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Chukars

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by kenman, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. kenman

    kenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2008
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    I raised 51 chukars from chicks to 17 weeks on 18% chicken feed. We processed 10 the other day, some we plucked, some we skinned. Let them set in the refrigerator for two days. We fried some, roasted the others. My question is this, do all chukars taste like chicken, because the ones we have eaten do? Or am I doing something wrong in the cooking or processing?
     
  2. Missi

    Missi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Naples, FL
    Maybe it was the chicken feed [​IMG] Just kidding [​IMG]

    Am I wrong in assuming chukar should be fed gamebird feed? [​IMG]
     
  3. kenman

    kenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really not for sure. I fed the chicken feed because that was what I had and game bird feed is much more expensive around here. I wouldn't think that it would make such a big difference in flavor. The chukars taste like some bantam chickens I processed last year and have about the same amount of meat.
     
  4. Woofless

    Woofless Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2010
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    In my experience, pen raised gamebird meat of any type tends to taste pretty close to chicken...at least compared to the taste of their wild counterparts. I've had pen raised chukar and I can confirm, it tastes pretty much like chicken. Never had a wild chukar so I can't make an accurate comparison there I suppose. But pheasant is the same way....and I've eaten plenty of both wild and pen-raised pheasants. Pen birds might as well be chicken. Wild birds definitely have more flavor. Similar to chicken but much tastier I think.

    Diet and activity level contribute to the difference in taste. The fact that you fed "chicken feed" rather than gamebird feed isn't the issue...it's all the same basic stuff. Rather, it's because the bird ate a consistent, clean, balanced, corn-based diet its whole life and there's nothing in a commercial diet that would lend a strong flavor to the meat. Just like the taste difference between free-range meat chickens and confinement raised grain-fed meat chickens. The varied diet of a free range or wild bird lends a different flavor to the meat. Taste can even vary from bird to bird, depending on the individual bird's main habitat. A soggy swampy pheasant that was hunkered down in a muddy slough usually has a stronger, almost murky taste to the meat (and they usually stink to high heaven when you clean 'em)....whereas a pheasant who has lived next to a corn field all year will have a cleaner, milder taste.

    Activity level makes a difference because, well....muscles are meat...the more heavily used the muscle, the darker the meat & the stronger the taste, generally. All the meat on a wild pheasant is about the same color.....a shade somewhere between white & dark meat on a chicken. Pheasants run as much as they fly, so the legs and breast muscles get the same amount of use & are close to the same color. Pen raised birds that aren't flight conditioned will have much lighter breast meat and darker leg meat.

    But yeah. You're not doing anything wrong cooking it, pen chukar is pretty much going to taste a lot like chicken no matter what...unless you want to build a flight pen, let 'em free-range and go out once a day & make them do flight aerobics? [​IMG]
     
  5. kenman

    kenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southwest Missouri
    Thanks for replying. What you say makes great sense. I think I will need to scale back my chukars because I raise enough chickens as is.
     
  6. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    So then would playing around with different grains and feeds help you to get a better tasting bird? Or making a habbit of flushing them in a high top pen every other day or so give you darker meat? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  7. ChickenDavid123

    ChickenDavid123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Central MI
    I have hunted pen raised chukars on a game farm, yup, they taste like chicken. We have partridge in northern Michigan, pretty much the same size, the wild birds do not taste like chicken. I think the wild birds eat tree buds, bugs, wild grapes and pretty much anything they can catch. I have seen the game bird feed, it is a lot more money, maybe it is closer to what they eat in wild. Have been thinking about raising some for myself. My chickens wonÂ’t touch wild grapes, but will eat pretty much anything that grows, runs, hops or slithers including mice.
     

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