotta give here. The thing is, they are all bantams, and despite their diet of feed and kitchen scraps and whatever they get from the yard they are all pretty scrawny. I kind of think that once I remove feathers, guts and bones there's not going to be any meat to speak of left.

    Any suggestions or encouragement in either direction is appreciated. Roos are legal in my neighborhood and my guys aren't the only ones around, but there's only so much crowing the neighbors can be expected to put up with.

  2. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    I bought rather young, rather scrawny birds at auction and butchered them. Despite their meager appearance I did get a meal for one in a half out of each carcass.
    If you do butcher them, you'd probably get a decent lunch or small dinner out of each for one person. Better than nothing, I figure.

    OR, you could check if theirs any swap meets, or public auctions around. At a swap you might be able to at least give them away for free, at an auction you might get a dollar a bird. More if the much sought after 'Bidding War' occurs. [​IMG]

    I know your pain. I have three Welsummer roosters, one blue, and possibly two more on the way. Plus I already have two ADULT roosters! Thats eight roosters! EIGHT! Augh! [​IMG]
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    [​IMG] Bantam & dumplings! [​IMG]
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If I can not get any takers, I would do the kindest thing by slitting their throats and throw them in the bag. OR freebies for the zoo either for petting zoo OR alligator bait.

  5. I had similar luck, hatching out more roosters. I did take my extras to an auction and surprisingly got $6 per bird. I was saying 'But they're all roosters!" Still, someone wanted them! You just never know! Recently I'd advertised some hens and 2 roosters on Craigslist. Someone showed up and turns out they just needed the roosters to replace the ones their dog got, so I ended up just giving 3 cockerels to them. Personally, I don't think it's worth the time to butcher the young ones. It would be like eating a pigeon. Now maybe the bigger fully mature boys........Good luck either way!
  6. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    After a straight-run purchase, we had four too many banty roosters, which we butchered at 13 weeks. Two were pretty slender dark brahmas, the other two slightly heftier cochins. They made cute little chicken parts, but we fried up the breasts, legs and thighs and fed six adults including two men with healthy appetites, and two little girls thrilled with their chicken nuggets. There were leftovers for lunch the next day. So I'd say yes, it's worth it!
  7. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I'll keep them in mind. Too bad we don't have any alligators in Washington.

  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Any Asian markets or communities nearby? Silkies are a delicacy, and the meat and broth are both used medicinally. You could probably sell them. What breeds are the others?

    If the only option turns out to be killing them, I'd definitely dress them and eat them. Even if they make one meal each, they wouldn't be wasted. At our house, any extra birds that we need to kill are going on the menu.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  9. Warfrost

    Warfrost In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2009
    stock Stock STOCK!!! Those little guys will serve you in many ways(pun intended!)! bake them in the oven over some veggies till the meat falls off the bone, then take what's left of the chicken and the roasted veggies and make a wonderful, rich homemade chicken stock from what's left. You can also take the meat you got and make a nice chicken salad with potatoes, green onions, mayo, and salt and pepper. Bantams are great for this! You can even bake them in parchment paper sacks over some veggies like carrots and such, and serve them as an intimate dinner- they'll look a little bit like cornish game hens, but they'll be bigger, and you'll actually eat your fill!

    Before you do this, I'd take about a week and feed the ones you plan on processing some nice stuff to fatten them some scrambled egg and olive oil...maybe some oats. Good luck!

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