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Until today I had never killed anything intentionally to eat. I butchered 3 roosters. I had a hard time with actually killing them but dressing them for dinner was ok.

I also think I should have let them grow a little longer. They were 5 months old. I do think I have a few more in my flock but I am hoping to let them get more meat on their bones
 

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Congrats!

The first are always the hardest ...
 

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Until today I had never killed anything intentionally to eat. I butchered 3 roosters. I had a hard time with actually killing them but dressing them for dinner was ok.

I also think I should have let them grow a little longer. They were 5 months old. I do think I have a few more in my flock but I am hoping to let them get more meat on their bones
For some it gets easier "JB" but that isn't always the case! As a general rule I weigh my birds rather than just going by their age....a live 7# Buckeye for example produces a 4-1/2 to 4-3/4# processed chicken. Going by weight and feel (check the breast and drumsticks before butchering) rather than age when it comes to dual purpose fowl is always a good practice.
 

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Are the layers any good for eating after they have been laying for 2+ years? And does anyone find it hard to butcher them after taking care of them for that long?

My family raised turkeys when I was a kid and we all helped with taking care of them and butchering them, but they weren't there that long........
 

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killerfamilyfarm said:
Are the layers any good for eating after they have been laying for 2+ years? And does anyone find it hard to butcher them after taking care of them for that long?

My family raised turkeys when I was a kid and we all helped with taking care of them and butchering them, but they weren't there that long........
It's harder to butcher ones you've know for so long, but if feeding your family is one of your objectives when raising poultry it is a perfectly natural part of the process. You will want to look at recipes for older birds because they can be tougher/ far less tender. Usually stewing or pressure cooking does the trick.

If you don't butcher when they are past their prime you need to commit to feeding them or selling them. I might feed a show bird for pleasure, but my layers need to produce.
 

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5 months old, well they probably grew as much as they were going to grow. 1st thing I'd tell you is, you are growing yard birds, they in no way will ressemble a store bought fryer.

Killing. Gee! I wish I had some words of wisdom for you but I don't. Never been easy for me, but I do it, because that's what I have to do.
 
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