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Butchering non meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by carress, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. carress

    carress Songster

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    Can someone give me the rundown on butchering 'other' birds.

    For example, if I had a Black Australorp, would it ever be worth butchering, when? would females work as well as males?

    What breeds work well or just ok as dinner?

    Is it worth it? Or woul dI bemuch better off using real meat birds?
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    For me, if I'm going to cull a bird by killing it, or giving it away for butchering, I may as well harvest what meat I can from it myself.

    Most any bird will have some meat worth eating. The leg and thigh meat tend to be a bit tougher on a bird that isn't a cornish X or other 'meat' bird just because they use their legs more and live longer before they are the right size for butchering.

    Even 'old' birds can be tenderized using slow cooking methods and/or marianades, etc, or used in stews.
  3. Rosebud75

    Rosebud75 In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2008
    I think an Australorp is a 'dual purpose' breed, isn't it? Bred for both eggs and meat? I seem to remember reading that somewhere. If that's true I should think it would be ok?
  4. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Any chicken can be eaten. I personaly am happy eating non cornish x chickens, including BA.
  5. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Yep, we don't eat Cornish X chickens at all because of personal reasons --- we have Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orps, Black Jersey Giants, Barred Rocks, Ameraucanas, Delawares, and a bunch of youngsters from mixing breeds.

    All perfectly fine, and tasty as can be.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  6. antlers

    antlers Songster

    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    I posted this on another thread...

    I disagree with MANY on this board about Dual use not being good meat birds. No they are not bred to be huge or have the best feed conversion ratio, but the quality of the meat is just as good as a meat bird. It is all relative. I find for people that like dark meat, that dual use have a higher percentage because they do not have such big breasts. That suits me just fine.

    I butcher my red sex link roos at 13 weeks. The meat is tasty and tender. They do not have such large breasts but I am happy with what they have. I want birds that grow slower and have old fashioned taste. Slow sustainable foods will win the day.
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    We always eat our extra roos, and the occasional hen that meets a bad end, i.e., dog, fox, car, etc., (I've had 3 hens get hit by cars this summer) and is found quickly enough that the meat's fresh, I dress them out, too. If they're over about 14 weeks they'll be tough, the older they are, the tougher they are.

    But, if you cook them in a crock pot, pressure can, or cook slowly for 4 or 5 hours in the oven, say in a cooking bag or some dish with plenty of moisture, the meat's then tender and delicious. The broth is dark and rich, makes wonderful gravy, sauce, or soup. You can't beat an older bird for flavor, especially heritage breeds.

    You can use the meat in all kinds of dishes, I favor Mexican mostly, enchiladas, tamales, burritos, tacos, but you can use them anyway you like, and they'll be yummy. Dumplings, soup, pasta dishes, pot pie, BBQ sandwiches, chicken salad, whatever. I've even added the meat from crock pot chicken to fried potatoes with onioins, and made hash, it was great.

    True, they won't have the huge breast like the Cornish X, but the flavor's better. IMO, the healthier the bird, the better it will be for you when you eat it. The non-meat breeds are healthier birds.

    There are people currently breeding various crosses to come up with something in between, a bird that reaches a good butcher weight around 5 lbs. or better at 10-12 weeks, (rather than 6-8 weeks) still young enough for a fryer, but more active than the Cornish X's, better foragers, therefor presumably healthier birds. The hope is for birds that can live well past butchering age without the leg problems or CHF (congestive heart failure) that the Cornish crosses are prone to. The ideal bird would have better flavor as well. C. X's are a bit bland, for my tastes. I've raised them, and will gladly eat them, but I'm aware of their shortcomings, too, and would like to raise something better.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008

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