Are older chickens good to eat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Amandahein, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Amandahein

    Amandahein In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2019
    I have some 3 year old hens that are egg eaters so I'm wanting to butcher them but will the meat be any good? They're jersey giant and rhode island red if that helps. Also thinking of butchering a 1 year old plymouth rock rooster.
    chrissynemetz likes this.
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    I think they make tastier soup than young birds.
  3. LadyCluck77

    LadyCluck77 Songster

    Jun 5, 2013
  4. The Dapper Duck

    The Dapper Duck Songster

    Apr 9, 2019
    Coastal Humboldt, CA
    Same opinion here, braise/boil it up but they should be tasty. Here's my go-to that will make the toughest old cock into a bone-sucking meal:
    Pluck/skin the whole bird and cut into neck, wings, drums, thighs, and split the breast. Leave all the bones in. Saute half a yellow onion and a few cloves of garlic in butter, add the chicken and brown the outside. Add in 1c soy sauce, 1c white or cane vinegar, 2c water, and some hot pepper of your choice to taste. Braise for at least an hour, the meat should be coming off when you stab it with a fork but not quite falling off the bone by itself. When the meat is done, turn off the heat and stir in some chopped green onions and about 1c coconut milk. Serve on rice if you like.

    (Now I know what's for dinner at my house) Good luck!
    RUNuts, LadyCluck77 and chrissynemetz like this.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you have a pressure cooker, that will tenderize them quite nicely.
  6. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    Sure they're good, just not the same as store-bought. Older birds need to be rested in the refrigerator after butchering, up to 4-5 days if you have the room. Then cook low, slow, and moist. Parted out, seasoned, and in a covered casserole in a 200 degree oven for a few hours is one good way. If you cook in water on the stove, keep it at just a bare simmer, no hard boiling.
    LadyCluck77 and 123RedBeard like this.
  7. RUNuts

    RUNuts Free Ranging

    May 19, 2017
    Eastern Houston
    Tsk. No one suggested brining during the rest. I'll have some retired layers this fall to try this. Google brine and let it sit for a week. Then cook to your pleasure. Salt probably not needed.
    Mosey2003 and R2elk like this.
  8. ijon

    ijon Songster

    Jan 11, 2012
    Insta pot chicken soup
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Crowing

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    we use our older hens for soups stews, dumplings, enchiladas and anything that you can cook low and slow. Up here in VT you get a nice fat layer on your girls after a few years and it makes an amazing broth for a stew nice and thick and rich and personally I think the taste of an older hen for slow cooked meals is much much better than using the younger birds. They get plenty meaty as well. With my orpington girls I just did for eating they averaged 5-6lbs dressed out with feathers feat and organs removed but still with skin and fat.
    RUNuts and R2elk like this.
  10. RoosterML

    RoosterML Songster

    I can not answer this question yet as my oldest birds are just over a year. Personally so I know for myself I will try them various ways.
    Probably one on a rotisserie along with another doing beer can. Chicken is just like shrimp to many ways to cook them to possibly list it all. Cooking is really an art in my opinion some will try and succeed and others, well you know, those individuals you offer to pickup takeout.;)

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