How late is too late to butcher all my roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Iamaqte, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    Hello! I have been procrastinating on getting my rooster population cut back on my farm and i know I need to do something before spring comes and all they all get spring fever. The roosters are all about 8-9 months old (got them mother's day and after).
    Couple questions:

    1.) - how old is too old? My uncle said their meat will be rubbery by now.. is this true?

    2.) - Is there a specific breed of chicken that is not good to eat?

    3.) If their meat is no good and I can't find homes for them, any other ideas?

    Appreciate your time![​IMG]
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    As long as they are alive, the meat is good and you can butcher them. At their current age, age them in the fridge for 3 days and/or make soup.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Four posts down:

    1) The older the bird, the more exercise thay have performed. This makes the meat 'tougher' in texture, more stringy. I wouldn't say rubbery though.

    2) All chickens are edible. All dual purpose or laying breed will be disappointing compared to a broiler (Cornish Cross, Freedom Rangers, etc.). However, once you get used to the fact your surplus roosters are different from grocery store birds, you'll probably find yourself craving them (as I do).

    3) The meat will be fine, but if you've never had homegrown chicken before, it may seem 'strange' to you initially. If you have never had Coq au Vin, you are truly missing out on something. It requires a rooster, and most say the rooster needs to be at least a year old to get the flavor just right.

    I sometimes send my surplus cockrels to auction and get around $10 each for them after the comission. Immigrants from Central America and Asia are used to using roosters in their cooking and seek them out over our grocery store chickens, which to them are way too big and meaty.
  4. Iamaqte

    Iamaqte Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    Riegelsville, Pa
    I have like 15 roosters - I guess I will make a huge kettle of chicken soup and give it to friends and family![​IMG] Thanks for the information!!
  5. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Older birds are great for chicken stock. Cook them down and save the juice in the freezer for another day. Nothing tastes better than winter soup made from a homegrown chicken [​IMG]
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I also suggest stewing them. Cook them long and slow for tender meat.

    You can also try this method for frying that I use with wild game like the big geese we get. To help tender the meat as they might be a bit stringy at this age you can cook them in a pressure cooker. Cut the chicken pieces as you would for frying then put them in the pressure cooker. You'll have to time it say 10 - 15 minutes (maybe 20 if the thighs are thick). It should be tender enough you can bread them in buttermilk and seasoned flour and fry the pieces in hot oil.

    edited to add -

    You want to fry them off quickly as the chicken should pretty much be done when you take out of the pressure cooker. You just want to fry it for the crispy coating till golden brown.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2008
  7. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    sounds yummy MP
  8. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    with 15 rooster I would start early, dont want to be plucking late into the night. You will go quicker with each one, but 15 will make for a long day.

    Wait a minute were you asking time wise or age wise??? never mind..[​IMG]
  9. littlelemon

    littlelemon Songster

    Mar 15, 2007
    I just butchered a 5 month old White Rock roo. He made an excellent broth. I simmered him for almost 24 hours and the meat was tender and good. As an experiment I baked one of his legs, and it was pretty tough and stringy. It was edible, but I really preferred the soup!

    This was my first time butchering and eating one of my own. I was surprised at how different the meat of my roo was compared to other "free range" and even "organic" birds I have eaten. His meat was so dark-I am assuming it is because he was older and free-range, and also not a broiler. Still, he was pretty good [​IMG]
  10. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    The time of year and thus their diet makes a difference in the quality of the meat also.

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