Chickens that are too big?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by max13077, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Anybody ever let their meat chickens grow up too big? We were suppose to process last week, then this past weekend, now later next week. My friend who's halving the birds with me keep putting off the date. Does the meat get bad or anything? Just worrying...
  2. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    How old are they? How much do they weigh?

    I have not processed my own, but I would think the heavier they are the harder it is. Just a guess.

    Biggest downfall right now is you are putting more money into them!
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    If you wait too long, the meat doesn't get "bad", but it gets tougher. And, with meat breeds, you can start losing them if you wait too long, their hearts give out. How old are they?

    I don't think bigger birds are harder to process, it's actually easier to get your hand inside to pull out the innards, but if the bones fully develop there's a pair of pelvic bones that get in the way. That takes a while, though. If they're under 11 weeks they should still be ok, but if you want fryers, sooner is better.

    Maybe you should go ahead and process your half. Your friend can do the other half later. If you do, I'd ask him/her to buy the feed, once yours are no longer eating it!
  4. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Well they’re about 8.5 weeks old right now. There are a number of males though who are already over the 10 pound mark. I get an average of 8.95lbs. However that’s only because most of the females are still about 7.5-8 or so. I’ve done some projections based on the weights I’ve taken and it’s looking like the average will be up to 10+ by the time we’re supposedly going to process. I guess that’s good if we want lots of meat.

    I keep toying with the idea of just setting up and starting to process them. Probably what I’ll end up doing. I just know it’ll go easier with two people.

    What really got me nervous was when we had a BBQ last weekend. I bought(sorry) a whole chicken and cooked it on the grill, it was great, yatta yatta. But the thing was, the whole chicken only weighed 4.5 pounds. We couldn’t finish it! If you use the 2/3 method a 10 pound bird works out to about 6.5lbs. That’s a lot of meat!
  5. minifarmer

    minifarmer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2008
    warren county, ohio
    So far, I've only processed by myself. You can do it, it's not too bad. As for size, I processed my cx males at 14 weeks and they were 14# after processing, and not including the neck,gizzard, etc... I ended up cutting them up for better freezer space usage(and I couldn't find bags big enough!). The taste is fantastic!!! Even my sister has been converted! They aren't tough or chewy at that age, because even though they're a little older, they ARE still broilers. I would have let the males go longer but they were starting to try to breed the hens.
    You could split them down the middle if they're too big. I love only needing to use one breast for a recipe (they average 2# each!!!) and they make great bbq on the grill and stir fry etc...Karla p.s. My girls are around 5 monthes old, still going strong and now laying eggs for me.
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    We recently slaughtered some chickens that had gotten "to big". As we were eating chickens and dumplings we couldn't help but wonder what the poor people were eating. Those big birds cooked up into a meal fit for a king.
  7. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Cool folks, Thanks for easing my mind.
  8. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    No worries mate,you got a week and a half to play with.They may start dropping over though if you wait too long.I like a big bird anyways. Will
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:So you'll have really great tasting leftovers. That makes you nervous? Reheat them and enjoy. Or make sandwiches or something. Cut them in half and cook half of a bird at a time, and if you still can't finish it, again you have yummy leftovers.

    If eating the same thing two days in a row really bothers you, add BBQ sauce the next day. Or chop it up and make a stir fry. Make panini sandwiches. Make chicken salad. Chop up the leftover meat and freeze it, use it later for a quick meal of stirfry, or tacos, or whatever.

    When both DH and I worked full time, I used to collect TV dinner trays, and make my own frozen meals with leftovers. Then when I took them to work and heated them in the micro, everybody else was envious of my home-cooked TV dinners. That let me have a much better variety of vegetables, too, and ONLY stuff I really liked in my meals! (Homemade mashed potatoes and gravy work really well, BTW, and you can use frozen veggies still frozen, just dump them into the tray compartments) I sealed with that press-and-seal wrap so I could seal the ridges between items, to keep the gravy off of the cornbread, etc. Just peel the plastic off before you microwave it, it'll melt.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: