Hello, I'm raising chickens for the first time. (We did raise them growing up) I chose all dual purpose breeds and I read I should butcher by 12 weeks and that actually they should be 4 pounders by 8 weeks. they are almost 12 weeks and I butchered 4 today but they were only 3 pounds. Any comments? I fed the starter grower feed at a local farm store. it was between the meat %protein requirements and the layer protein requirements. Maybe I'm forgetting how they looked growing up compared to the huge chickens you buy in the store. 07chickens Thanks guys, They are Buff Orpingtons, Black Sexlinks, Production Reds and Barred Rocks. Do you use any indicators like breast plumpness? How do you tell if they are ready? Will they be tougher if I wait much longer?