Are my roosters too old?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cjsgrlsx3, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. cjsgrlsx3

    cjsgrlsx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four roosters that really need to be culled. They are tearing up my hens and I need to get rid of them......the problem....they are 8 months old. What are you thoughts on the meat? Will it be too tough?
     
  2. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think it will be too tough it's all in how you cook it. Cook it low and slow for much longer than you would a younger bird. Crock pot or covered roasting pan with a little liquid in it works great with veggies and everything added into it. I like to make enchiladas with my older roosters they taste amazing.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I just ate a bunch of 4 y.o. birds. They were stringy, but fine for eating. Cooking low and slow, and stewed in fluid is the key. The older the bird the more intense the flavor.

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  4. cjsgrlsx3

    cjsgrlsx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What was the rule for putting it in the fridge first? Also, I have two Jersey Giants, 1 Jersey Giant cross, and 1 Naked Neck. Will these be good eatin'?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  5. cjsgrlsx3

    cjsgrlsx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am bumping and asking another question........Is there a difference between eating rooster and eating a hen?
     
  6. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The older the bird the longer you want to keep them in the fridge for a 4 year old bird I would problem keep them in the fridge 4 or 5 days. You can test it periodically. You should be able to move the legs and wings and the bird will stop feeling stiff then you know its ready to freeze. I actually freeze mine first and then put them in the fridge for a week when I take them out of the freezer so that I can thaw the bird (2-3 days depending on size) and then rest it before eating. It ends up pretty tender. Another thing you can do is debone the meat and then use either your rolling pin or a meat mallet and beat the meat before cooking. I just did some 7 month old chicken breasts yesterday without resting but it was deboned and I used my rolling pin to beat it and it was as tender as an 8 week old bird when I got done.

    Jersey Giants and Naked Necks are fine for eating. I have heard that the Naked Necks taste really good and I imagine not having feathers on the neck is a help at processing time. Jersey Giants do grow slower so they won't mature until closer to a year and a half but I would still eat them.


    Roosters tend to get more muscle so I will actually rest them longer. They also have a little stronger taste. Unless your hen is 2 or 3 years old or older they won't be tough or stringy. Roosters seem to get that way quicker maybe because of the activities they do chasing after the hens. Hens are mellower just walk around eat and lay eggs if left to their own devices. The other thing is when you process hens you might find unlaid eggs inside them when cleaning them. Some people actually eat those I personally don't but I feed that and the edible organs back to my dog or the chickens and they really like them.

    Pretty much older than a year I would cook it low and slow and wait longer before cooking. You can crock pot cook it stock pot cook it or cook it like you would a roast with a cover on and a bit of water and veggies in the bottom with spices so that it keeps it moist. I would cook the older ones 275 or 300 for 30 or 40 minutes a pound and it should fall off the bone. Making me hungry just thinking about it.
     
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  7. cjsgrlsx3

    cjsgrlsx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You answered EVERY question I had! Thanks a bunch!
     
  8. Koolaid

    Koolaid Out Of The Brooder

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    couple of other questions I hear "pin feathers" are a problem with older birds - exactly what are those and how do ya'll deal with them. I smoke a lot of meat - would smoking fall under the "slow and long' method for older birds? I have Brahma's - they take longer to mature and by the time they are full grown they are almost a year old. thanks for advise ya'll.
     
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just had to deal with that for the batch we processed. Pin feathers are actually the little feathers that are growing in to replace the feathers the chicken loses when they molt. They can also be called blood feathers because they have an active blood supply to help them grow. You can get a pinning knife to pull them out but the best way to deal with them is to just check the birds before you want to process and make sure that they are not in the process of molting. If they are give them another couple of weeks to finish up before you process then you'll be all set. I don't remember where I saw it but someone had a list of all the molting times before 2 years. After that it's usually just once a year. If you find you have a lot of pin feathers you can also skin your birds which works well.

    I am not sure about the smoking and whether or not it counts as low and slow cooking. For my older birds I usually rest them for up to a week in the fridge depending on how old they were and then crock pot cook so I can keep the stock or roast at about 275 or 300 adding extra time to make sure the meat gets to the right temp inside. Often if I am roasting I will cover the meat while cooking it so that it gets more of the moisture from the drippings so it won't be too dry. I also do Brahmas and I have gone to 7 or 8 months with them without having any problems.

    I am interested to see what others think of smoking though I am just starting to read up on smoking and making sausage and I find it very interesting.
     
  10. Koolaid

    Koolaid Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks Lily :)
     

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