Butchering mean rooster...too old to eat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by nvdirtfreak, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. nvdirtfreak

    nvdirtfreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Hello, I have a 27-week old rooster (luckily the only rooster in a batch of 11 chickens) that I originally intended on keeping as I thought he completed my flock nicely, plus he is oh-so-handsome. However I have decided there is no room for a rooster in my flock, especially one that has grown increasingly mean over the last several weeks despite my best efforts. Also, even though I have 10 hens, he seems to be focusing all of his attention on a select few that are now clearly suffering with a severe loss of feathers on their backs/neck and decreased egg production.

    Anyway, since I don't enjoy the thought of passing off a mean rooster to anyone else and I can't figure out any other use for him, I think he will do well as dinner. I have never processed a chicken before, though, and don't know if he is too old to eat. Is 27 weeks too old for good meat? I plan on processing him and trying the meat, regardless, but would like to know if I should be prepared for less-than-enjoyable meat. It breaks my heart to have to do this, but I'm simply not sacrificing the well-being of my hens over it, and I feel that passing him off to anyone else would be plain mean.

    Since this is my first time butchering a chicken, any tips/advice anyone could give would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Look at the top of this Meat Bird section. There are some articles on how to butcher a chicken.

    You can eat any chicken of any sex or age. The secret is how you cook them. 27 weeks is not a real old rooster. Go to a decent restaurant that serves Coq au Vin and they should use a rooster a few years old if they are being authentic. Most don’t.

    The secret to cooking old birds is to cook them long and slow with moisture. I suggest you cut that rooster into serving pieces, then put him in a large baking dish that has a good cover. Rinse the pieces but do not shake off the water or pat them dry. Just put them in that pot wet. That will be enough moisture as long as your pot seals fairly well. Then cover each piece with ground herbs. I use basil, oregano, and often parsley and/or thyme. Put the herbs on thick. You can put onions or garlic in there with him if you want. Then cook that bird in the over on 250 for three hours. That is not a typo, two hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

    He will not come out crisp and crunchy. He will be moist.

    Or you can make Coq au Vin. Or use a crock pot. Some people use a pressure cooker if they are in a hurry. There are lots of ways to cook that rooster. Just don’t try to fry or grill him, he’s too old for that.
     
  3. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2013
    Tennessee
    Make sure not to feed the roo any medicated feed for a week before butcher. It makes the meat taste bad to me. First you have to decide how you will butcher him. Wringing his neck would be easy. I prefer to hold the chicken while my boyfriend chops its head off with a hatchet. Seems a bit quicker to me and that way I know it didn't suffer. After you butcher dunk the roo in scalding-but not boiling- water for a few seconds. If the feathers pull out easy you're ready to pluck. If not dunk him for a few more seconds and check the feathers again. Hang him up by the feet and pull all the feathers out. There are plenty of good videos on youtube that will show you how to gut the chicken. I don't really know how to explain that part. Its not hard at all, though. When you're done wash the chicken off good and leave him covered in the fridge for a couple of days. That will allow rigor mortis to pass. When I cook an older bird I brine it. Boil a 1/2 gallon of water and dissolve 1 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, and any spices you wish in it. Then add 1/2 gallon of cool water to it. Let the brine cool down to about 40F in the fridge, then put the chicken in it and let it soak for 4-8 hrs in the fridge. After that I will either inject it with marinade and smoke it or roast it. If I don't marinade it I slow cook it for dumplins or soup. Don't expect it to taste like grocery store chicken but that doesn't mean it will taste bad. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     

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