Heritage Large Fowl - Phase II

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by juststruttin, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Sussex - See if you can locate a strain of True North Hatchery's light Sussex - they may be the most productive Light Sussex in North America

    Jan Childs has them down at her Cornerstone farm. She is a chef and got them from Emily at TruNorth to eat and raise to eat.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  2. MagicChicken

    MagicChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    2 people like this.
  3. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 22, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    Precisely! 1700's and 1800's? PM me some titles. That's great. I would add, too, that one doesn't even have to go back that far, although that is outstandingly cool.

    Here's heritage chicken in a nutshell. I could add many other sources, but these serve to illustrate how our entire chicken reality has completely changed. Notice the first book, perhaps the single most popular cookbook n America, is coming from the 1964 edition--not so long ago:

    The Joy of Cooking, 1964.
    The introduction to poultry begins, "Poultry cooks and tastes best if used within 8 to 24 hours after slaughter." This though wouldn't even occur to the 2014 mind. They offer: "Young chickens ofeither sex are called broilers if they weigh about 2 1/2 pounds and fryers if they weigh 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds. Roasters, also of either sex, are under 8 months old and weigh 3 1/2 to 5 lbs [...] Capons, or castrated males, weigh 6 to 8 lbs. "Fowl" is a broadly polite "nom de plume" for hens aged 10 months or more, and a "stag" or "cock" for males that are too old to roast, but are well-flavored adjuncts for the stock pot.

    La Cuisine Raisonnee. I believe the first edition was in 1919. The is the "Joy of Cooking" of Quebec
    In its introduction to poultry it offers some indicative definitions. The term used to describe weights, "jusqu'a (up to)" betrays the that there was common variance in weight, which might reflect the variety of breeds used in an economy that was still based in regional food production:
    "Broilers; up to 2lbs.
    Fryers: up to 4lbs.
    Roasters: up to 4lb.
    Capons: up to 8lbs
    Fowl/Hens...[no exact weight offered, which would also make sense considering the variety of possibilities at the time]
    Modern Priscilla Cook Book: One Thousand Home Tested Recipes. 1924.
    The chapter on poultry in the book begins with a neat introduction. One of the assumptions is that you are going to have to pluck and dressed at home the bird you brought from the market. It says "chicken" has pinfeathers with no hairs, while fowl has long hairs instead of pinfeathers. Interestingly, many recipes call for so many cups of diced chicken. I would that the reason would be that chickens, purchase whole, would be cooked, either roasted or braised, and then the meat would be pulled from the bone, diced, a then used over the course of multiple meals. I know that we do that here. Every weekend I stew up a couple of birds. I pull the meat and put it in a bowl in the fridge. I save the stock for cooking, and I feed the skin to the dog. Over the course of the week, we draw on the chicken and dice it up for various preparations.
    "Chicken Baked with Parsnips": 2 young roasting chickens, 9lbs.
    "Broiled Chicken": Have (4) 2.5/lb broilers dressed and split [spatchcocked] for broiling.
    "Fricassee of Chicken": 7/lb. fowl
    3 people like this.
  4. MagicChicken

    MagicChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Interesting that the "Modern Priscilla" book claims "fowl" has "long hairs" instead of pinfeathers. My young javas have lots of "long hairs." Also zillions of pinfeathers when molting. Think I'll stick with the Joy of Cooking definitions, which are generally consistent with the ones from Quebec. "Fowl" is an older hen.

    I do the same as you with my chickens - make stock, then pull the meat off for use in other recipes. I'm amazed at how much flavor the meat still has after 3-4 hours in a stock pot. Meat from a grocery store chicken would be tasteless by then.
  5. This is something I have been interested in locating. Could you PM some titles to me please?
    1 person likes this.
  6. Canieldonrad

    Canieldonrad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2013
    Dry Ridge, KY
    I'll be honest, I may try that method I believe Joe had come across. To ball up fatty morsels and force feed them to La Flèche culls in the days before slaughter.

    Nevermind, it was someone else.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  7. NanaKat

    NanaKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Love my 1934 copy of The Joy of Cooking.

    Wyandotte birds are nice textured succulent meat with a great taste...cooked as fryers, roasters or boiler.

    Currentlty breeding the senior cock over the older hens and a few of the daughters. Fertility is good and the first small test batch hatched yesterday.

    Question from a discussion last week about breeding hens instead of pullets. At what stage does one consider a pullet breedable? Do you go by size, age, length of laying or all three?
    Reason for the question:
    Wyandotte pullets that started laying at age 6 - 7 months are now 9 - 10 months, finished full molt and are laying again. They have reached mature size. Two are attempting to go broody.
    These are some of the daughters under the senior cock. If I should pull them from the breed pen until they are a full year of age, there is time in the hatching schedule to allow for that change.

    Interested in the advice...please.
  8. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    I have never had Dorkings. Every bird that I have processed that late was certainly good tasting. It was a good thing because you were going to chew it for a while.

    I prefer young birds. That is why I would not mind trying capons. I would not do many considering the cost.
  9. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2009
    Vernon Parish
    [​IMG]George you got me on that one LOL

  10. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK

    This. Thanks for your post! Only use the obvious culls such as those with side sprigs on combs, feather sprigs on legs, clean-legged on a feather-legged breed, as your caponized birds. We did it on our production Brahmas. I won't lie..we had a few "slips" but they did gain weight and were larger than the birds that weren't caponized. It's really not that difficult and costs nothing but time.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by