Naughty, nasty birds earn an early trip to freezer camp

trase

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
48
0
22
Tyrone Township, MI
This is our first flock, and we got a variety of breeds in straight run, with the plan being to cull of the roos (save for one, I was hoping for a Welsummer roo and it appears that I probably have two) all along.

You may have seen my post elsewhere regarding the handicapped Welsummer hen who we reintroduced to the coop after letting her recuperate in the brooder cage here in the house for a couple of weeks, and how the ill-behaved White Plymouth Rocks immediately started to badger and bully her, so we removed the six of them from the coop and transferred them back to the brooder cage.

We have decided to cull all of them as meat birds, even though two may be hens. I am not liking this breed at all, and would prefer to populate our flock with nicer breeds. We have Buff Orps, Welsummers, and two RIR's, and they are all behaving much more nicely toward each other, the coop has a calmer feel to it, and nobody is being bullied. We do plan to add to our flock in time with some BCM's and Jersey Giants, which as I understand are both calmer, friendlier breeds - at least, from what I've read

They are in the cage now, and are continuing their high-strung, nasty behavior, including disassembling the waterer, and kicking pine shavings into the feeder so much that it was impacted over their food. I realize much of this has to do with their being freaked out about the move, and subsequently, the serious reduction in space, but I am increasingly hateful toward these birds. I don't want to be cruel, however.

What is the earliest we can cull them for meat? I mean, seriously, we are at the point where if I just get the equivalent of a few McNuggets, I'll be satisfied. There is nothing endearing about these particular birds like there is with the others.

Has anyone else had this sort of experience? Any tips or ideas?
 
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Firemenlovechicks

Songster
10 Years
Jan 5, 2010
178
4
113
Medina, TN (near Jackson)
I would think you can cull them at any time......... the longer you wait, the more meat they will have though..... (to a degree)

Don't wait too long, they can be tough when they get older.

Just process them small and put them on the grill whole like you would the small cornish hens.
 

underground chickenman

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
562
10
131
Orlando, Florida
Quote:
I don't know if white rocks are particularly mean or not, but what you describe is pretty normal chicken behavior. The hen that was gone for a few weeks and reintroduced to the coop was a "new" chicken to the coop residents. It is pretty typical for the newbie to get beat up by the old-timers. Perhaps you tried to introduce her slowly, but if not, that would have probably helped the situation. You can introduce the new hen by putting her in the coop with some protection from the others, such as moving the brooder cage into the coop, or sectioning off part of the coop with wire. After a week or so of having her in there, but not touchable, slip her onto the roost at night. With any luck, everybody will wake up in the morning being none the wiser.

Or, go ahead and eat them.
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UGCM
 

kooltex

Songster
10 Years
Oct 15, 2009
388
2
119
NE Tx
My white rocks are really friendly and sweet. They follow me everywhere, and aren't mean to each other, but they were all raised together so thier pecking order is well established. Plus they have plenty of space.
 

SteveH

Songster
10 Years
Nov 10, 2009
3,392
13
191
West/Central IL
Off with their heads !
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Seriously , if they're 12 weeks old or more , then processing them right now will give you tender meat and no additional costs trying to attain a bigger size ; or you could grow them in confinement another 2 or 3 weeks or so to gain some size and keep them relatively tender .
 

trase

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
48
0
22
Tyrone Township, MI
Quote:
Oh, I'm aware of pecking order, etc. These birds have been nasty *all along* - not just when introducing the injured hen back into the flock. The other birds (Buff Orps, Welsummers, RIR's) have been noticeably, distinctively, absolutely nicer in their behavior even when they are doing the chicken thing with pecking order. These Rocks are very aggressive, even with my husband and I, and we have a three year old son who interacts with our flock too - we refuse to have birds that are so boisterously unruly and pugnacious toward humans that we have concerns about them harming him. They've already drawn blood on me a couple of times when I have been feeding the chickens by hand. They very intentionally move the food out of the way so that they can get a good grip on my skin and try to rip it open (and have been successful at this!)

I guess I really needed to elaborate on how truly nasty their behavior is to assure everyone here that this goes beyond "typical chicken behavior." I may be new at this, but I can tell from the other chickens that this isn't typical.
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The other chickens have not been nasty toward the injured hen. Unfortunately, our brooder cage is not something that would fit well into the coop - it would take up 1/3 of the space in there (it is 5' x 5'). Well, maybe not 1/3 but close to it. She does have a little box in a corner near the food, water, and heat that she hangs out in and they don't bother her.

I just wanted to clarify the situation.
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PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
68
229
SouthEast Texas
Quote:
I'm planning to do mine at 12 weeks. I don't like their skittishness and nervous behavior either - though mine are packing peanuts who were always destined for freezer camp.

I got a lot of helpful information from this article.
http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf

I need to apologize for this post. When i you wrote "rock," i, for some reason, read "leghorns." No idea. I clearly needed more sleep.

The article's still good but doesn't really apply to your situation.

Very sorry.
 

trase

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
48
0
22
Tyrone Township, MI
Quote:
No problem - good article, regardless.

And my husband and I have really looking at the birds and are wondering if we truly got Rocks. We are wondering if they are actually Rock/Cornish broilers or possibly Leghorns. They have that really stout look of broilers and have been growing at twice the rate of the other birds. My husband pondered the Leghorn possibility due to their bad attitudes (a la Foghorn).

Something is just off with these birds. If the other birds were acting as aggressively as them, I'd write it off as normal chicken behavior, but there is a distinct difference between these Rocks and the rest of them.
 

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