Coronation Sussex, Speckled Sussex, Ameraucana, Jersey Giants and Buff Brahma. Are these good meet b

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dandydoodle, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    Coronation Sussex, Speckled Sussex, Ameraucana, Jersey Giants and Buff Brahma.

    What can you tell me about these breeds? Are these good for meat? How is the taste are they tough to chew. Is there one of these you don't recommend. Is there one of these you highly recommend and why?

    What age should we process at?

    We processed our first bird yesterday and were disappointed about how chewy he was. So would one of these breeds be better and would processing them at a certain age make them less chewy?

  2. Makomd

    Makomd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    Close to a year and over they will be chewy/tough (fine chopped for stew, pot pie, etc). I have processed a few at around 8 months with no issues Coronation sussex, RIR and Ameraucana
  3. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    Hmmm, the one we processed was suppose to be 8 months old. He was really chewy though. My neighbor gave him to me, I guess maybe she was wrong about the age but, I don't think so. I think I remember when he was born. I wonder if he was chewy just because, he was a EE.
  4. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    Anyone else?

  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I guess it depends on what you are looking for. I have had free range roosters that were tough as nails at 20 weeks - I waited that long to make them large enough to be worthwhile size wise. The birds were Barred Rocks and RIRs. I was disappointed at first - they tasted nothing like what i was used to - the Cornish Cross you buy in the store at get at KFC. But after I understood that I shouldn't expect them to to taste like Cornish, I began to have a new appreciation for them. While I still raise and process Cornish, when I do have the opportunity to have other breeds I usually make up an awesome batch of chicken and noodles and eat quite happily. I also can a good deal of chicken - handy in the winter months.
  6. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    I want something that has a lot of meat. That is not tough and not one of those birds that have been engineered to get super fat really quick for processing.
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    Alot of meat - you are talking cornish cross or other hybrid type bird
    Not tough - again hybrid bird that is created to grow quickly to give a large carcass at a young age. 8 week old birds will be more tender than a 14 week old.
    Not one of those "engineered birds" - I believe that you are talking a heritage breed, and they grow slower so they will be older when you butcher. Therefore, they will have more texture to their meat. Does not mean they have to be tough, but they are not baby birds when butchered and have been exercising those muscles longer and more than the baby birds you buy at the store that are raised in a barn with food and water right there so they don't need to walk far for either.
  8. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2012
    Also depends on what you do after butchering. Need to place in ice bath for 2-4 hours. Then place in frig for a day or two until the joints move freely. But theres a lot threads on that. My RIR was quit boney. 11 months. Production reds now, but I put her in a crock pot and she fell apart. Not chewy or tough. Then made a pot pie. Heaven. I would not use production reds for meat birds thought. White rocks, some of the LF brahmas are very meaty. And the light sussex I read are great meat birds,
  9. JJMaddox

    JJMaddox Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 25, 2012
    Adairsville, GA
    Bresse are said to be excellent meat birds and are known for their distinct flavor and are known for the best tasting chickens in the world.
  10. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I have Light Brahmas for meat birds. They are a good sized breed with a great temperment which makes them great to work with all around. They also have white feathers so they look better processed than some of the dark feathered breeds. I process mine around 4 to 6 months but you can go longer if you are having issues growing them out. They taste great the meat is a little firmer than store bought but then they have used their muscles some before processing unlike the CRX. Toughness depends on letting the birds rest to get rid of the rigor and on the age of the birds and how much muscle tissue they have developed. A 9 month old bird will be more firm than a 4 month old one. You can soak them in a brine solution (1/2 cup kosher salt and 1 gallon of water) for 12 to 24 hours and that will help to tenderize them. I also add seasonings to the brine and that makes it soak up the flavors better. Birds older than 6 months I generally cook in a crock pot or roasting pan with extra moisture added birds less than that I roast or eat as fried chicken or chicken on the grill.

    If you processed your first bird yesterday and can tell us he is chewy today that is your first mistake. You really should rest your meat until rigor passes anywhere from 2 to 5 days depending on age of the bird and whether it was stressed at processing or not. You will know that it is ready to be cooked when the meat seems relaxed and you can move the legs and thighs freely and it doesn't seem to resist you anymore. If you processed and ate the bird right away it will definitely be chewy because the connective tissue between the muscle fibers hasn't had a chance to break down yet. I have processed at all ages up to 1 year 4 months and I will be doing some birds over 2 years this year and they haven't been chewy at all.

    Hopefully this helps.

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