Meat bird questions!

outonalimbacres

Hatching
Dec 2, 2015
7
0
7
So, I have a backyard flock that, for all intensive purposes, was for some yummy at home free run eggs. However, 15 of my birds turned out to be roosters!! I've tried to get rid of them but after all the money I've put into feeding and raising them the only way I'll recoup my cost is to slaughter them and eat them. They are RIR and orpingtons. I've heard they are dual purpose birds, but anyone have any experience with these birds as eating birds? Will it be worth my time to slaughter them all for dinner??

Also, my second question has to do with blackhead. I've had some yellowish/mustardy, foamy diarrhea around. I've freaked myself right out thinking they have something terrible, but there is no blood, non of my birds are lethargic and they are all running around eating and drinking just fine (the roosters are being real dicks and accosting my poor hens). I was thinking maybe they are either stressed out, it's something they are eating (we throw our no-good garden veges in their coop) or perhaps it's just ceceal poop? Anyways if it is blackhead, are these chickens edible or do I need to medicate them first?

I'm super new to chickens and have a ton to learn so sorry for the ramble. Thanks!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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It is always worth the time if you haven't been able to dispose of them. They've lived a good life and you've fed them. They might as well feed you. They taste just like chicken.
Just don't expect a fat breast like you would get with Cornish X meat birds.
After you process them, let the meat rest for a few days before you cook or freeze.
Then when you cook, do so on low heat slowly. The legs and thighs will need to be chewed unlike the aforementioned fast growing meat birds. So you'll want to cook till the meat starts to fall off the bone.

Sorry, I'm not a blackhead expert.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Ditto CC on harvesting.

Might want to segregate the males pronto, give the girls a break, and see if their droppings change.
Maybe cut back on the veggies too.

Never heard of foamy yellow poops being blackhead...only coccidia...and could be cecals too.
If there are also solid poops, I would probably rule out disease.

Here's some visual examples that might aid your poop investigation:
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/02/whats-scoop-on-chicken-poop-digestive.html
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/?topic=17568.0
 

outonalimbacres

Hatching
Dec 2, 2015
7
0
7
Perfect! Thank you. I've seen this poop chart, it's very helpful. While the poops don't look totally normal to me, all the chickens are behaving totally normal. We are going to slaughter the roosters Saturday. They are beating each other up and chasing/tormenting my poor hens. I'll see how everyone does after the Roos are gone. I have a feeling everyone will be much happier.
 

outonalimbacres

Hatching
Dec 2, 2015
7
0
7
I should mention there are solid poops too. Right now I have too many birds to know who's making the weird poop. Could be multiple birds, and it could be Cecal. I'm not going to stress unless I see sick bird behaviour lol.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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It's amazing how things calm down...like immediately...when you remove extra males.
Coop partition and/or a few wire dog crates are a great tool for this situation.

Lets us know how it works out...Good cLuck!
 
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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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western South Dakota
If the birds are acting healthy, I would not worry about it.

It is a bit of a challenge to butcher birds, but really makes you feel like a pioneer woman!

You might also can your meat, so very handy to have in the cupboard, but you do need a pressure canner.

Mrs K
 

Amina

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2013
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They are definitely worth eating, and should have fantastic flavor, though they will be smaller than what you're used to. How old are they?
 

outonalimbacres

Hatching
Dec 2, 2015
7
0
7
Pretty young! I'm not sure the exact age because most of these birds I got from a friend, i would say around 4 months give or take a couple weeks. They are just old enough that they are harassing the hens and a couple have started to crow. They are mostly RIR. And pretty aggressive little guys I must say! I also have 2 lavender orp. Roosters that have to go. It's kind of a shame they are big, and from what I can tell more gentle, but I'm just too overrun!
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
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Are you going to keep one roo as a flock master, or get rid of all of them? If you want chicks in the spring, it might be worth while to keep one. I hate the crowing, but have to pay the price to get those chicks. Love breeding my own.
 

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