Hen/rooster meat in dual purpose breeds

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
This sounds really daft but Does anyone know if roosters and hens have different meat. Is the meat tender if you process them young. Do i process hens and roosters at the same age etc. Im looking into getting a dual purpose breed and was just wondering if people just eat the rossters or both roosters and excess hens.
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Jun 15, 2020
4,785
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641
This sounds really daft but Does anyone know if roosters and hens have different meat. Is the meat tender if you process them young. Do i process hens and roosters at the same age etc. Im looking into getting a dual purpose breed and was just wondering if people just eat the rossters or both roosters and excess hens.
If you’re expecting store bought texture and taste, skip dual purpose and get meat birds.

The males in dual purpose get a little more size by 16-18 weeks, but marginal. They’re tougher and way more flavorful than store bought. The older they get, the tougher they get. Cooked accordingly, I find them a very good meal.
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
Thankyou, so could excess young hens be eaten aswell. Roosters will just have more meat. Thats good i dont mind the meat being tougher if theres a better taste. Plus i like the idea of a slower maturing birds that actually gets to live a happy life.
 

Erba

Crowing
May 4, 2018
687
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Bollschweil, Germany
I don't usually eat the hens, just the roosters. I have LS and the last three I butchered were the best roast chicken I've had. That said, they were 5 months old, so you should eat them before they start crowing, if you want to roast them. When the hens stop laying, I tend to use them for soup. Older roosters are just not worth the hassle, so I tend to soup them too, as I don't have a slow cooker.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,805
25,202
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Southeast Louisiana
Does anyone know if roosters and hens have different meat.

Roosters and hens, definitely. Cockerels and pullets, depends on maturity/age. Once the cockerel's hormones kick in the meat pretty quickly gains texture and flavor. The texture means you need to cook it differently. Some people call that flavor "gamey" and hate it. Some of us like it. The longer you go the more the texture and flavor develop.

When do the hormones kick in? That is the big question. Some can start at 12 weeks, maybe even before. That's going by behaviors, I don't eat them that young. Most of the ones I eat at 16 weeks have started. My preferred butcher age is 23 weeks, practically all have started by then.

The girls will develop texture and flavor as they age but not nearly as fast as the boys.

Is the meat tender if you process them young.

A lot more tender than if you wait.

was just wondering if people just eat the rossters or both roosters and excess hens.

We've discussed this in another thread. Some people only eat cockerels, some eat pullets, some eat old hens, some eat old roosters. I eat them all. How you cook then is very important.
 
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Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
I don't usually eat the hens, just the roosters. I have LS and the last three I butchered were the best roast chicken I've had. That said, they were 5 months old, so you should eat them before they start crowing, if you want to roast them. When the hens stop laying, I tend to use them for soup. Older roosters are just not worth the hassle, so I tend to soup them too, as I don't have a slow cooker.
Thankyou 😁, roasting is one of my favourite ways of cooking chicken 😁
 

Cody brown

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
34
32
41
Does anyone know if roosters and hens have different meat.

Roosters and hens, definitely. Cockerels and pullets, depends on maturity/age. Once the cockerel's hormones kick in the meat pretty quickly gains texture and flavor. The texture means you need to cook it differently. Some people call that flavor "gamey" and hate it. Some of us like it. The longer you go the more the texture and flavor develop.

When do the hormones kick in? That is the big question. Some can start at 12 weeks, maybe even before. That's going by behaviors, I don't eat them that young. Most of the ones I eat at 16 weeks have started. My preferred butcher age is 23 weeks, practically all have started by then.

The girls will develop texture and flavor as they age but not nearly as fast as the boys.

Is the meat tender if you process them young.

A lot more tender than if yo wait.

was just wondering if people just eat the rossters or both roosters and excess hens.

We've discussed this in another thread. Some people only eat cockerels, some eat pullets, some eat old hens, some eat old roosters. I eat them all. How you cook then is very important.
Thankyou so much. You've answered all my questions😁. Just wondering is there any threads with ways to cook chickens in certain ways. For example how to cook a old hen or pullets. Or a young roosters etc.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,805
25,202
977
Southeast Louisiana
Thankyou so much. You've answered all my questions😁. Just wondering is there any threads with ways to cook chickens in certain ways. For example how to cook a old hen or pullets. Or a young roosters etc.

I'm not aware of any one thread that covers all this, maybe someone else is. There ae a lot of recipes scattered in the threads in this forum section but I don't know a good way to find them.

The way I cook a 16 to 23 week old cockerel or an 8 month old pullet is to cut them into parts and rinse the meat. I don't dry the meat but don't add any water to the dish either. I coat the meat in herbs, I usually use oregano and basil but sometimes use thyme or parsley. You can add garlic or onion if you wish. There are no set rules on how you flavor it. I bake it in a tightly covered dish in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 hours. The dish needs to have a tight cover so the moisture does not evaporate and let it burn.

When you are finished carefully remove the meat with a slotted spoon. Be careful because the meat is so tender it might fall off the bone. Use a slotted spoon because you probably have about a half cup of liquid in the bottom. If you remove the fat from it that liquid is about the best chicken broth yo have ever tasted.
 

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