Butchering REAL old hens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cottontail farm, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My father's decided he's done with chickens and his hens are like 8 years old. I am thinning out my flock this fall and am getting rid of a 5 year old hen among others. Are these girls even edible at this point? I'm thinking with a crockpot and them made into pot pie, possibly. Has anyone cooked one this old?
     
  2. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me I would skin them, bone them out, and can them.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sure they're edible. I don't think they're really going to be much different at 8 than they were at say 2. You're on the right track with the crockpot, then shred/pull the meat and you can go with several recipes from there. Pot pie, chicken and dumplings, soup for this winter, enchiladas, pretty much any casserole, chicken salad, etc. Plus, you should get some wonderful broth.
     
  4. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I just wasn't sure if we'd be looking at shoe leather even after a trip to the crock pot. I'll give it a try and report back. My 5 year old hen goes this week.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just make sure you rest the cleaned carcasses in the fridge for a few days, to let rigor mortis pass, before cooking or freezing.
    I use a pressure cooker as it faster.
    An hour or so for meat to cook, strip meat and set aside, put everything else back in and let it go for another hour or two for a killer bone broth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    @tmarsh83 re: your ovation comment... "Looking forward to stock/broth as much as meat."
    That's a good thing, because I've found you get much more stock than meat.

    I've learned to enjoy 'meatless stew' with various veggies over rice or noodles...cause that's all that's left in the freezer, haha!
     
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Works for me, I use stock/broth quite a bit, and get tired of having to use salty store bought, or cubes.

    When your wife makes homemade noodles, it doesn't take much to make a meal of anything with a little stock to let them come to life in!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've done three and four year old hens and they are deliciousand the stock is so flavorful and rich. Eight hours in the crock pot on low and they are good to go. They still have some texture, unlikea store-bought bird that would be mush after 8 hours, perhaps the texture of a baked drumstick but much more flavor. That said, I've never kept a hen 8 years so I'm only guessing what yours will be like. I'd say "try it."
     
  10. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 5yr old is getting processed tomorrow so we'll see how it goea. Homemade stock is absolutely amazing. I freeze some in icecube trays too i case i just need a bit for something,
     

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