Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Leghorn Roosters... Sell or Process?
In our mini-flock of eight 8wk old chicks (hatched Jan 20), so far we have only positively identified two roosters. Both are White Leghorns, which seem to mature quickly. We knew the sex of all three of our Leghorn chicks by the time they were three weeks old -- the two boys already had noticeably enlarged red combs beginning to show and were quite feisty in the brooder with the other chicks.
We've decided this year to try our hand at processing some of our surplus roosters that we will have from two rounds of hatching eggs (our next hatch is set for this upcoming Saturday). Most of the breeds we have are dual purpose breeds, meaning they are good to use as either egg layers or meat birds. However, White Leghorns are known for extraordinarily good layers, which means they don't put much effort into growing and bulking up. People do sometimes use their extra Leghorn roosters as meat birds, but there just won't be a lot of meat for the amount of feed they have consumed to get to slaughter size.
So our current question to answer is... do we go ahead and sell these two Leghorn roosters so that we can cut our losses on feeding them? Or do we just keep them in the mix and process them with the other roosters we will raise as meat birds?