How old is too old?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Shrader, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have some chickens that are about 13 months old.
    DP has decided there are just too many of them, so we need to... get rid of a few.
    I can't eat them myself, but I'd like to offer them to someone who'll "take care" of them, but I don't know if they're just too old to eat?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    They are good for about soup and stocks now.

    If they are girls, some areas do have a high demand for layers and can go for a decent amount.
  3. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Yeah, if they're hens, put them on Craigslist-people are constantly looking for hens there.
  4. Shrader

    Shrader Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks. I'll try craigslist.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    A chicken is never too old to eat. You just have to get a bit creative and skilled in the kitchen as they advance in age.

    I love coq au vin. And I've been told multiple times no one in France would consider serving it unless the cockrel was at least a full year old. I would love to go there into the countryside and test the theory.... and have some goose while I"m at it. [​IMG]
  6. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    I have a friend from Louisiana who complained that it was so hard to find a real "stewing" chicken anymore. Some of the Cajun recipes call for it and it's not near as good with a young chicken.
    Heritage recipes are as important as heritage breeds....
  7. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008

    From my experience I'll say I'm not real keen on tough old roosters! We butchered one of our two roosters a couple weekends ago. He was a bit over a year old, 100% free range. He had gotten really mean (kept going after my 4 year old daughter) so that was the end of him!

    I let him 'rest' in the fridge for a full 24-hours. Then I boiled the stuffin' out of that bird! A regular store bought broiler would have been nothing but mush in the bottom of the pot!

    His breast meat (what there was of it, he was a RIR and a lean one at that from chasing hens and kids all day) was good enough to eat straight off the bones, but his thighs and legs were so tough I gave up on them. I couldn't even get the meat off the bones without a serious tug-of-war. Decided I didn't want to even try to eat that! Threw them out to the cats and chickens (yea, that's a fitting end... the hens finally got to tear into him for a change!).

    If the chickens have been kept caged they might be more tender. You could tell looking at my guy that he'd lived a good, free life. Even the 'white' breast meat was dark! Exercise = dark meat = tough meat with time! I'm sure there are recipes to deal with the effects of time, but I'm not privy to them.


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