Dual Purpose Chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by addictedtochickens, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. addictedtochickens

    addictedtochickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Recently, I had a friend tell me that I shouldn't eat my dual purpose chickens when they stop laying. She informed me that after two or three years the meat is to tough, and it is not worth it. I just wanted to have some other opinions on the topic. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A friend of mine eats all her older layer. You just have to use a pressure cooker or cook low and slow (crockpot). Hers always come out nice aand tender. When mine quit laying we will probally eat them too but none are over 2yrs yet.
     
  3. addictedtochickens

    addictedtochickens Out Of The Brooder

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    That is what I thought. I just thought it would be such a waste to throw the culled birds away. I won't have to worry about that for a while though, mine are only six months old. I probably won't have the heart to do it in the end. Oh well.
     
  4. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They have a lot more flavor. You'll never get a store bought bird that taste as good.
     
  5. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not even taking toughness (and that you could stew it) into account...

    You could keep the hen, her eating full feed portion, but not laying a lot. Less eggs, same feed burden, no meat.

    You could keep the hen, and get a new layer. Double feed portion for less than double the eggs, no meat.

    You could eat that hen and replace her with one that does lay a lot. Get eggs at more efficient feed costs and meat.

    You could eat that hen and not replace her. Cuts feed burden along with egg count, but you get a meal.

    You could off her/give her away, not eat her, just to be rid of the feed burden, and replace her with a new layer. Eggs but no meat.

    You could off her/give her away, not eat her, just to be rid of the feed burden. No eggs, lower feed burden, no meat.

    Seems to me, financially, that eating the bird is the most 'worth it' way... whether you get a replacement or not... *shrug*
     
  6. addictedtochickens

    addictedtochickens Out Of The Brooder

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    The only hard part is eating the chicken after you have raised it for several years.
     
  7. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and just throwing it away after killing it is any better?

    what a way to respect a life you have raised for several years..... (as far as your friend is concerned)
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    There was a great article in the Backyard Poultry magazine discussing this. The author said that older hens have a succulent flavor most of us have never tasted since most of the chicken we eat comes from very young birds. She said that older hens should be cooked very slowly with lots of moisture for a long time for the best flavor & tender texture. They make terrific soup & stew, well worth the effort, a real labor of love to make for a delicious dish that also is very healthy.

    I still have a few hens from my very first batch, they are 5 years old. I haven't yet had the heart to process any of them, which is awfully impractical, I know. I can't process ducks or geese either. Yet. I imagine some day I will have a change in perspective, I do hope it's a decision made by choice and not from dire necessity.

    But you know, sometimes when I pick up my older hens & feel how hefty they are, my mouth may begin to water from thoughts of what a fine soup they would make...
     
  9. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I choose to eat them when they aren't laying to be "worth their feed". My chickens are not pets. They are a food source. Yes, I treat them well, with respect, but they're not like my cats, they are livestock.

    I can't afford to keep feeding an old hen who is not giving me anything. Sure, I could give her away to someone, but no one here wants pet chickens--people are too poor and under/un-employed to take care of a pet, dogs, cats, horses, etc are being dumped on back roads and in the desert left and right. It would be more humane to just eat the bird rather than send her to an unpredictable fate. Plus, since I don't buy my meat from the grocery store, why would I toss out one more meal for my family? We just don't get attached to the birds, so it is not so hard to kill them. (It's hard to kill any animal, but less so if you're not friends with it.) I'd personally rather see my livestock die in a manner that is not wasteful--as long as it is healthy, it will go to feed the family, if it is ill, it is put down and buried.

    As for toughness....crock pot. Cook her slow with lots of liquid, she'll be very delicious if not as meaty as what you buy in the grocery store.
     
  10. Royd

    Royd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Quote:[​IMG] You wouldn't, by chance, be a logistician?
     

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