When to kill

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mountain Bear, May 30, 2012.

  1. Mountain Bear

    Mountain Bear In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2012
    Hi evryone,
    I am fairly new to raising chickens but had a few last year. Early this spring I purchased 21 chicks split evenly between RIR, Barred Rock and Silverlaced Wyandotte. I got the birds for a bit of both eggs and meat and thought I might like to hatch a few chicks myself. I expected I would get roughly half roosters.(last year I got 5 roos 1 hen). After loosing one I now have 9 Roosters 11 hens. They are about 16 weeks today. Many of the males look ready to eat except for the RIR. I understand they will not be able to stay together much longer (I was hoping I could keep a male of each).
    I am having a hard time deciding if and when they are ready to be slaughtered. Does anyone have a guide line they use? Also if I want to keep a cock of each I am guessing I will need three seperate coops. anyone else keep multiple breeds and hatch their own chicks?
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Welcome to BYC!!

    I'm no expert here, but we have slaughtered roosters from breeds like that. My guess is that they look ready, but you'll be surprised at how scrawny they are when you remove their feathers. You may want to wait more like 18-20 weeks (if you can) for more meat.

    As far as keeping one of each breed you could keep all the roosters together in one pen and the girls in another. My understanding is the fighting is usually over and about the hens. We've had up to 4 roosters with our 20-25 hens. After two roosters things started getting pretty hectic. We will be keeping up to 4 different roosters over the winter and will have them in a bachelor pad until we breed them in the spring.
     
  3. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Songster

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    • SIMZ wrote:
    I'm no expert here, but we have slaughtered roosters from breeds like that. My guess is that they look ready, but you'll be surprised at how scrawny they are when you remove their feathers. You may want to wait more like 18-20 weeks (if you can) for more meat.

    I agree with the above statement. However in selecting which cockerals to keep "eat the smallest, keep the biggest fastest grower of the batch" to breed later. A single rooster can service a dozen hens. Should the single rooster die, there are plenty available on craigslist, find a realy big one then.
    j
     

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