How long before roosters are ready to butcher? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband has kind of taken off with the idea of having chicken. Now he is wanting a lot. How long does it take before the "extra" roosters (or hens for that matter) would be ready to butcher?

I am thinking it would be kind of expensive to make a huge coop and even feeding the chicks before they can really scavenge.

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#2 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Chicks can go out as early as 4-5 weeks (as soon as they're fully feathered), as long as the weather's good. If you're talking about Cornish cross birds, they take about 8 weeks from day old chick to butchering. Heavy breed roosters will take at least twice as long. Cornish cross don't scavenge well (if at all...they're lazy and not bred to feed themselves, basically). They can be raised on pasture, but they'll still need at least70% of their food from you.
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#3 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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As Irmama said, if you are talking about cornish-x then 8-extreem max 10 weeks for either sex.

If you are looking into general duel purpose chickens, it'll depend on breed, but on average 5-10 months. Even then, they won't be as meaty as cornish-x but they are overall healthier, easier to care for, will pay their way in forging (if you allow for free ranging most of the time), mental health therapy , and if you like, pretty feathers, oh not to mention very tasty lean meat.

For us, it's not the financial cost that factors in, it's the ethical, health, and nutritional cost; that's just not something you can put a price tag on.

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#4 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are going to get Welsummers and Sussex breeds, I should have mentioned that. I mentioned the chicken idea thinking a dozen or so and now he is asking if 100 is too many

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#5 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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100 too much, uhhhh have fun!!

I think the Sussex are heavier (man I wanted them so badly this year), that's a lot of work, 100!

The good thing about the regular breeds, you don't HAVE to have them done on week 20, you can do some before, or after when you have time and energy. At first it does take a lot longer than expected, until you get the swing of things, then it picks up some, but it's still a lot of work and time. I'd start with 25 for this year, just to get your feet wet and figure out how that works for you, then you aren't trying to work out the kinks with 100 crowing cocks that are potentially over crowded.

If it's having meat in the freezer for year round, may I suggest some turkeys to round out your lot. they really are easy to care for, and one B.Red turkey feeds my family of 5 six meals. IN fact, we just had some tonight for dinner, oh man is that ever good stuff. It takes less turkeys than it would chickens to fill your freezer, if you have the room to allow them to range that is.

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#6 of 8 Old 03-21-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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I have 21 chicks right now. They just came in the day before yesterday.

14 of them are Cornish Cross, and they are set to go on day 56. The rest are our layers, and they are staying. The Cornish X are already bigger than the layers, and they were just hatched on Tuesday.
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#7 of 8 Old 04-07-2008, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We ordered 28, not sure why but he picked 14 of each. The other day he picked up 7 barred rocks as a sample run LOL. I think after he ordered he got nervous.

I would love a couple of turkeys too, but he isn't loving the idea right now, so maybe next year.

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#8 of 8 Old 04-07-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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We love our turkey's, and they are easier to process than the chickens. For one of our turkey's (we have Burbon Reds) we can have 5-6 meals, where as we'd have to process 4-7 chickens to equate one turkey. As for cost, it depends, we use food as as suppliment, and let them range mostly, so it saves on the feed bill. 'Course we don't have a huge slew of them, just a trio and whatever they hatch out this spring for fall processing.

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