Can you feed the meat birds anything to make them taste better?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by awesomefowl, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Just there something you could give them to make the meat taste better/different? Thanks. D

  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I read that the French feed barley to their birds for flavor.
  3. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I'm currently trying with meat chicks on a diet of grains, legumes, soured milk, grass, alfalfa, oilseeds, and just a tiny bit of meat meal. Will let you know if they taste better... I'm expecting they will (since commercial chick feeds are fortified with artificial methionine, an amino acid vital for building muscles... Synthetic methionine is made from propane, among other ingredients). But this diet for chicks means care with cocci prevention.

    We just ate two DP cockerels fed entirely the above diet. I'm still fiddling to get the feed recipe right in terms of growth, but meanwhile these two birds were the most flavoursome I've ever tasted.

    The problem though is that cornish x are a very different bird. Whether they can develop flavour too remains to be seen. [​IMG]

    I remember my sister's lambs once got into her herb patch... The meat was amazing. Sage, thyme, mint...

    If that all sounds too hard, try lots of plain old grass. It can definitely help.

    E: Fixed typo.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I have found that proper bleeding during processing is critical, Brining is also a must, along with the right amount of fat content. And of course the best way to ensure a flavorful bird is the Cook [​IMG]

  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I have been wanting to try adding garlic to the water my CX drink the whole way thru and see if the meat ends up with a garlic flavor. My guess is it would.
  6. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    Vinegar makes the eggs taste better.... (added to the water) Perhaps it will help the meat as well.
  7. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I have heard that if you can free range them on grass bugs like layers that the meat taste really great. Good luck. I can't wait till I get our farm and can raise our own chickens.

  8. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Well, they are on nice green lawn 24/7 in their "greenhouse", and when it isn't wet or cold I let them free-range the garden and grass. They are so funny and cute the way they zip around peeping, but not so much I can't eat them! They forage nicely. Maybe that will help the meat; I guess I won't go crazy trying to feed them odd things. They do get scraps and bits of yogurt too, and my dad is a wonderful cook. [​IMG] He made a thankgiving turkey that was amazing, and it was just from the grocery store.
  9. What about a "finishing diet" that is fed only a few weeks before processing, as opposed to something fed from the start? I've seen references to various herbs and nuts being fed to flavor the fat on an animal. Oh, and what about beer? I'm guessing that for chickens you'd want to go with non-alcoholic. Pretty interesting. I'm looking forward to reading what others have tried.
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I would stay away from fish, but other than that, I think you get your best flavor in chickens when they are allowed to exercise in the sunshine and pick at bugs and grass and don't live in crowded conditions.

    A huge difference is if they are killed without stress or fear. Stress can taint the meat.

    Then, proper handling and chilling of the meat, and after that, it is up to the cook.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by