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How old were your chickens when your processed them?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are some pictures of our meat chickens we just had processed 9/12

They averaged 7.25 pounds at 9 weeks old

Were raised in a chicken tractor on grass, supplemented with broiler grower.

We did a total of 44.

And they taste amazing, not tough at all!
 

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Here's a few pics of before on a batch(20 CX) that was free ranged and raised by a foster mama. Fed once a day on layer rations and whole grains and processed at 11 wks for an average carcass wt of 5-6 lbs., live wt average of 9-10 lbs.





Two weeks and first day on the grass with mama.



Four or five wks here...



Awaiting processing at 11 wks. All birds healthy and made it to the finish line...this is the first batch in line for processing, while the rest are in the cellar where it's cool.



Second batch (54, 52 CX and 2 packing peanut DP chicks), raised on free range and fermented feeds fed once a day, layer mash and whole grains. Processed at 10-11 wks...sorry, no after pics on those as I was in a hurry and doing them all by myself. Didn't get to weigh them either but if I had to guess, they would average 8 lbs live wt and 4 lbs processed.



Two weeks...first day out on pasture with foster dad.





Six wks out in the clover....



Seven or eight wks...can't remember. Didn't really take many pics after this but have a few videos of them free ranging all over 3 acres of grass and into the woodlands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats awesome! Looks like you had some happy birds there. Pretty cool they had a foster mama too. You must have been able to raise them pretty cheap with all that grass available!

I kept a weekly/semi-weekly blog through raising our birds, which you can see if you would like.

Thanks for checking our chickens out!
 

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Nice harvest NM156.
Two seasons ago we took 20 White C-Rocks thru an experiment for longevity.. 10 were put down at 16 weeks.. That was in early July. The avg weight was 7-8 lbs with beautifully formed breast and thighs.
The other 10 we were to put down 5 in August and the last in Sept.

At this point all were very large and lazy..mostly hanging out in the shade or laying down next to the food supply. Although they were allowed free range they refused to forage or scratch out bugs....I did get two to eat a couple fishing worms I tossed to them but other than that ...nothing.
In the last 2 to 3 weeks leading into Sept., 4 died due to the heat, ...2 had to be put down due to hip dislocation (excessive weight) and the last 4 somehow made it to cull day.
Those 4 that did were truly Frankenstein looking birds....they gained about another 1/3 of their weight to an already huge bird.
The Breast halves dwarfed anything we had in the freezer from the last culling. The meat was very fatty due to the High grain content of the commercial feeds. One even had a tumorous growth on its upper back and several darken blood looking spots over its body..( we skin..not pluck)..that bird was disposed of. All these avg. 9 to 10 lbs

The remaining 3 were all within a pound or two of each other. We came out with an 11lb...12.3/4 lb and the last at 13lb 7 oz.

Seems the Genetic breakdowns appear to start around 12 to 13 weeks and by 20 weeks the birds bone structure simply can't support its weight any longer.....the meats appearance is more like "grocery store" chicken with its abundance of excessive "yellow" fat...due to the high corn and wheat/grain diet. The shear size of the "processed" bird more resembles a small to medium holiday turkey.

Like I said this was just an experiment on one particular test flock. The life span seems to be in the 16 to 20 week range with optimum bird cull at around 14 weeks. I'm thinking past 20 weeks would be useless to attempt due to cost and mortality rates. Though we have a neighbor whose first W-CR rooster lived long past the rest of the flock..this bird lived to be a ripe old age of 8 months and tipped the scales at 16 lbs.

To me this whole issue of Genetic Modification/Manipulation is frightening to ponder... I am a person who looks outside the "box" at most issues and have to wonder what other type modification experiments are being done on other animal species.......or even Humans. :eek:
 

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We keep whats called a Colorado Rock meat bird now....not sure what its blood lines are but they grow large like Leghorns and are also fairly good egg layers. Have a longer life than the Cornish rocks and seem to not have the genetic issues.
 

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Until the American market is willing to pay more nothing will change.One of my egg customer wanted one of my meat birds,i told her it was 8 lbs and was $25 $3.125/LB
and then she pulled the "but i can get it at the grocery store for $1.79/LB.She loved how they weren't in a broiler house.They lived 80 days i went out there at least 3 times a day.That is at least 240 times that i had walked out there to feed,talk,clean out their straw etc.And my time wasn't even worth $10 profit.Each bird cost about $13 total in the long run.That doesn't include the GTO.
 
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