What age to cull?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Coop de Grille, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    This is my first venture into raising chickens. I have way too many cockerels so they are headed to freezer camp. I have five cockerels that are 11 weeks old (EE and SLW) and two that are 8 weeks old (BO's). I have a freezer coming on March 8th so I can't do anything before then. At what age should I cull them?
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    18-20 weeks is considered optimal.
  3. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Thank you!
  4. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't been raising meat birds for very long, but I just go by the weight of the bird. Younger is better of course, I have some BR roos that have taken forever to get to a decent butcher wight, and they have been a little bit chewy.
  5. sport14692

    sport14692 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    Carencro, La
    I will need ya'll advice fairly soon. I will be getting into this.
  6. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    These are not meat birds, I had bought them for eggs and they turned out to be cockerels. I have EE's SLW and BO's. I want to start raising meat birds but I don't have a second coop yet. Which brings me to my next question.

    I live in South Carolina and was thinking of having a lean-to type coop with roof, open on the front with a secure, enclosed run built. Is that ok for meat birds in the south? I have a shady spot to put it. This will give them a place to get out of the rain and sleep, without the expense of a full coop. If I get chicks in April/May, the weather is warm and no chance of frost or freezing weather.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  7. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would think that so long as it will keep predators out, you should be fine.
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I dispatch laying breed cockerals as soon as I know who I'm not keeping. their rate of gain compared to feed consumption just isn't worth trying to grow them out. Some folks think a one pound bird isn't worth anything, but I find them perfect size for a pot of chicken soup and save them for just that :) Plus butchering them early saves your hens from being over harrassed.
  9. SC-ChickMom

    SC-ChickMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    That type of coop is more than adequate here. There is a farm in downtown Columbia with exactly that setup.
  10. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Donrae, I have been listening to your answers and have appreciated them...Wisdom...I have culled 10 roosters and 3 yr. old layers recently...after cooking them the meat is fall off the bone delicious..but..still has the "slighty chewy" texture we all are not used to...what can we do? I suppose you will say slaughter sooner (too young-no meat-what age) what do you recommend to do to get the tender meat>>> help, and thank you...No..I do not want to buy that (ugh) meat from the grocery..Ha. we raise our own and this is really the first attempt at culling and only out of necessity, we have around 48 free range adults and around 40 chicks coming up for next laying season...time to prepare for all this before winter...I know I am not the only one with these questions...get us on the right tract.

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