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what age should i be able to butcher my... Expand / Collapse
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Posted 5/23/2010 4:54:41 AM
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my rhode island red chics are 3 months old now the roosters look large enough to butcher but i picked one up and squeezed around on his breast and i thought he felt a little puny my grandma says to do it when they are around two pounds but i dont have a scale i just wandered if their was an average age to go by
Post #19698
Posted 5/23/2010 6:46:31 AM
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I hate to tell you this, but if you are looking for breast meat, RIR's are not the way to get it.  The hens are great layers, but the roos are really not great meat birds.  Maybe once upon a time when everyone knew how to caponize their cockerels, but not when they are left unaltered.

You really CAN butcher them at any time.  Right now you are at the point where you will be putting a lot of feed in them with very little return as far as weight gain goes.  Also, the older they get, the tougher the meat becomes.  RIR's have a lot of energy so they don't put on fat, tender meat.

They do produce some nice dark meat, though.  Still not as much as a cross bred meat bird does, but not bad.

Karen

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Post #19705
Posted 5/23/2010 5:12:42 PM


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For most standard breeds, such as RIR, 12 weeks is the optimum time for butchering. Don't expect the breast meat on your RIR to resemble what you are used to in the store. Those chickens are Cornish Cross, specially bread for large bodies, and to gain weight very quickly on the minimum amount of feed. Your chickens will be smaller even after 12 weeks and have a smaller 'razor breast.' The good news is that they will probably be more flavorful than a commercially raised chicken. Butcher your roosters now. From this point on their food conversion ratio decreases, and the meat will become tougher. 
Post #19741
Posted 5/25/2010 11:25:20 AM


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I have a mix of breeds but I tend to do all of them at 18 weeks even tho 12 is the standard. I don't mind tougher meat since we prefer them as chicken 'n' noodles, or we fry then bake 'em and the meat just falls right off the bone! Mmmm. . .

I fully believe that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I believe in dirt and germs!
Post #19819
Posted 5/27/2010 7:39:23 AM
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With RIRs roos you normaly have to wait a while to kill them for any amount of meat and normaly you have to boil them to make something along the lines of chicken and dumplings. P2 grew out RIR roos last year and we had to wait until they were close to 22 wks before they look and weighted right.
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