First harvest, very little meat and tough

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Yoder Farm, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Yoder Farm

    Yoder Farm In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bishop, VA
    Hi all,

    Well we decided to cull one of our Rhode Island Reds, she was about 18 months old and had a bad habit of escaping and running off into the woods. We didn't want her to teach any of the new hens that bad habit.

    Killed her with an axe, let the blood drain, and immediately plucked and cleaned, and put right into a rotisserie. I don't know if we cooked too long, the meat tasted good but there wasn't much and it was tough and stringy on all but the breast meat. I have since learned that we should probably have let the meat rest?? It wasn't rigored at all when I put it on the spit, as hot as it was today I just thought it best to cook it right away.

    She was a stressed bird, didn't handle the new hens very well. Could that account or tough stringy meat?

    Are Rhode Island Reds just not good meat birds? Also what should we do next time to avoid a tough bird?
  2. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Songster

    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    You didnt let the carcass rest......and she was a tad older, which usually requires a slower method of cooking
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    Quote:For one this she was old. If there over 5 or 6 month the meat is tough. And yes you need to let it rest for a few days before cooking it!! And when there that old it's best to use it for soups & stews.
  4. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Songster

    May 9, 2010
    By Lake Superior
    Quote:Even though she wasn't rigored yet you still need to let the meat rest for a couple days at least. I will hang a deer for a month if the weather is right.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Most folks use slow cooking methods for older birds (older by meat bird standards). I think maybe 20 weeks or so is processing time for dual purpose type birds if you're looking for more "normal" tasting chicken.
  6. Yoder Farm

    Yoder Farm In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bishop, VA
    To salvage, I took all of the breast meat, chopped it up and I'm going to try to slow cook it tomorrow in a cajun stew. Probably will come out great, but thanks! What did people used to before refrigeration, I wonder... when it comes to letting the meat rest?
  7. SteveH

    SteveH Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Quote:I can't answer how or how long they aged raw meat back before refridgeration, but then they had no commercially raised and processed meat to compare with what they were eating, so were used to cooking in a manner that kept meat as tender as any they ever tasted. I do know people a generation ahead of me that ate a lot of home canned meat, which was basicly pressure cooked during the canning process.............................. and know they kept raw milk fresh for several days by lowering the container down in a well.
  8. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Songster

    Feb 20, 2011
    i never heard about let the meat to rest for a few days before you cook it. if i would have a chicken in the cooler for more than a day, i would throw it out, thinking that it is spoiled already. and we always raised birds. everybody here process the birds as they need to cook, when they need to cook them.
  9. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    Quote:Slaughtering was traditionally done in winter when the weather was cool, so you could hang meat as long as necessary. With poultry you don't have to age it as long as large animals; 24 - 48 hours is enough to relax the proteins, though longer is better for older birds. I suspect it could be hung in a root cellar for that long without spoiling. In pre-refrigeration days they were also less fussy about tenderness![​IMG]
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:The folks I knew of usually butchered and ate the chicken the same day. Younger birds were for fryers, older birds were stewers. They didn't roast or grill chicken, it was fried, stewed, simmered, boiled or baked. And it was just tougher than we are used to, and smaller pieces.

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