Culling questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazycateye, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. crazycateye

    crazycateye Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately I am going to have to cull several roosters due to them becoming aggressive and hurting one another. They are all less than one year old but very close to a year. I'm feeling comfortable with a human way to carry it out. My question is concerning the quality and flavor the meat may have due to the age. Will this make them undesirable to eat? I don't want to cull them to find that they taste awful and they go to waste.
     
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Without knowing the breeds, I still think they'll be just fine to eat. I routinely process surplus roosters from my flock (multiple breeds, roosters are mainly crosses) and they're delicious. I generally try to do it at about 5-6 months so they reach a good size, but had to cull the previous flock roo for aggressiveness; he was over a year old and every bit as tasty as the younger cockerels.

    I prefer to slow cook my birds, so tough birds aren't a concern, and let them age for 2-3 days in the refrigerator prior to cooking if I'm not freezing them. Enjoy!
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They're not going to have the same texture as store bought chicken. But, they can still be wonderful to eat. It just depends on your expectations.

    I've eaten a rooster as old as 4 years, and he was just fine. I try to get mine around 5ish months, but over the years have wound up with birds pushing the year mark, like you.

    Couple of tips....

    Let them rest a good 3 days in the refrigerator before cooking. This can be after butcher and before freezing, or after freezing but before cooking.

    Brine seems to help. Basically soaking in salt water. Google can give you amounts, I usually just eyeball it now.

    Low, slow, moist cooking methods. Pressure cooker is good, slow cooker is good. A covered dish with moisture is key to having a tender bird. You're not going to be happy trying to roast one of those guys. But slow cooked, pull the meat for casseroles, salad, sammiches, tacos, etc and I think you'll be pretty happy.
     
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  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Great advice from donrae. To her list I will add soup or stew.
     
  5. crazycateye

    crazycateye Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all so much. I greatly appreciate the advice! I now have 7 of them resting in the refrigerator. I will most likely use them in soup and maybe salad. I will say that I was a little surprised at how little meat they seem to have on them.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yeah, depending on the breeds, there's not a ton of meat. My breeding projects are egg production, not meat, so my cockerels are all on the lighter side. I usually use two for a meal, but I have three teenage boys and a very carnivorous husband so we go through a lot of meat.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Younger 'egg breed' cockerels make great fryers. As a kid I helped the old lady up the hill with her birds. She would give us all the cockerels that showed up in her leghorn pullet order. They sure did not go to waste with my mother - "waste not, want not".
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    They're not meaty like the Cornish crosses bred specifically for meat production, but what meat there is, is delicious! It has more texture and flavor in my opinion. If you are familiar and comfortable with pressure canning, I would suggest you try that with some of your chickens. I absolutely love canned chicken. It's so versatile.


    Oh boy, do I remember those days! I used to wish I could have a walk-in cooler where I could hang a side of beef for each of them so they could go gnaw off whatever they needed when they were hungry...
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yeah, they are not your grocery or cornish cross birds that's for sure...but better texture and taste IMO.

    The resting in the fridge cannot be overstated....meat will be darn near inedible if not rested long enough for rigor mortis to pass.
    I slaughter my cockerels young (13-16 weeks) and put them on the grill for that crispy skin, then the grilled bones make delectable stock.
     

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