At what age/ weight should Dual roo's get processed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by marcym, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. marcym

    marcym Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read a few other posts, but haven't really found a consensus. I have BR's, RIR's, BO's, and a few sex link roos that will be going to freezer camp. At what age/weight should they be processed? Hubby will only eat chicken noodles, chicken n biscuits, and chicken pot pie, so I will either bake then pick, or boil then pick. Help?
     
  2. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if there is a consensus....... New Years day we butchered 10 NH X WL roos at just over 4 months old. They were out of a batch I hatched and they started creating too much havoc with my original flock so they had to go. If they had been more polite with the ladies we probably would have waited another month. They were a really nice size, we were suprised. For free rangers all daylight hours they were quite tender. I put 2 whole birds (skin on) in the soup pot the same day to make broth/soup and they were almost completely fat free!! There is nothing like raising your own food [​IMG]
     
  3. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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  4. Paul Ewing

    Paul Ewing Out Of The Brooder

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    Right now we have 60+ chickens in the freezer for our personal use. These are a mix of Rhode Island Red, Americuna, and Silver Laced Wyandotte roosters that resulted from our hatching out chicks for layer sales. This isn't really profitable probably since we raised most to the 20-22 week mark. They did have a lot more 4+ pound dressed weights than the Ideal Red Broilers we did at 13 weeks, but they are very leggy. Some looked more like turkey legs than standard chicken legs. Most weighed in the 3.5 to 4.5 pound range dressed.

    Cheers, Paul
     
  5. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Pretty much whenever you feel like it!

    I've so far had roos anywhere from 15 weeks to 8 months. The older ones were still very tasty when cooked properly (slow roasted at 275 for a couple hours).

    Don't boil! Simmer. Or, put it in a crockpot on low all day. High heat = tough meat.
     
  6. Chickhick

    Chickhick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found this, and it might be helpful to you, as it addresses butchering at different ages for the historic (dual purpose) breeds. I only skimmed it so far, but here it is:

    Rediscovering Traditional Meats from Historic Chicken Breeds

    It is stickied in the meat breeds notable archives at the top of the page.
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    I think the longer you can stand to have them around eating, crowing, & pestering the hens the meatier they will be when they're butchered. And the ways you plan to use them -- and especially the ways suggested to cook them -- toughness shouldn't be an issue. You can do them in batches, butchering the meatiest ones first. I like to wait until their drumsticks feel nice & plump, when my mouth begins to water when I pick them up to feel them. Around 18-24 weeks.

    You'll get about an equal amount of white & dark meat. I like to separate the birds into parts and simmer them in 2 pots, white & dark. Then I remove the bones & freeze the meat in packets. It's really handy that way, I have dishes where I prefer one kind of meat over the other (chicken & rice = white, chicken chili = dark, etc).
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As you can probably see, there is no consensus. We all do it differently, but the same general cooking tactics apply. Cook them slow and moist. "Don't boil, simmer" is great advice.

    I do different things, depending somewhat on age but also what I want to use them for. I do not put a lot in freezer camp. I free range mine so the feed costs are not extreme, so I leave most of mine on the claw in case the power goes out and we lose what we have in the freezer.

    One thing I do, especially with older roosters that I think might work for you. When I butcher a chicken, regardless of age, I save the neck, backs, wings (not much meat on wings), gizzard, heart, and feet to use for broth. For your purposes, you could add the breast, legs and thighs. Then I fill a crock pot with the chicken, onions, celery, carrots, and water. I personally also add oregano and basil but I have a bunch dried from my garden. You can add garlic, thyme, whatever you feel like. Then I put the crock pot on low overnight. The next morning I take the chunks out and pick the meat. The broth gets strained through about four layers of cheese cloth and the fat removed. I don't use the breasts, legs and thighs to make the broth and I usually get about 4 pints of broth from one fairly young rooster, say a 15 week old. If you use all the meat, you could get more. I once processed a full grown rooster this way but included all the meat. I got 13 pints of broth from him and 5 cups of cooked meat, perfect for pot pies, chicken tacos, or noodles. I can the broth. It is rich enough that if you put it in the refrigerator, it coagulates. Talk about making good soup or just cook rice in that instead of water.

    I use the feet in the broth. They can be hard to clean, but I find if you scald the feet, the skin/scales peel right off and the toenails will even slide off if you pinch and pull. No problem at all with dirty feet.
     
  9. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i recomend 18 weeks and then use a crockpot or boil them.
     
  10. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I like this. Separate dark and white meat. Cool.
     

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