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Raising buckeyes for meat...I could be happier - Page 2

post #11 of 19

I am defnintely not a buckeye expert, but I will tell you they do mature more like a jersey giant than a rock. They put a lot of the early weeks into bone and frame growth and muscles/feathers fill in later. You would do better to raise your buckeyes to about the 7-8 months range. This will help with the pin feathers too. Also, if you skin them rather than de-pluck you don't have to worry about the skin tearing.

 

Some breeders have made good progress towards faster growth but buckeyes are big and it takes time to get them there. The pullets do not lay for 6 months average. The good part of buckeyes is they can free range effectively reducing the months of pouring feed into them. Hatch in mid-late march and by July they will eat every mouse and bug on your property boosting their growth.

post #12 of 19

I suspect that many of your disappointments stem from butchering too early.  I age my Buckeyes by months not weeks.  I used to keep my roos for nearly a year before I processed them and would end up with 6-7 pound (++) dressed birds.  That being said I use my birds to make Natural dog treats with all of the meat being deboned, ground and the carcasses going to a stew pot.  As far as meat for frying or roasting, not so good.  Wonderful, wonderful broth but meat so tough it would dull a steak knife.  I would pressure cook it, chop it up, then cook it again in soups and stew dishes.  I know what you mean about pin feathers though.  But again I grind most of my meat.  I render the skin and body cavity fat for schmaltz.  Best shortening  in the world!

I started processing at 6 months (I guess that is about 24 weeks) and have had really great carcasses.  5 plus pounds and tender.  Still the best broth in the world.  I also learned to age my pasture raised birds after processing.  I pack my finished carcasses in totes (with tight fitting lids) and keep them in a cold fridge until all of the rigor mortis has passed.  I usually check them after 36 hrs.  If the legs and wings move freely they are ready for the freezer.  I also cut up some old refrigerator racks for the bottom of the totes so that I could sprinkle a little water in the bottom of the tote to add some humidity to the process.   

Every path has a few puddles.
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Every path has a few puddles.
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post #13 of 19

What's schmaltz,  how do you make it and how do you use it?

post #14 of 19

Schmaltz- not counting any bonus squares it is good for 24 points in scrabble, using all the your tiles for an extra 75 points!  Besides that it is the clean excess abdominal fat from an overweight chicken, which has been rendered (heated on a stove) to it's melting point, then strained, cooled, jarred, then refrigerated.  The uses are similar to any other fat (lard, vegetable shortening, etc.).  Makes terrific biscuits.  To make a liverwurst spread with fresh chicken livers, add about 20% schmaltz by volume, chill, then serve with crackers and cheese.

Raising Capons for our families consumption.  Teaching, coaching, and encouraging both caponizing and home processing of poultry on the Olympic Peninsula.

On-site Processing available  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poultry-Processing-Olympic-Peninsula/282197605263857

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Raising Capons for our families consumption.  Teaching, coaching, and encouraging both caponizing and home processing of poultry on the Olympic Peninsula.

On-site Processing available  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poultry-Processing-Olympic-Peninsula/282197605263857

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post #15 of 19

Thanks nallikwj82.  Sounds like very useful stuff! Probably healthier than lard too especially from a free range chicken. :D

post #16 of 19

Haha yes Schmaltz is an excellent scrabble word!  It is an excellent shortening agent too!!  Just about anything that you would use shortening for schmaltz. Is. Better!  High heat frying breaks it down but for baking, flash frying (fried eggs) and sautéing it is wonderful. I save all of my chunks of fat and extra fatty skin pieces in the freezer until I have a couple pounds then do a big batch.  I cube all the fat and cook it in a 6 quart sauce pan with the lid cocked.  The fat is cubed into about 1/2" pieces.  In the saucepan barely cover all of the fat with water and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat to a med simmer.   As it simmers the fat will melt out into the water and separate from the tendons, meat bits and skin.   Cook it until all the water has simmered off and the fat is hot enough to make the bits of skin and meat sizzle.   It should take hours!  Those lovely golden crunchy tidbits that sizzle on the surface are known as cracklin's and they are a real treat too.  You want to skim them out as they pop to the surface and get brown.  I strain it all into a bowl and refrigerate.  After it settles I portion it into 1 cup or so containers or freezer bags and freeze.  You'll find the purest at the top layer and you may find a skiff of water at the bottom to drain off.    

Every path has a few puddles.
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Every path has a few puddles.
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post #17 of 19

Once you've done all that rendering,  does the fat still taste like chicken? Or does it have a neutral flavour? I think I'm going to try this.

I'm thinking my Buckeyes are looking a little skinny, it's   time for extra fattening treats ;-)


Edited by CanadianBuckeye - 10/31/15 at 4:32am
post #18 of 19


If you just use the cavity fat or big globs that have no tissue the rendered fat has very little chicken taste.  If you use skin and what ever fat you can glean from the carcass it will have some chicken flavor.  I gather lots of different chunks when I portion into pieces.  The Schmaltz from the cavity fat is the texture of a good shortening.  When I make it from random fat it is a little thinner. 

Every path has a few puddles.
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Every path has a few puddles.
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post #19 of 19

Thanks, good to know that they are different.

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