I just had my first batch processed which ended up being a great learning experience. Some of the information I got on BYC. First off, I never realized that I should have booked it in advance. I guess I assumed it would be easy to find someone which turned out to be a bad assumption. I called the week before only to have the butcher (Dennison Meats, Dennison, MN) say they were booked until the end of June. With my birds at 8 weeks I was in panic mode. They were nice in recommending another butcher (Kenyon Meats, Kenyon, MN) who booked me the following week. My birds ended up dressing out at an average of about 6 lbs. 9 birds in the 6 lb range and 4 under 5 lbs. Is that good? Total Cost: $3/bird (bagged and freezed) While waiting in line several people were amazed at their size and wanted to know what I fed them. I fed them Purina Start & Grow for the first 3 weeks. Then switched them to Nutrena Meatbird for weeks 4-9. The butcher did commend me on the quality of the birds. He said the dressed out really nice. Not sure what that means. He too asked what I fed them. Lessons Learned: - Call the butcher in the third or fourth week of getting the chicks. Next time I'm going to book two dates to drop off the biggest ones the first week then fatten the remaining ones to butcher the following week. - Have your mind made up of how you want them processed. Fortunately, a nice lady in line explained to me some options. I thought it would be easiest just to bag and freeze them whole. Well I doubt my family will be able to eat a 6 lb chicken. I wish I would've had them halved which cost $.25 more. - Make room in your freezer the night before. I was fortunate that I gave away a couple birds to neighbors in a barter/trade. One neighbor gave me shingles and helped install them on my coop. The other helped me put the run/fence up. They got the 5 lbs. Anyway, the first one (which my son named Fats Domino) is going to be smoked and eaten on Saturday. He dressed out at about 6.5 lbs. I can't wait!