Weight of Chicken At Time Of Slaughter.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by deb1, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    The whole chickens that I purchase in the store are normally about 3-4 lbs. It sounds as if you all end up with a heavier chicken after slaughter. So, I was curious how the different breeds of chicken that you all raise compare in weight after you slaughter them.

    So, How heavy on average are your meat chickens and please include which breed you use, Cornishes, JM Hatchery birds, or what breed of dual purpose?

    I am still deciding what would be best for my family. [​IMG]
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Most standard cornish x meat bird eggs are from the same sources. Slow types and rangers are from separate sources.

    Reason industry birds are smaller in the store are often 3 fold. First, they do not move nearly as much as our own due to the often more cramped living styles. Second, the standard to process commercially is 42 DAYS, most non commercial like people here wait till 8 weeks or 56 days. Thrid, the largest of birds go to sit down restaurants. When at one of my relatives restaurants, they do Asian food, the birds in the back always look much larger than the ones in the store.

    Figure processed weight is 75% of live weight.

    Checking the few store birds here we have in the freezer, it seems my mom picks out the birds that are 4-5 lbs from the store.
  3. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    For a 3-4 lb cornish cross (dressed), figure 6-7 weeks. For a similar Ranger-type, figure about 10 weeks. I've got my Rangers scheduled to be processed at 12 weeks (Oct 9th), and I'm hoping for weights in the 4-5 lbs range (dressed). I plan to let everyone know how much they weigh, how they taste, etc.

    But, it also depends on the sex of the bird and some other factors that probably aren't worth getting into. Generally speaking, males will grow faster, and will be around 15% larger than similar females of the same age.

    My cornish crosses are coming up on 6 weeks, and they're starting to get the characteristic "white balls with tiny heads" look to them. They just make me think "butterball" every time I look at them. [​IMG]
  4. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:You are correct there are bigger birds available in the store, but they tend to cost a bit more, of course. I usually just cut the bird into extra portions(The breast into four portions) to feed my family of six and give them lots of starch to fill them up.[​IMG]

    I did not know that about the difference between the ages at slaughter of commercial growers and smaller, noncommercial owners. That was interesting. It also explains why some here seem unimpressed with weights from their own flocks that I would be happy with buying in the store.

    I am mainly curious as to how the different types of chickens stack up against one another at slaughter time when it comes to weight. This will help me decide which type of bird to get.

    My main goal is taste, a size similar to what I purchase in the store, meat on the breasts(not like my buff orps) and a bird that doesn't take too much feed to put on weight.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  5. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:This is actually very helpful to me. Thank you.
  6. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    the cornish eat alot but get to the processing time around 8 weeks or sooner depending on the weight you're looking for. also they have more breast meat.

    the red bros take about 3 weeks longer to get to processing weight, but eat about the same amount of food. they have more dark meat.

    also, the type of feed you give them can make a difference in their weight and amount of ranging that the birds do can make a difference in their weight.
  7. NC chicken man

    NC chicken man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2007
    Mt. Pleasant,NC
    deb we processed 75 last saturday they where 8 weeks old andthey dressed out from 5 lbs to 6 1/2 lbs

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