Diet and taste of meat.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kevinhannan, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    When birds are raised for meat, do you find their diet prior to slaughter
    affects the taste of the meat? If so, what do you suggest feeding the
    hens, given that they will have only water for the final 24 hours?

    (I say this because a long time ago I bought a supposedly corn-fed
    chicken which was distinctly yellow on its skin, but my chickens, which
    are fed corn (but not excessively) have only normal, white skin. I
    suspect the food manufacturers simply paste/paint a yellow dye on their
    chickens to fool us.)

  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi kevinhannan,
    diet is everything, I reckon... Fresh grass and bugs really improve flavour if the birds must be fed commercial stuff. The trick is to limit the range so they don't toughen, but make sure they have lots of live food... So tractors are terrific when raising meat birds.

    But if you're not using a tractor, anything you can do to get fresh food to them will improve flavour. Notice that I'm talking about the whole diet from start to finish, not the last couple of days or hours... Not much you do in the last couple of weeks will do more than fatten. In olden days (at least in the UK) the last 2 weeks included tight confinement and a slurry of oatmeal with dairy fresh skim milk... That wasn't about flavour but about bulking out.

    If you just want bulk, by all means stick to the basic commercial stuff, but they won't taste any different to store bought.

    Best wishes,
  3. deChickyHen

    deChickyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    I started giving my meaties corn in the last month before sluaghter, there feet turned a brighter yellow, they did free range but after processing them, there skin was a pretty yellow!
  4. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    hi erica and dch ;-)

    thanks for the reply - I appreciate your time.

    as it happens, I have given them a pretty full range of bugs,
    hopefully without overdoing it.

    the proof will be in the eating!

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