What is the best age to butcher non-meatie roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by georgialee, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I have 2 ameraucana, 2 blrw and possibly a couple of other roosters that I have a feeling I'm going to have a hard time selling... so the only thing I can really do is butcher them. What is the best age to do this? Should I get the separated from the rest of the flock and start feeding them something other than chick start/grower?
    chickenscratchTexas likes this.
  2. skrasienko

    skrasienko In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    Lorain County Ohio
    I hope someone throws a good answear in here cause i have an excess of roosters about 10 weeks old
  3. Turtle

    Turtle Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    I too need an answer to this. Thanks for posting.
  4. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I can't give you a time frame,but if you grab the roo and feel the drumstick is it meaty, then spread the feathers on the breast, if the skin is a rose pink or yellow there ready, if the skin is red or purplish the means there's no fat yet and there not ready. time frame really depends on how there fed and what breed. this is how I tell

    also pinch the shin on the breast if its thin not ready, thicker ready what your looking for is a thin layer of fat.

    I feed grower and free range, I separate the butcher birds from the keepers
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
    Calomel likes this.
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    I have heard that dual purpose breeds can be butchered between 16-20 weeks old (12 if you are lucky and have a plump roo....or it crows excessively). I don't hae any experience with this....yet. (Our excess roos are only 11 weeks old).
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I like to let mine get nice & meaty, usually 16-22 weeks. But I know other folks do them earlier, 12-14 weeks. I keep mine confined & just feed them chick starter & then layer feed if they get to 18 weeks. I haven't had any problems with them being too tough. After butchering I let them rest in the refrigerator 2-3 days. Often I'll just slowly simmer them on the stovetop until the meat falls off the bones, then I pack & freeze the cooked meat to use in soups, stews & chilis. It goes farther that way. They can also be slowly roasted in the oven at a low heat to tender goodness.

    Enjoy your meals from your roos, they're worth the effort!
  7. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks for all the info!
  8. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    I have threerock roos, one we are keeping. I just weighed them, and they were 3 1/2 lbs at four months! What is up with that? they are mostly free range, bu tI offer them game bird feed every day, and they rarely eat it. Should I pen them up and feed them for the last month or so?
  9. EggSpudition

    EggSpudition Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    My Coop
    I've been wondering this as well..
  10. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I butcher my cockerels/roos – they are a mix of Orpington over Orpington, Delaware, EE, BR and Cochin; I even process my bantam cockerels/roos. I let them stay with the main flock until they start showing interest in the hens, then move them to a run/pen by themselves. I feed all my flock – Flock Raiser and that is what the guys get. I usually process when they are 5 to 6 months (20 to 24 weeks) or when they become a pain in my backside for whatever reason. The last two processed, after cleaning their weight was 3 pounds 15.8 ounces for one and 4 pounds 10.8 ounces on the second.

    This is a fantastic article for the homegrown bird – age for processing and cooking: www.albc-usa.org/documents/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf

    just saw the age of this thread [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
    1 person likes this.

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