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What age to process roosters

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ccrane11, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. ccrane11

    ccrane11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wondering what a good age for processing roosters for the freezer. Rhode Islands for example
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I process mine when I can't stand the rooster drama any more. There comes a point in time, at least in my yard when those roosters deserve a one way ticket to the dinner table. Unfortunately, the rooster drama starts before they've achieved their "best used by" date.
     
  3. Kildare49

    Kildare49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bcm cockerels I butchered at about 14-16 weeks. Brahmas (LB) matured @ about
    20 weeks. Mine head for the freezer when the drama starts. I would guess your Reds will be similar to my marans, if not a little quicker to mature. When the crowing starts...the clock will be ticking.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they start to crow, it's time to go. There's not enough meat to fool with until about 20 weeks and about that time they start getting tough.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I aim for around 20 weeks. That seems to be about the time they're the best size for the amount of food they eat.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've read that at under 16 weeks they're still good on the grill, baked, roasted, fried...much older it needs stewing.

    I can attest that a 15 week old cockerel was delicious grilled, and all the bones still made a fine stock.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    One year I aimed for 12 weeks but ended up waiting until a 4th of July grill, that made it more like 14 weeks. Were much larger than I'd anticipated. Thought they'd be cornish game hen size but were closer to 3lbs dressed. Certainly far bigger than a whole bird per person.

    Watching them grow over the years I find that feed consumption kicks up a big notch and two weeks after that they've done amazing feed to bulk conversion. Then is seems they stall out with slow growth but still consuming a lot of feed. Depending on your breed and particular flock that magic time will vary. For me it's 14ish weeks.
     
  8. ria17

    ria17 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have too many roosters hubby says they are too old now to eat, they are 10 months old I did try selling them but to no avail and can't even give them away, so are they too old to make it to the pot?
     
  9. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    They will be fine as long as they are cooked long and slow. Used in soups, stews and chilis they would be great. Canned chicken is also an option if you are into canning.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've eaten a 4 year old rooster who was fine. I used a pressure cooker, but any low, slow, moist method will work. You won't want to grill or dry roast, but any dish where you cook then pull the meat from the bones will work.
     

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