Are these tough old birds?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mimi’s 13, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

    Jan 6, 2018
    Centre, AL
    I have three cockerels that have been up in their bachelor pad for about eight weeks now. I had planned on processing them at 16 weeks old, but I had to put that to the side when our renter moved out of our rental house and left it in bad condition. Needless to say, I’ve been working on restoring the inside of it.

    My question is, at 22-23 weeks old, will these cockerels be too tough for frying? If so, I guess I’ll skin them instead of plucking.

    I appreciate any advice and thanks for your time.
    EggWalrus likes this.
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    No...I don't believe they will be too tough?..
  3. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

    Jan 6, 2018
    Centre, AL
    I really hope not. I was looking forward to some tender fried chicken.
    EggWalrus and chickens really like this.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Don't forget to rest the carcass... and I would brine or do a buttermilk marinade type soak

    Don't think I would try frying... but I'm here to learn. :pop
  5. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

    Jan 6, 2018
    Centre, AL
    This is the part that I’m clueless about. I do know to rest the carcass even those that are going in the freezer. That is no problem at all. But when you mention doing a brine or a buttermilk marinade soak, you lose me. I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about or even what those are used for.

    All this time, ever since @aart mentioned it, I’ve really been looking forward to frying up a young bird for that crispy skin. But having to do something to it first scares me.

    Is the brine/soak something that’s done to change the taste from non edible to edible or is it something that’s done to simply to change the texture of the meat so it can be eaten?
    EggSighted4Life and EggWalrus like this.
  6. Aceoky

    Aceoky Songster

    Aug 19, 2018
    W. KY
    The brine (overnight in fridge) will help keep the bird moist when cooked, add some flavor (from the salt/sugar brine) the buttermilk will also lighten the color a bit and the acid will tenderize it a little bit. Also even after a brine soak- I like the buttermilk(maybe couple hours soak in fridge prior to frying) to help the breading to stick to the frying chicken. HTH
  7. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Yes, they'll be to tough for frying. They'd be roasters, crockpot, or noodle birds now. High heat methods are out.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I grill mine, not fry them.....I don't care to deep fry stuff, I go out for that.
    After 16 weeks, I just stew everything in the pressure cooker.
    Low and slow might do it tho.
  9. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Depending on who you ask, brining/soaking can do both, change the taste and the texture - depends on what you use to brine. It definitely makes for a moister bird. I brined an older roo in a mix of salt and herbs for flavoring/tenderizing. The result was a fantastic flavorful, moist ROASTED carcass. I haven't tried a similar bird not brined so I can't say if the brining did anything. I haven't butchered any roos less than 5 months old and all of those were roasted/stewed.
    I think you are on the edge with 22 week old birds. After you let them rest for a period, try moving the leg joint. If it moves easily, then you may get a nice tender bird. I left mine to rest 4 days and although the joint flexed OK, I didn't think it moved freely like it did right after I killed it, before the rigor had set in. I believe mine were too old to make a good fryer.
  10. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

    Jan 6, 2018
    Centre, AL
    Okay, I just want to make sure all this is in addition to the carcass rest, not taking the place of it. Also, are there recipes I can look up for these things?

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