What age to you process your extra roosters?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jdsbanana, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. jdsbanana

    jdsbanana Hatching

    Oct 5, 2013
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    I have three roosters that will need to be processed since I only need one. Just curious at what age have you killed your roosters? I believe mine are almost 4 months old. They are Buff Orpingtons.

  2. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chirping

    Dec 31, 2013
    As soon as they are a decent size for eating. You want to process them as young as possible so their bones have not fully developed. This make s breaking their necks easier and also the meat will be much more tender.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Around 20 weeks is generally considered the age where you rate of growth tapers off and you're using more feed for maintenance vs growth. There's not hard and fast set time when you must butcher them. Some folks do as soon as they start crowing or mating or just becoming to much of a pain in the butt.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    We butchered a bunch of excess roosters a couple of years ago. I honestly don't remember how old they were - between 5-6 months, I believe. I also can't speak to the toughness or tenderness of them. I just cook them low and slow so they're always tender. Have you processed a non-cornish cross before? If not, I'll give you a heads-up. They will not be as meaty as a bird specifically bred for meat production. There will be meat, it will be tasty, but it will not be like what you find in the grocery store, nor will they look like miniature turkeys that are all breast and thigh meat. The meat may be a bit more stringy than you're used to. In other words, these guys will have flavor and texture. I didn't get any to process this past year, and I just used up the last one from 2 years ago. I can't bring myself to buy one at the grocery store. I may have to go without chicken until fall....
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    My rule is is when they start to crow, it's time to go.
    They're a little tough by then, but any earlier there just isn't enough meat to make it worth my effort with the breeds I have.

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