Topic-icon Right age of roosters at killing time

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10 Feb 2010 10:33 #21964 by Jeffie

I have a few roosters I want to kill for the freezer. At what age do you normally do this? They are about 5 months old, crowing and not fattening up although on a good food diet and in an pen!

I spoke to a lady that said to kill them before they start crowing as the testosterone changes the flavour. but that means they will be little wee things with not much meat on them?

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10 Feb 2010 11:12 #317265 by Andrea1

There will never be as much meat on them as there will be with the commercial meat breeds. I've never noticed much of a flavour difference between pre-crowing versus post-crowing rooster meat, but the younger meat is more tender, so you can roast it rather than stewing it. We do ours anywhere from 4-5 months up to 18 months +, and even older when culling breeding roosters.

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Andrea
Oxford

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10 Feb 2010 11:33 #317268 by Inger

Crowing doesn't affect the taste of the meat. We kill ours at 5-6 months of age, but we have heavy breeds. Bear in mind that some breeds like the Rhode Island Red are slower to mature than others like the Barred Rock or Light Sussex. So you need to grow some longer than others. RIR roosters probably need another 2 months to fatten properly.

Are you using Meat Birds Crumbles? You need a high protein food in their diet to grow meat.

We also kill 1-2 yr old rooster for the freezer. I just mark them as 'casserole', so I know to cook them differently. The 6 month old roosters are fine for roasting.


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10 Feb 2010 13:17 #317285 by reggit

When they start crowing :D [}:)]


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11 Feb 2010 12:45 #317453 by Jeffie

Hi, thanks all for this handy info. Their diet up to date has been mash with veggies and meat in the morning, grass and greens during the day and whole corn in the evenings. I will go look for meat bird crumbels. Never heard of that!

They are cross breed - shaver x sussex x opringtons x barred rock and a bit of bantam in there. Yes mom jumped the fence and was a very popular girl for a few days LOL

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11 Feb 2010 15:39 #317469 by Jeffie

Hi, where can I buy 'meat bird crumbles'? I've asked around Farmlands and looked on the internet but no luck.

Inger;302556 wrote: Crowing doesn't affect the taste of the meat. We kill ours at 5-6 months of age, but we have heavy breeds. Bear in mind that some breeds like the Rhode Island Red are slower to mature than others like the Barred Rock or Light Sussex. So you need to grow some longer than others. RIR roosters probably need another 2 months to fatten properly.

Are you using Meat Birds Crumbles? You need a high protein food in their diet to grow meat.

We also kill 1-2 yr old rooster for the freezer. I just mark them as 'casserole', so I know to cook them differently. The 6 month old roosters are fine for roasting.

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11 Feb 2010 16:21 #317476 by Sue

Hi Jeffie, Meat bird crumbles is an NRM product. You should be able to get it from any farm store that stocks NRM feeds, or ask them to get it for you! Or email NRM and ask where your closest stockist is! http://www.nrm.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/product/pi_categoryid/5/pi_productid/26

The next best fattening food would be Chick Starter, but remember to stop feeding both Starter and Meat crumbles a week before you intend to cull them as the feed contains a coccidiostat which should be out of their system before you eat them. You could revert to maize, bread, milk, and the household scraps for the last week-oh and layers mash would be OK too.

You may have a bit of a mission fattening up that motley mix, but cut down on the greens and grass and boost the proteins! What is the 'mash' you are feeding-are you talking layers mash or a mix you make yourself?

Once you get some high protein feed, allow them to have as much as they will eat for probably about a month. If you leave it much longer they will be eating to keep warm and probably will not grow much more as will have reached adult size and much older their meat will be a lot darker and really past the roast chicken stage. The older they get they will also start fighting and will probably pick on the smallest and beat him up.


Sue
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11 Feb 2010 17:04 #317479 by foufee

Sharpes also do a meat bird crumble and our Farmlands will get it in for us but this area may be a special case being 15min from the Sharpes Plant.

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11 Feb 2010 17:11 #317480 by Simkin

Hi Jeffie,

do them now. You are wasting your money if you buy meat bird crumbles for them. Just one bag of that stuff sets you back 35 Dollars and you will get very little extra meat on them.

With the kind of mixture you have you won't be able to fatten them to a good size and besides - you don't really need extra fat anyway.

They'll look skinny and feel skinny, especially around the breast area but once they are killed and dressed you'll notice that there will be quite a bit of meat on them. Nothing like broiler chickens but if you add lots of veggies they'll make a meal.

We kill ours at 5 to 7 months.

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13 Feb 2010 07:21 #317690 by Jeffie

Hi Sue,
Thanks, I'm feeding laying mash (store bought), same I feed the hens.

Jeffie

Sue;302781 wrote: Hi Jeffie, Meat bird crumbles is an NRM product. You should be able to get it from any farm store that stocks NRM feeds, or ask them to get it for you! Or email NRM and ask where your closest stockist is! http://www.nrm.co.nz/index.php/ps_pagename/product/pi_categoryid/5/pi_productid/26

The next best fattening food would be Chick Starter, but remember to stop feeding both Starter and Meat crumbles a week before you intend to cull them as the feed contains a coccidiostat which should be out of their system before you eat them. You could revert to maize, bread, milk, and the household scraps for the last week-oh and layers mash would be OK too.

You may have a bit of a mission fattening up that motley mix, but cut down on the greens and grass and boost the proteins! What is the 'mash' you are feeding-are you talking layers mash or a mix you make yourself?

Once you get some high protein feed, allow them to have as much as they will eat for probably about a month. If you leave it much longer they will be eating to keep warm and probably will not grow much more as will have reached adult size and much older their meat will be a lot darker and really past the roast chicken stage. The older they get they will also start fighting and will probably pick on the smallest and beat him up.

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