Can older culled hens be used for cooking?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickaD, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    We have some older layers, 4-5 yrs old, and no longer laying much, with the short dark days. Since we'd like to focus our efforts, coop space, and feed dollars on our younger flock of pullets, we'd like to know if chickens that old can still be prepared as good food. We're looking to give them to someone else for food & I was just wondering if that sounds feasible. [​IMG]
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Google "stewing hen".
  3. If you have a meat grinder you could also use her to make homemade chicken sausage. I don't think I'd used one that well on in years to roast, but for stew or sausage meat...I use the same recipe for turkey sausage as I do for chicken sausage when i am given chicken meat.

    Off topic, ChickaD, I love your avatar. I have a tat that looks almost like that. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  4. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Chicken Pot Pie
  5. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Great suggestions! I ended up using it for cat and dog food. One older rooster was pretty tough even boiled, and the cats and dog loved it.
    (craving pot pies now...)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  6. If nothing else, an old hen would be great for a big ol' pot of stock. Mmmmm ... chicken stock ...
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    yep, chicken stock. When they got that old, we made stock, froze it in smallish containers, (cottage cheeze containers etc) and fed the meat to the dogs, cause it was not terribly flavourful even.

    Then used the stock for all sorts of recipes, and if we wanted soup, just added fresh chicken, only cooking it till it was just done, not rubbery.

    I confess, we kept the hens so long they were rarely worth eating, but the broth was always useful.
  8. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Thanks for the ideas! Now I can take stock of the situation...[​IMG]
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    This really isn't the "worse case scenario" and, I think, certainly worth considering.

    I buy organic fertilizer wholesale for a large veggie garden. The list of ingredients on the bag reads something like this: Feather Meal, Bone Meal, Blood Meal, and Poultry By-Products.

    You know what? That looks a lot like the Whole Bird to me.

    I pay wholesale but for "mere mortals" the cost of organic fertilizer can run up to $2 per pound . . . . !! Now, what does that make an old 7 1/2 pound hen worth?


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