When to slaughter roo?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bravo, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 9wk old "defective" roo that I will need to cull. He has a severe cross beak but is thriving with special feeding/watering arrangements. I live in a city where I am prohibited from keeping roosters (and not to mention I wouldnt want him passing that trait on) so my only real option is to cull.

    When is the best time to slaughter for consumption? I can keep him as long as need be--assuming that he doesnt violate the "you crow, you go" policy.

    Additionally, are there services out there that will slaughter and butcher for you? I am as "city" as you can get and dont have the courage to take on this task myself.

    Thanks for all of your help!
     
  2. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think most breeds are in the range of 12 weeks if they are on real good feed. You will want as much gain for the next three to four weeks as you can get. Getting one bird professionally done is a problem in many areas. Here in Colorado we recently lost our last small processor. I think we are on our own for now.

    Do some reading and take some care and one bird can easily be handled in a garage or back yard with very little mess. When you think about it many fisherman and hunters take care of their spoils in a city situation.

    Good luck

    Edited to add: I have not been in the bay area for a long time but I would imagine that you could have a market for the bird in China town. I am not sure if live birds are still sold and harvested right in the city or not. It was very common for a long time but of course you know that better than me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    I think 12 weeks is too young for most breeds that aren't specifically meat birds like the Cornish & Cornish X. I do most of my standard & mixed-breed roos at around 18-20 weeks, a few are meaty enough at 16, some I let grow to 24 weeks. And a cross-billed bird may not be eating enough to be meaty until he's older.

    That may be too long for you to feel like giving special feedings, and he may start to crow before that. If you think you want to learn to process your own chickens he'd at least be a good practice bird, even if he doesn't make much of a meal. If you don't want to bother with that you could try to give/sell him to someone who will process him. Or just cull him & let him fertilize your garden.
     
  4. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. He's still pretty small but the same size and weight as is brother who has a normal beak. He's probably a mutt so I have a feeling he will take longer because looking at him now he wouldnt be worthwhile to prepare.

    I just feel horrible giving him away and risking that he'll starve. I guess I am just gonna play this one by ear--hopefully he will be a late bloomer in the crowing department [​IMG]
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    15-16 weeks.
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You have more than one option with this chicken.

    Some folks would have culled this bird while it was still a chick and not taken the time/effort to contrive special feedings.

    You chose differently, which is fine, but now that you know it's a rooster that you cannot keep his days at your place are numbered.

    I think that the longer you keep him & give him special feedings the more attatched you'll feel towards him. Which will only make it more difficult the day you have to send him away or process him yourself. Do you have another roo, his brother? Or is he at another place where you can see him to compare size?

    If this is the only roo you have don't feel obliged to make him meaty enough for a meal. Unless you're really interested in learning how to process your own chickens and want to start with him. Even a small rooster can provide enough meat to make a nice soup or stew.

    But if this isn't the best time for you to learn about butchering your best option may be to give/sell this rooster to someone who already processes chickens.
     
  7. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny Side up--you are right. I guess I just figured if it turned out to be a pullet it could stay.

    We had 4 EE chicks that all hatched together and just recently were able to tell that 2 were pullets and 2 roos. We already have a home for the other roo--this one could go to that same home too but I don't think they have plans on slaughtering for a while. He can't free-range so he will surely starve.

    I am going to see if I can get my husband to cull him and he could be used as dog food. My animals really mean a lot to me so this is pretty hard but at least he won't be wasted.

    Alright--enough of this sappy stuff!! I just have to take care of business.
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    It's okay, we speak "sappy" here. [​IMG] And we also realize the dignity & value of each individual chicken so that we want to make their lives count for as much as they can, whether they're companions, breeders, layers or meat. Keep in mind that "fertilizer" is a meaningful option as well. Sometimes if you're just beginning with chickens and learning how & when to cull them it can make the decision more difficult if you feel you must also process their meat. If the task seems too daunting you could just bury the bird in a deep hole at the drip line of a tree or bush and let it nourish its growth there.
     
  9. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny Side Up--Thank you so much for the support, it really means a lot. I am very new with this whole chicken thing so like you said its a bit difficult but it is a learning experience. Gotta take the bad with the good.
     

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