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#1 2017-09-13 19:31:03

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1193

How do you know when to butcher your birds?

I need book their date at the abattoir and I was thinking of last week of Sept for half of them. How do you decide when?

They are six weeks now and average 6-7 lbs males and females. All are walking fine and doing ok considering how big and awkward they are.

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#2 2017-09-13 19:57:29

GalaBoys
Banned
From: Alberta
Registered: 2014-01-14
Posts: 2298

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

When they look delicious and/or I get sick of feeding them.

If I was doing cornish cross through an abbatoir, I would have to book the abbatoir before I even ordered the chicks. The list is very long.


Gala Partridge Chanteclers - see us on facebook
Maker of chicken saddles, fan of evidence-based poultry keeping.
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#3 2017-09-13 20:59:58

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1193

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

It's a two week wait for a booking here.

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#4 2017-09-13 23:07:22

jocelyn
A.C.E. Addicted
From: PEI
Registered: 2009-01-23
Posts: 931

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

If they are now 6 weeks and there is a two week booking wait, then at 8 weeks, most will dress about 72 or 73 percent of wwhat they will weigh on kill day......
Might be 8 to 10 pounds for the males, so 6 or 7 pounds ready to cook.

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#5 2017-09-13 23:15:33

Rosewood Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Barriere, BC
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 5507

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

When the roosters start bothering the hens or fighting with each other.  We prefer them to be over ten weeks of age.  Other farm work may determine processing time as well.


Rosewood Farm,
Breeder Berkshire Pigs.
Black and Blue Cochins, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.
Beltsville Turkeys.

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#6 2017-09-13 23:43:59

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1193

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

They are fighting and jumping around now:shock:

I moved them to a different spot outside yesterday where they have more hiding spots to get away. They are free "ranging" now but hug the outside walls of the barn =) or under an overhang. I'm ok with that though, they are safer that way.

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#7 2017-09-14 01:31:05

Rosewood Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Barriere, BC
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 5507

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

Another factor determining time to process is when you run out of grower/ finisher.  The wasps here this summer were a factor in when not to process.  We had expected to process our Western Rustics before the first week of August.  The hatchery cancelled our first week of August order so we made other plans.  The hatchery phoned and asked us to take our original order early.  We suddenly had a change of plans.  We do our own processing as the local processor charges $9 per chicken plus GST.


Rosewood Farm,
Breeder Berkshire Pigs.
Black and Blue Cochins, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.
Beltsville Turkeys.

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#8 2017-09-14 10:48:14

Martin Grove Farm
Administrator
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19576

Re: How do you know when to butcher your birds?

When we get our meat birds, we call and book the slaughter date right away.  It takes a long time here to get a date.  We book for 12 to 14 weeks out from the hatch date.
I do the same with the turkeys, so about 5 months in advance.
I book the pigs a whole year in advance.  I don't even have the piglets when I book the slaughter and butcher.  LOL

I always book for the whole number of birds or pigs, then call and adjust the number down a few weeks before the slaughter date for the birds and a few months ahead for the pigs.


"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down

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