Dual purpose roosters, when to butcher.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dacjohns, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Any body with experience on this?

    I've read that roosters should be butchered at 12 to 14 weeks old because after that the meat gets stringy.

    Does anyone know why? Is because they are maturing sexually and the hormones are going to town or is it because of some other reason.

    I have a bunch that are in this age group now and feel pretty scrawny. I know that dual purpose birds don't put on the meat as fast as a Cornish X and won't get as big.

    If I keep them from foraging as much so they are eating more flock raiser and getting less exercise do you think I will be able to get a meatier bird without getting a tough bird?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  2. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    well.... if the meat IS stringy.. couldn't you just cook it until it's tender? like in a crockpot all day or in the oven?

    My friend, who is going to butcher Mango, is planning to butcher 2 Australorp roosters as well. They will all be around 12 - 14 weeks old. That will be this coming weekend, I believe.
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    12 weeks is to young for dual purpose breeds in general. 16 - 20 is more of the norm you will see. At 12 weeks they have the frame structure (skeletal) but not the meat on that frame.

    If you age the carcass for 24 hours in the fridge after processing and before freezing it, the meat will be far more tender. Or you could salt brine the finished carcass in the fridge for 24 hours if you want the moisture content closer to a chicken you buy from the store.

    Chickens from the store are 10% extra water when you buy them.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I cooked up a "dual" purpose roo once that was over a year old... went straight to the soup after a day resting because we knew it was tough... and even though the ends of the bones were falling apart and the meat had turned to string... the strings that remained were tough!

    Just butchered one 18 week old leghorn roo today... would have been two but the second escaped and made a mad dash for it and ended up free for the day with the rest, but the one I did dressed out to 2.5 lbs including head, feet, and innards. Mmm one sandwich.
  5. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    dunno why but yea older roos are ewwwwww
  6. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    We are butchering several roos on Thursday. They will be 14-15 weeks. I'll let you know how they turn out [​IMG]
  7. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Quote:Great, thank you.
  8. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    butchered roosters is yummy.... [​IMG]
  9. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
  10. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Quote:Yes it did. I should have looked. Thanks.

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