When to butcher my roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by 10AcreChick, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. 10AcreChick

    10AcreChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! It's been a while since I've been on BYC! So I incubated and hatched for the first time this year, and now I have some extra roosters to deal with. I have about 11 Buff Orpington roosters and 8 Easter Egger roosters. Also have some BO hens that I will be butchering. I am wondering what everyone thinks about what age to butcher these roosters? Should I weigh them and butcher when they stop putting on weight? 3 of the BO roos are 15 weeks already and starting to cause problems with the younger roos/hens. The other 8 BO roos are 11 weeks old. We are taking a cross-country trip in July when one group will be 20 weeks old and the other 16 weeks old, so doing it before we leave would be convenient, I must admit.
    I do realize the EE roos won't be good for much but stock, but I can't see feeding them this whole time and then just giving them away.
    And what about the BO hens? I have 11, might be butchering about 5 of them. 20 weeks?
     
  2. tastyacres

    tastyacres Overrun With Chickens

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    never stops learning!
    We butchered at 15-18 weeks old.

    Could you weigh one and see how big they are?
     
  3. chefchick

    chefchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dispatch our extra roos as soon as they start acting roo-ey. I haven't had one yet that tasted good unless it was cooked all day in stew
     
  4. 10AcreChick

    10AcreChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could try...I don't really have a good way to way them other than hold them while weighing myself!
     
  5. tk10

    tk10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this a thing? Does Roo meat taste different than hen meat?
     
  6. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do the whole bird in the crock pot after skinning. Anytime around 15+ weeks is good. I only do 2 birds each weekend and just skin them with feathers still on, to avoid boiling water and other setup. For the pullets i would just sell them on craigslist as layers though $25-$30 each.
     
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  7. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meat from the store is from 8 week old meat birds so any heritage breed just wont be exactly like those young tender meaties. Store or restaurant birds also usually have lots of added salt, so for a similar taste, add 5 boullion cubes to the crock pot water too. Then whatever else you like such as onions and tomatoes. Need a big size crock pot though for these big heritage birds, or else cut them up first. I prefer the ease of fitting in the whole bird at once though, once skinned and gutted. We do 1 hr on high temp, then 4 + hrs on low.
     
  8. 10AcreChick

    10AcreChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just weighed a 16 week live buff rooster, it was only 4.25 lbs! Isnt this way too small to butcher?? I was hoping to butcher a big flock of extra roos in 4 weeks, but most of them will only be 16 wks old, and at that weight, what's the point? Shouldn't they be bigger than that?
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 - point of lay pullets demand a pretty nice price, much better than the amount of meat you'd get from pullets at that age.

    Hatchery stock BO are not big, meaty birds to begin with and at 16 weeks the cockerels are still in the "lanky teenager" stage so that is not a surprising size/weight. As to whether it is worth it to you or not is a matter of your own opinion of what the "worth it" point would be for the work/meat ratio.
     
  10. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't tried buff orpingtons for meat but would guess they look bigger than they really are due to the puffy feathers. We just processed two saipan at 17 weeks. One was 6 lbs and the other was 5.25 lbs. I think we waited until 6 months old with our black australorps and by by then they were a good size.
     

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