Domestic poultry that is allowed to reach an age and weight that allows it to be oven or grill roasted, resulting in tender, juicy meat. Chickens, which are typically referred to as roasters, are approximately 2 1/2 to 5 months old with a weight of 2 to 7 pounds and contain suitable fat content.
Chickens are slaughtered at different ages to be processed for different purposes and classified according to their use such as broilers, fryers, roasters, and stewers. Broilers and fryers are chickens that weigh 3 to 4 pounds, are 7 to 12 weeks old, and as the name indicates, are best used for broiling and frying. As the chicken becomes 10 to 12 weeks old, gains more fat, and weighs 2 to 6 or 7 pounds, they are referred to as roasters since they are most suitable for roasting or cooking on rotisserie grills. The flesh of stewing chickens, which weigh up to 7 or 8 pounds and are over 10 months old, is not as tender as the meat of younger birds, so they are typically used for stewing or for commercial processing of canned chicken products.