Chickens: Broiler, Fryer, WTF?

I had no idea that the different names of chickens like Broiler or Fryer or Roaster had only to do with the age and relative size of the chickens. The more people I have said this to made me realize that I wasn’t alone in my ignorance. I always assumed it had something to do with the quality of the chicken. Nope.

When I smoke chickens it seems they will either be Fryers or Roasters depending on what we happen to pick up at the store.

Here are the general guidelines for chickens:

Broilers: Chickens 6 to 8 weeks old and weighing about 2 1/2 pounds
Fryers: Chickens 6 to 8 weeks old and weighing 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds
Roasters: Chickens less than 8 months old and weighing 3 1/2 to 5 pounds
Stewing Chickens: Chickens (usually hens) over 10 months old and weighing 5 to 7 pounds
Capons: Castrated males that weigh 6 to 8 pounds
Cock/Rooster: Male chickens over 10 months old weighing 6 to 8 pounds

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