Originally Posted by easyvilleacres
Though no one commented I thought it might be nice for my own reference ... we butchered our old hens last week and it was quite a different experience than the CX. Lots of fat ... which I rendered and made schmaltz ... but not much meat. I called them fat, lazy hens but I was always joking. Never would have guessed I was right!!
We found them a lot harder to pluck, which was a huge negative, but have slow cooked one for chicken and dumplings the other day and it was good. Good flavor and tender.
Not sure it was worth our time. Now I'm curious to see what it will be like butchering a young heritage rooster when we hatch our own and cull next year. I might decide the CXs were not such a turnoff afterall!
While processing older hens and cockerels is a pain, and you don't get a ton of meat for the work, I feel the taste is worth it. They make outstanding stock, soups, stews, enchiladas and casseroles.
That being said, meaties have a place here too. One can use them for recipes in which an older bird wouldn't be suitable. If you want to try a meat type that has a little more flavor, and one more likely to range, try Freedom Rangers.
I checked out your blog. Sorry you lost one to an owl, but awesome pics of that bird.