The fact is, a lot of people raise chickens not only for their beautiful and delicious eggs, but for the meat as well. Here are some of the actual conversations from the event that we hope will help you answer your chicken butchering questions.
Q: Is a three year old to old to use for meat?
A: A three year old would be a little tough, more for stew. Most meat chickens under a year old would be tender enough to eat.
Q: What is the best dinner chicken?
A: Cornish Cross meatbirds are very tasty.
Q: Are Rhode Island red a good egg and meat bird?
A: Yes, they are an excellent dual purpose bird.
Q: At what age do you normally “process” the meat?
A: On RIRs it is usually 3 – 4 months.
Q: About how many weeks old will chicks need to be before they would be ready to butcher?
A: Ideal butchering for chickens is less than a year old. Unless it is a true meat chicken (like Cornish Cross) then they are ready in 6-8 weeks.
Q: We’ve purchased Cornish Cross meat chickens twice in the last 4 years to raise for meat. Both times were a great success, but my question is: The first time we bought them, they were a bit lighter, legs not so thick, didn’t drag their bellies on the ground. Second time, they were heavy, thick legs, dragged or laid on the ground all the time. What was the difference?
A: Here is a great article from Nutrena on raising meat birds.