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 Post subject: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:57 am 
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Gallant Game
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Not sure if this is the correct spot so if need be Mod's please move.

I have a rooster not wanted for breeding just eating. My understanding was at about 12 weeks they will start to crow and that is the time to eat them. But my rooster has been crowing for a week now and he is only 9 weeks old.
Do I let him go to 12 weeks or give him the chop now?
If I'm to let him go till 12 weeks is there something I can feed him to pack on the wait in the last few weeks?

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:04 am 
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Just did a recount and they will be 12 weeks this Friday so I know what i will be doing on the weekend :catch:

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:03 am 
There probably won't be much meat on him at 12 weeks. That's OK if you are happy with that. I like to keep my Sussex boys until 20 to 22 weeks or so (5 months). It costs more to feed them longer of course. We built an almost soundproof night box that will fit around 20 roosters if we need that much space in the future.
With one boy, maybe you could make up a small night box for him?


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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Noise is not a problem they can crow all they want. I have 6 at the same age all destined for the pot.
I was under the impression that the meat became tough after 12 weeks, I'm happy to keep them longer if it means more for me.
What do you feed them on?

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Commercial meat birds are done about 12 weeks - we do ours about 5 - 6 months more meat then and they haven't been tough.

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:08 pm 
I feed them on growers pellets and grain mix, and let them run on grass. If you are concerned about your health, you want them to be putting lots of Omega 3 fatty acids into their meat. They get those mostly from eating insects.
The meat has more colour and texture than supermarket chickens. It is also higher in many nutrients. If you find it a bit tough as a roast, then try stir frying, stewing, and soup. I think some people take a while to make the change from supermarket stuff, which is really tasteless pap that you have to dress up with flavourings. You will get used to your own meat, and be much healthier for making the change.


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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:29 am 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks Chicory
What about corn I always hear the yanks speaking of corn feed chicken?
I'm going to separate them from my keepers but the can have a run every 2nd day on the grass.

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:58 am 
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I leave mine till the 6 month mark (that's Light sussex) The boys I have at the moment are now at 27 weeks (rirXlight sussex)This only happened because mustering got in the way then they seemed to have a slight cold, so could be another 2 weeks till I'm happy their spritely again.

rum pig wrote:
What about corn I always hear the yanks speaking of corn feed chicken?

I fed these current boys cracked corn in the cooler months but have stopped now that it has heated up here as I thought it was a 'hot food' and they could overheat during the day. I think the fat is suppose to have a yellow tinge to it if corn fed?? They also got and still get sprouted or soaked wheat as well as ad lib pellets, in the last 1 1/2 months they have been confined to their pen, but they still get a large bunch a silverbeet hung in there every third day.

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:56 pm 
Rum Pig - if you take the time to watch the movie Food Inc, then you will never want to feed corn again!
I feed some corn to mine. I HOPE it is organic. It does help fatten them. I think you have to decide if it is fat chickens, or nutritious meat that you want.
I always preferred a fatty chicken, but I am getting used to the leaner ones, with more meat. I like fat on my meat, but get that from butter, cream, beef and lamb and know that they got fat eating grass.
It is really a matter of taste. I was initially surprised to see people here saying they preferred their chickens not to fat. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.


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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:13 pm 
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I'm definitely a 'not fat' person. I just don't like the taste of fatty meat.

NellyG

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:25 am 
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Gallant Game
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I like the taste of meat cooked with some fat but to be healthy this probably should be kept to a minimum.
I cannot help myself and eat the gristle on a goop chop and my misses always tells me I will die from a heart attack.
So a balance is the goal so I will include a small amount of corn. I might even build some more pens and try a few diets and See if I can see the difference.
Thanks for all the tips it sort of disturbing but I cant wait to try my own chook.

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:58 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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rum pig wrote:
I like the taste of meat cooked with some fat but to be healthy this probably should be kept to a minimum.
I cannot help myself and eat the gristle on a goop chop and my misses always tells me I will die from a heart attack.
So a balance is the goal so I will include a small amount of corn. I might even build some more pens and try a few diets and See if I can see the difference.
Thanks for all the tips it sort of disturbing but I cant wait to try my own chook.



Should that be taste the difference!!

I have always found that if I up the food they have access to and reduce the exercise they tend to build up fat around the back end.


Ron (I have three or four in the brooder at four weeks of age, that already have Sunday lunch marked on them.)

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:21 am 
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I know this is about chickens so far but last weekend I had help to finally deal with some Muscovies ( about 10 -11 months old) - with difficulty plucking them. I am assured that the ideal age for them to be processed is also about 5 and a half months. :) I have resolved not to procrastinate so long next season! :P

Oh - have yet to eat any - was so tired when I got home at 9pm that I put them straight into the freezer.


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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Gallant Game
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rotten_66 wrote:
Should that be taste the difference!!

I have always found that if I up the food they have access to and reduce the exercise they tend to build up fat around the back end.


Ron (I have three or four in the brooder at four weeks of age, that already have Sunday lunch marked on them.)

Thanks for that Ron I see my errors now :oops: :D
I have a few that have a red zip tie on there legs and you can guess what red means :lol:
Have you ever tried varying their diet to see if you can TASTE the difference?

Edited to repair quote Nellyg (Mod)

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 Post subject: Re: When to kill
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:02 pm 
rum pig wrote:
I like the taste of meat cooked with some fat but to be healthy this probably should be kept to a minimum.
I cannot help myself and eat the gristle on a goop chop and my misses always tells me I will die from a heart attack.
So a balance is the goal so I will include a small amount of corn. I might even build some more pens and try a few diets and See if I can see the difference.
Thanks for all the tips it sort of disturbing but I cant wait to try my own chook.


Enjoy your gristle, and don't worry about a heart attack. You are more likely to have a heart attack if you eat vegetable oils - particularly trans fats.
New research is bringing a lot of interesting stuff to light.


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