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Author Topic: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?  (Read 6399 times)

compost

  • Joined Jan 2008
when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:02:04 pm »
I have a few cockerels of various breeds from last years broods. they are just beginning to mature (26weeks)- they have changed shape somehow and are now crowing. Please at what age are they best for the pot or it would perhaps be better to guage by weight, a minimum given that they are just the cocks from my egg layers. What feathered weight is acceptible to give a sensible sized bird once dressed?

thanks, from a vegetarian believe it or not!

Cesca
Voss Electric Fence

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 11:22:15 pm »
Weight isn't the issue really if you have too many cock birds with your hens. As soon as they become sexually active it is time to say goodbye. Kept together they have a tendancy to fight, and this can sometimes draw blood and be quite brutal, and with the hens can they shred their backs of feathers and make them very sore, and if they have a favorite hen it can be hell on earth for her.

Others may have other opinions but that is how we judge the 'right time'.

Kate
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 11:57:24 pm »
Taken from the book "The Complete Book of Raising Livestock and Poultry".......

"...when the cockerels are 12 to 14 weeks they are separated from the pullets and confined in a small pen.If left to run loose they will not fatten effectively. I feed them 3 times a day with a mixture of oats,barley and boiled potatoes in equal proportions,mixed with skimmed milk.Including corn in the diet is also a good idea and gives the carcass a more yellow colour. The cockerels are given as much as they will take at each meal,and have access to fresh water at all times. 3 weeks later they are killed for the freezer......"

So anywhere between 15 and 17 weeks is good,according to Katie Thear,Dr.Alistair Fraser and Phil Drabble.
They don’t join cliques — more times than not, they stand alone — but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 02:18:21 pm »
Thanks for that MrRee - I have copied the info for my chook file. I have a couple of young birds that are I think cockerals - plums just appearing -  have never given them special treatment before but will give this a go.

Kate
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 03:11:39 pm »
It's a great book,will drop it off to you when we get round to visiting.
They don’t join cliques — more times than not, they stand alone — but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

compost

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 04:14:35 pm »
thanks - seems like 26 weeks is pushing it then, just didn't want to be doing all the work for very little meat. upto now i have been  waiting until they were a nuisance for whatever reason and i'm still not sure about confining them to a small pen.

thanks for your help,

Cesca

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: when is a cockerel ready for the pot?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 06:46:57 pm »
A "small pen" need only be 6ft by 3ft especially as you only have a "few",ideally movable so they still get the fresh grass and scratching every day,it just stops them running off for half a mile. Try feeding them corn for a few days leading up to the dispatch date. Good luck with whatever you decide.... Ree
They don’t join cliques — more times than not, they stand alone — but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

 

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