Please tell me what you do.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rancher hicks, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Since it's so hard to get rid of roos, short of giving them away, and sometimes they won't even move then. If you process your extra roos, at what age do you process them? I have some Delaware roos from Speckledhen and I'd rather process them than give them away.

    Folks seem to think they should just get things for free. Even chicks, makes me mad as the dickens.

    How many cull chicks just cuz no one will buy them?

    If you break a broody will she go broody again in the future? How many time can you break her before she won't go broody again? I don't want her to get to that point.
  2. Brahma Mamma

    Brahma Mamma Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    We've culled four roosters out of our house flock. We got 9 of them from a neighbor when they were younger and didn't know they were roosters until later. I'm guessing the last 2 that we culled were about 8 months old (Beevis and Butthead were their names - they were maniacs - always chasing all the hens around:lol:) We also butchered some Cornish Cross at week 4 (Cornish Game hens in the grocery store), but they were edible because they're franken-birds. You can butcher anytime you like. The younger, the more tender. If they are older (like past 12 weeks) then cook them ALL day in a stew pot. Those guys make GREAT chicken stock. I don't see the point in giving away what you've spent good money and time keeping alive!

    I don't know about the broody question. I think I've read that you can break them from broody with no future problems but don't quote me on that.
  3. clothdiaperingmom

    clothdiaperingmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    Sweetwater, TX
    Dont know about broodys as my oldest are just 4 months. But all the roos I have, I plan on having butchered (no way I can do it and I found a guy that will do it for $2 a bird. I didnt pay anything for most of the roos so $2 a bird to butcher is ok by me).

    I did just give a barred rock roo away yesterday. I posted him on freecycle. We were going to eat all the boys, but they are so sweet. So I figured maybe I could find 1 or 2 of those a good home. This one went to a new home and will have his own harem of 5 BR ladies.

    Otherwise, all the rest, I plan on eating. (My oldest batch has a RIR roo in it that is just getting attitude now that hes hit puberty. Still debating on him since I wanted a RIR roo to breed with my prod reds and RIWhites)
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Do I really have to wait 8 months. Won't they be crowing by then?
  5. Blackburn

    Blackburn New Egg

    Apr 18, 2010
    Indiana County, PA
    Quote:Mine have been crowing before 3 months
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:About 18-22 weeks is best IMO.
    I processed one at 32 weeks and he was OK, but there's really no reason to keep them around that long.
  7. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    I start to process my roos after I have selected several that I will choose from to keep out of the batch. Between 12 -17 weeks.

    By week 12 I am ready to cull the loudest and most dominant, most annoying, I don't waite until the 14 week better grown out bit. They are usually the ones that go balistic later. By week 14 they have had time to show me who is next up on the dominant trait (it changes around once they start disappearing) and if it dances for the girls, if it starts finding food for the pullets and waits to eat until they are done. Then its a keeper and the others can be culled. Sometimes I'll keep several over the next few weeks then make the final decision on the one from that batch to keep. Sometimes, I don't find any to keep.

    I haven't had Delaware Roos but I have had a few crosses and they were a good size at 14 weeks. But 16 weeks is probably best for good grow out timing for selecting most heritage breeder roosters. But I start weeding them out earlier and I spend a lot of time watching them starting week 12.

    I'm at that point now and I know the 1st 4 that are going and that leaves 5 more to choose from. When it stops raining, supposed to rain for a week, then its their time.
  8. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Quote:I agree completely! Less then 18 weeks and they don't have much meat on them. More then that and they start to drive me buggy! lol
    Unless it's some kind of mutant or cornish mix, they won't be big enough for dinner till about 18 weeks.

    I've had them crow as young as 5 weeks! It's funny sounding, but it's a crow none the less.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I eat them around 16-20 wks simply because that seems to be roughly the optimum in terms of size vs feed consumption. They are not full-grown at that size, but their growth rate tapers off so badly in subsequent weeks/months that you end up spending an awful lot of feed money on not much additional meat.

    For an interesting comparison, note that last year I ate a campine/sussex cross cockerel at about 16-18 wks (I forget); he dressed out at 3.25 lbs. His full brother, who as a cockerel was basically identical, got to be a roo for a while til he attacked me about seventy-five times too often, and was killed and cleaned at exactly 1 year of age; he dressed out at 3.25 lbs. There's a lesson in there I think [​IMG] (But the yearling roo was far tastier)

    Of course if economics are not a concern then there is no major reason to eat them sooner rather than later unless they're just getting on your nerves or causing social difficulties in the flock. The yearling roo mentioned above was FABULOUSLY tasty, and while not soft and squishy like storeboughten chicken, after an hour of pressure-cooking I would describe the meat as quite *dense* but not at all tough.

    Good luck, have fun, bon appetit,

  10. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I also process/butcher my cockerels at about 20 weeks. Older, you just cook differently - low heat more moisture. Older the bird, the more flavor the meat has and more texture (which is what causes some people to call the meat tough).

    This is a good article talking about home grown chicken cooking (not cornish rock crosses) -

    have never broken a broody, I always give them eggs. So have no advice for that, but my best broody has hatched 3 clutches since August of 2009 - she is back to laying and I can tell she is starting again to think about brooding.

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