To process now or wait?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PaisyQ, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. PaisyQ

    PaisyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 12 week old boys that are going to have to be butchered, since I have no room for extra roosters. I had planned on keeping them for a little while longer, but due to the weather, I cannot house them as I had planned on, and they are now stuck inside the house with their 3 hatchmates, another rooster and 2 pullets, in a 3 by 7 foot box. I am considering having them butchered sooner than I originally planned. The local processor is going to be doing some birds this upcoming friday. If I don't have them done this week, I will have to wait until the beginning of April.
    These guys were an experimental hatch in a new incubator. Two of them are leghorn crossed with who knows what, the other is anybodies guess; but none of them are meat birds. I don't expect to get much off of them, whether or not I have them done now or later, but I am concerned about their quality of life. If I wait another month, are they likely to start fighting? They are already in tight quarters. And they have all been crowing for 5 weeks now. So far, no serious issues with eachother. But I don't want anything serious to start either, since I won't be able to do much about it if it does.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Since you have them all packed together, I would go ahead and have them butchered.

    They might not have much meat on them, but they will be very tasty.
     
  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since you are limited by having someone else do your butchering on certain days I'd go ahead and do it now. Normally I would recommend growing them out longer to get the maximum amount of meat but that's if u can but her yourself whenever you need to. I kept 6 roosters until 24 weeks or so and they fought some but not badly enough to actually injure each other. Mainly just chase around and try to spur one another. They apparently didn't realize they didn't grow spurs yet lol.
     
  4. PaisyQ

    PaisyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies. That's sort of the way I'm leaning to go, so I think I'll just go ahead and call and get them scheduled.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yes, since you have limited space, I think that is the right decision. They are still going to grow a lot so it will get tighter and their hormones are soon going to go crazy. Since they don't have enough room to run away from each other if a fight is going badly, it will probably not end well. Having four oversexed hormonal cockerels with two pullets like that in a tight space is another consideration.

    You've accepted you won't get much meat and you won't. I personally prefer to wait until about 18 weeks with a little older even better but you don't have the room for that. I don't always have the "ideal" situation, I have the situations "I deal" with. You have one of those and I think you are making the best of it.
     
  6. PaisyQ

    PaisyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took the three in this morning to the processor, and feel this was the right way to go. I came home yesterday from work to find a minor skirmish going on between two of the boys. Some blood was drawn, and the instigator would not let up. Ended up seperating him into a cat carrier for the night. No other issues between the rest of them, but it doesn't look like I would have been able to keep them all together for much longer.

    So now the three remaining have more space, and the weathermen are finally predicting a thaw coming, so hopefully I'll be able to get them outside in the next week or two.

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I was really unsure if this was the right step to take; you all helped convince me, and I'm glad you did. I would hate to think what could have happened if I'd decided to keep them around for longer.
     

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