Raising Roo's For Meat?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mtnhomechick, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I put this under behaviors bc I thought it was the appropriate place.

    If a person wanted to raise plain old roosters for meat versus Cornish Cross..How many could you raise/house together. Wouldn't it turn into a huge cock fight?

    At what age would you cull them for meat?


  2. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    We did that last year, and it went just fine. We never had any fights or anything, but then all the cockerels grew up together from Day One.

    One day we butchered some 6-week-olds and some 16-week-olds, at the same time, just to compare. We did not find any appreciable difference in texture, and thought that the older bird maybe tasted just a bit better.

    With Orpington and White Rock cockerels, at 14 weeks or so, we wound up with a dressed carcass of about 3 pounds, which was fine to feed our family of three and then make soup after.
  3. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Thanks NP.........how did the taste/texture compare to C Cross? How many did you raise together?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Unlimited. Males raised together of most domestic breeds, do well as long as there are no pullets present. Women always cause trouble. I agree with ninjapoodles(LOL)
  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    So what's the ideal age for culling? What do you feed them? Are they real noisy crowing etc?
  6. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    I've got some Welsummer Roos that are 17 weeks and I'd say they'll dress out about 3 1/2 pounds. Yes they are crowing and haven't really done a whole lot of fighting yet. They are in a coop with about 20 non-laying hens. So I'm assuming as the weather gets better and the hens start laying, it may get ugly! Good luck, we raised the the Freedom Ranger type birds last year and had about 10 roos together and they did just fine. Dressed out at about 5 pounds so they were pretty nice boys.
  7. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I haven't raised any Cornish X, so I can't compare that...I can compare to storebought chicken. We found our own birds to be much more flavorful, and the texture is very much more "there," if that makes sense. It's not tough meat, but it's not the mush of Tyson chicken breasts, either.

    You won't get anywhere near the amount of breast meat as you would on a meat bird hybrid, but in my opinion, there's plenty. The breast doesn't protrude out and cover over the keel bone, like what you're used to, but when you carve it you'll find that it goes pretty deep.

    Any that we've let grow beyond 16 weeks or so DO start to crow and get noisy. When you butcher really depends on your own personal preferences. We came to believe that about 12-14 weeks would give us pretty much all the growth we were gonna get before sexual maturity (and crowing, etc.), so we're fine with butchering then.

    The roosters who live with our hens just eat the hens' laying ration. The guys who are gonna be butchered get moved into the turkey pen, and share the turks' gamebird ration. They really don't eat too much.

    Hey, swing through any time you're headed to Little Rock, and I'll load you up with extra roosters so you can try it out! [​IMG]
  8. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    ninjapoodles, do we really need to put the roos on a different feed? That may be difficult for me to seperate all those chickens. We had a good hatch from the bator and of course too many roos. They are from a BO roo and these hens, LH, BO, RIR, EE, SLW and Austros. they hatched out on Feb. 14 so they are....over nine weeks old. Some are trying to crow. Should we cull those? Or wait for several more weeks? I am feeding them Flock raiser from Purina. Not really looking forward to this. My DH hunts so it is no big deal for him to do 'the deed'. Will the meat only be good for stewing? Thanks
  9. BirdMom

    BirdMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2009
    We raised seven roos from chick to 16-20 weeks for eating. The 16 week olds were probably in the 3 lb range when culled, but by 18 weeks, we were getting 5 lbs! These were RIR over White Leghorn crosses, and those boys really started getting big after 16 weeks. They did start crowing at about 14 weeks, but it wasn't anything annoying, not all the time or anything.

    The meat was very flavorful, very tender, and lots and lots of it. We fried some, and roasted the others. It was really delicious either way. The meat eaters in the family are very disappointed that we don't have any more home raised chicken to eat till we raise another batch!

    We didn't have a killing cone, and before we process anymore chickens, I want one of those. It would make it so much easier! We tried the broomstick method of killing and the cutting the jugular, and we preferred the jugular one, because they bleed out much more completely.

    My husband helped with processing the first couple, but due to a broken vertebrae, wasn't able to help with the others. My dd12 helped process the rest. We're slow, so it took us about an hour per bird, but we did find that if you put a squirt of hand-dishwashing soap in the hot water you dip them in to loosen the feathers, it loosens them much better than without the soap.

    I never thought I could "do the deed" myself, but when it came down to it, since we'd raised these from the beginning as food, and I knew I was putting healthy food on the table for my family, I was able to do it without really thinking about it. It wasn't pleasant, but I just did it, and once they were dead, from there it was just "food prep." And I've always been queasy about that sort of thing. Knowing how factory raised chickens are raised and not wanting to support that or feed that to my family made it much easier to take care of it myself.

    Good luck with them. I'm sure you'll enjoy the fruits of your labors!
  10. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    Quote:well said.

    we are planning on using our excess roos for meat as well, and figure about 15 weeks sounds right (from everything we have read). Dh is the hunter gatherer and I told him if he kills them I cook 'em. I will do it if I absolutely have to, but other wise that is a job set aside for him (I wouldn't ask him to cook unless it was absolutely neccessary lol). division of labor can be a really good thing [​IMG] ...but I will watch just so I know what to do if need be. I am not too sure how many roos we have right now, but I am considering getting more straight run chicks from TSC, to get more roos (bonus if we actually get pullets but you know how straight runs go).

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