When to eat a rooster?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lonna, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. lonna

    lonna In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2013
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Ok, so I hatched 50 of my own eggs a few months ago ( the oldest are 12 weeks, youngest are 6 weeks). They are standard mixed-- EE, Black Giants, Minorcas, leghorns, buffs--I am not exactly sure which are pullers and which are roos, but I am certain I will need to kill several Roos ( 50% ehh)--my question is- how can I tell they are roosters and when is the best time to kill them for meat? If I wait till they crow--so I can be sure they are roosters--will they already be tough?

  2. cx367

    cx367 Hatching

    Feb 4, 2013
    Some people say the time is when they just start to crow.
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    If you want to get some meat off of them I suggest you wait until they are around 18-20 weeks old. They won't be tough yet unless they are constantly free ranging. Good luck. :thumbsup
  4. lonna

    lonna In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2013
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    They all free range-- only in the fence when they are asleep or laying-- guess ill have to make dumplings and stew... :)
  5. skookumchuck

    skookumchuck Chirping

    Nov 11, 2012
    Jefferson City, MO
    W hunt Pheasant quail, partridge and grouse all of them are 1-3 yrs old and they are great eating as long as you don't over cok them and cook them slowly. Cook them fast and at hight temp they are very tought and chewy slow and low great tender eats.
    1 person likes this.
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    It all depends on what you want to do with them. I agree with both the 18 weeks or so of age they need to be to be large enough. And with the low and slow as they may be tough. I used to struggle with the "perfect" time with roosters but I have recently readjusted my thinking. Chickens that get of a certain age I either pressure can or convert directly into chicken and dumplings and the like. Great way to utilize it and no particular worries about the age with these methods.
  7. locke2121

    locke2121 In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2012
    Right after it wakes you up out of a dead sleep at 5 in the morning [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You'll easily tell the cockerels from the pullets in no time. By now even the cockerels of each breed will have more developed combs and wattles than the pullets of that breed. Also will be bigger and more "leggy". Soon enough the saddle feathers will start to show.

    Last year we waited until 24 weeks to cull the cockerels. The main reason is I was putting it off as I'm no fan of butchering. The deal in hind sight was they didn't gain any noticeable mass after 18-20 weeks so in reality I just threw away a bag of feed for same yield. If you rest the birds for 3 days or more after butchering before cooking or freezing they wont be as tough either.
  9. sbrown

    sbrown Chirping

    Feb 3, 2013
    Got a few that I'm gonna butcher tomorrow. Will be my first birds that I have raised myself and butchered.
  10. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Songster

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    Anything under 1 year, anything after that they start to smell.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

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