new at raising for meat/age to slaughter?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bobeena, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. bobeena

    bobeena In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    Before this, I said I'd only keep a few birds for eggs. Now the irony of giving away extra free-range back yard chickens and then buying the same kind of chicken from a local farmer to eat has dawned on me.

    So: If I start with hatchery chicks next April, about how long would I want to wait to process the birds for meat? Thinking that I don't want to keep them around all that summer if possible. Last, if I keep them from food the day before slaughter, I still give access to water, yes?

  2. Red Tie

    Red Tie Songster

    May 30, 2008
    Metamora, MI
    Depends on the breed of meat bird you get. A Cornish cross is ready in less than eight weeks. I am going to do five roos of mine this weekend, they will be 7 weeks old and they currently weigh 7 lbs live weight. They are the fastest growing, best feed conversion ratio of any of the breeds. However, they have trade offs-can be prone to health problems due to rapid growth, can't take the heat very well. They poo like mad, huge messy "cowpiles" of poo! And if you can't keep them very clean, stinky! There are other types of broilers though. Cornish X are the ones you are used to seeing in the stores and most likely the ones the local farm might raise to eat. I'm sure others (Greyfields!) will jump in here and help you out with some of the other breed choices-rangers etc.

    Good luck and have a great time doing your research!


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