Post by orpingtongal on Jul 21, 2005 8:49:43 GMT -5
Good Morning everyone, I'm a newbie here. My hubby will be retiring in two months and he always wanted chickens. We purchased 25 Orpingtons, lost one baby and now have 17 roosters and only 7 hens. We need to butcher most of the roosters and we're not sure what the best way to do it or how to clean them. Chopping block and axe? Do you scald them with all the feathers on or pick most off and then scald them. Or is there a better way to do both. The chickens are 15 weeks old, how old should they be when we butcher them and how long until the hens lay eggs. How many roosters should we have for only 7 hens?? Help Please!
I usually scald them with all the feathers on and use wax also if they are older birds. As for the chopping part, I just use a 6x6 and an axe. Some people use sheet-metal "killing cones", but I find it is faster on a block so you can toss them aside to bleed out. I am not familiar with the growth rate of heavy breeds, so I can't help you there, but you should only need one rooster for your hens. Hope this helps.
Post by Kickingbird on Aug 7, 2005 22:38:42 GMT -5
You only need one or two roosters for seven hens. One will do but if he gets sick or is infertile then you will be glad you saved an extra one back. 15 weeks is plenty old enough to butcher if they feel good and full. Pick one up and fell his legs and breast, this is what you will be eating, if it is full of muscle then you are good to go. If not let them eat as much as they want for four more weeks and check again. If you are new to raising chickens I can't stress this enough......get a good book about raising chickens! We can help but it is always a good idea to have a book to fall back on when no one is avalible on line to help. Good luck with your birds, chickens are GREAT!
Post by orpingtongal on Aug 13, 2005 22:56:18 GMT -5
Thanks for the advice Dutch & kickingbird! My hubby made pets of all the chickens and didn't have the heart to kill them. Someone recommended a lady that butchers, cleans and freezes them for .80 cents each. (What a deal, but we paid her more) We kept two roosters, "Chief" and "Yellow Legs". Chief is huge and the only one that crows, and Yellow legs is the only rooster with the unusual yellow legs. The other 23 all have white legs. One more question, how cold can it get before we lock the chickens in the coop. We live in Minnesota and Fall nights can get pretty cold. We have the big door open morning until dark, then we put up a full screen door at night when they go to bed. We have two small screened windows that are open too! So I need to know how low the temperature should get before we shut up the coop and also shut the screen windows?
Bugsy, I live in Minnesota also. I would shut the windows at night if there is any wind, they can't keep warm if their feathers are blowing from drafts. I usually keep all my windows open until it gets below freezing at night. Oh, and where does that butchering lady live!? LOL