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What should i buy roosters or hens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by equine chick, May 1, 2007.

  1. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    Can someone please tell me the benefits of getting roosters of the cornish crosses versus hens. I know roosters are bigger, who has the best meat, flavor wise? I plan on buying maybe 50 meat birds next month and buying 50 more in september to fill my freezer.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    All of the cornish taste the same. The only benifit of roos is that they grow faster... but they also eat more than the hens. The hens will only take about a week or so to reach age of roos. I would just buy straight run, butcher all the roos one week, and the females the following week. For 6 lb birds dressed, I butcher roos at 8 weeks, and females at 9 weeks.

    As for flavorful, go with heavy breed birds of non cornish x variety and raise them till 4 months. Much sweeter, a bit tougher, and much longer till you can eat them though.
     
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    We get a straight run and it works out nice. We take the roosters first for processing and can hold the hens longer to let them grow out more. I think the Cornish X taste the same, regardless of sex.

    Jody
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    There's not reason to sex the meat birds. They go to the freezer before they're sexually mature. You'll just notice at slaughter time that the roos combs will start to look bigger. One clever way to manage your meat birds is to send the males to be processed around 8 weeks as fryers (you'll be able to tell by the combs). You can then keep the girls a couple weeks longer for roasters.

    I sell at a farmer's market, and I find some people really love big birds, while others love small ones. It's good to have the variety available so I can say "Sure I have a small one for you!" or "Oh yeah, I got these delectable 4 pounders which are just what you need!". Having the straight run gives you some variability in finished weight, which I find is an advantage.
     

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