When to butcher RIR/BR cross cockerels

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sgoff, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. sgoff

    sgoff Out Of The Brooder

    84
    0
    39
    Mar 12, 2011
    Ruston, Louisiana
    I have a few Rhodeisland-barred rock boys. At what age should I process? Right now they are about 16 weeks. My plan is to lock them up for a few weeks and fatten before d-day. Right now they are free ranging all day. I understand they will not compare carcass wise with a cornishX but I will have a constant supply of these, so getting a good system down for utilizing my excess boys is my goal.
     
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    2,722
    121
    256
    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    18 to 20 weeks.
     
  3. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Quote:Agreed. I did some New Hampshire Red cockerels at 16 weeks and there wasn't enough meat on them to be worth the time it took to clean them. When I did the rest of them at about 6 months, they were a good size, except that their legs were too long to fit well in my crock pot.
     
  4. trimpy

    trimpy Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Mar 13, 2010
    Grafton, WV
    Quote:Also this. I did some at 20 and some at 26 and the older ones were just a little fattier and not really any bigger.
     
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,140
    63
    203
    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I think with Dual Purpose it falls more to when you feel they are big enough rather than actual age. I have had some that were ready by 5 months and others that I would really have liked to let go another couple of months. At 7 to 8 months I can tell you that as long as I rested the meat it was just as tender as the younger birds I did. Also if you debone the meat and use a meat mallet to tenderize before cooking for those birds older than 8 months it makes them really tender too without needing as much resting.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    28
    111
    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Try to consider caponizing the cockerals at 4 - 5 weeks. Results in larger carcass, no rush to process. Stays tender and delicious up to 18 months without the freezer. If you free range the feed bill won't be to drastic.
     
  7. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,090
    53
    168
    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    We do this at around 6-9 months old, for some reason the RIR dosnt grow as fast for me.
     
  8. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,047
    17
    161
    Jun 19, 2010
    Montana
    I did my Production Reds at 17 weeks, free range with free choice feed if they wanted, and I thought they dressed out very nicely. Not as big and meatie as the Orps or SLW, but most were in the 5+# range dressed. I just did them when they started driving me crazy with their bickering, and hasseling the hens too much. I feel if you go over 20 weeks your just putting more feed into them for not that much more meat to show for it.
     
  9. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,596
    10
    163
    Feb 23, 2011
    Crossville, Tennessee
    Is caponizing really worth it? Does it save on feed and they grow a lot bigger than if I didn't do it? Are they a lot more tender and less strong-tasting? How would I do it so the bird wasn't so stressed during the process?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by