CX are pretty tough, what am I doing wrong???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rapptors, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Rapptors

    Rapptors Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    I am not sure if what I am doing is wrong or if my expectations are off?

    We've had a couple mishaps along the way, one bird survived a hawk attack but had a gash on its back and the other just went splay legged. They were 2.8 & 4 lbs respectively. Slaughtered them in a cone-type contraption and rested in the fridge for two days just about to the hour.

    Roasted both in the oven. The first, the hawk survivor, was really tough but I attribute that to poor baking on my behalf. I was going to grill it but I was out of gas so I threw it in the oven and cooked it extra long because I was nervous about the injury. The second one was roasted at a higher temperature for a much briefer time but it was still tough.

    I have roasted commercial birds and they aren't tough.

    I am thinking a couple things:

    -Perhaps we need a cone, not a milk container. Maybe they're not being held "completely" enough while they bleed out.

    -Longer resting time.

    -Too high of expectations.

    These birds are free ranging and anyone that says Cornish Cross just sit there has not met our birds. They are all over the place, they like to wander down to the pond for a drink and spread out across the yard pretty far. The dog does a bit of chicken chasing when she gets a chance and they do have to dodge the hawk every now and then. very hawk! They get locked up in their tractors at night. I am wondering if they need to be contained a little better to be more tender? I am not sure if I could accept that trade off though, I am not so keen on the thought of keeping them penned up.

    What is the expert consensus?


    edited to add:

    I think they were both roos, I know the first one was but my daughter (the slaughterer) didn't take note if the second one was and we weren't home to see.

    Also, I don't watch the slaughtering, she is going in the mouth to cut it because that is how she was taught in 4H. I hate to admit this but I don't watch or participate in the process. Could it be they're dying too slow? They are definitely bleeding out, the bird is blood free when I cook it.

    AND AND AND.... why is the skin more goosebumpy than a store bought bird?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  2. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Hiya [​IMG]

    How old were they? Are you certain they were CX's?
  3. Rapptors

    Rapptors Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    I am certain they were CX's, the age was likely 5 wks and 7-8 wks I think? I am not sure on the age, that's about right from their dressed weight isn't it?
  4. kristen_k

    kristen_k Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Mason City, Nebraska
    What temp were you roasting yours at? I know sometimes roasting chicken too high of a temp, or too long will cause toughness. When I roast mine I do a beer can chicken in the oven. I cook at 350 with an aluminum tent just so it cover the top of the breast for an hour. Then I bump up the heat to 400 for the last 1/2 hour without the tent to crisp the skin. I do let the chicken thaw in the fridge for 2 days and it comes tender and juicy! Just talking about it makes me hungry!!!!!
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    If you're acustom to store chicken, homegrown ones are going to seem tougher until you get used to how chicken is supposed to be. Using a cone is not going to make any difference. Resting another day or 2 will help. I have found 4 days resting is what I prefer.
  6. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 3, 2011
    SE MN
    Forgive me, but what's meant by "resting" - just leaving in fridge? Do you have it wrapped or in a container or exposed?
  7. Keara

    Keara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    I let birds "age" or rest in the fridge after cleaning, for up to a week..... though a few day is usually fine. Also try brining the bird it makes them really tender.

    resting is letting the meat go through rigamortis, It should be done in the fridge in a closed container.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  8. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Quote:X2 along with resting for some longer times I use a brine bath while aging and find this to make a world of difference. I think you had a couple of missteps in your cooking process. With a few more attempts and carefull attention to details in the kitchen should provide you with a much better table bird.
  9. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 3, 2011
    SE MN
    So I can see resting a bird or two in the fridge. However, when butchering a group, is there anything that should be done? Or does the slow thawing of the chicken later (after being stuck in the chest freezer) accomplish this resting?
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Store bought chicken has water added. That makes the meat soggy which I suppose gets interpreted as tender.

    Your home raised birds contains more meat in the same space.

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