Just processed our first roosters!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HHandbasket, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    DH just killed and cleaned the first 2 of our dual-purpose roosters! Instead of plucking, we stripped the skin to save time (my gramma used to do 'em like that). So now they are resting in ziplock bags in my fridge. I'm thinking we'll put them in the freezer tomorrow night before we go to bed.

    The EE rooster dressed out to 3 pounds 1 ounce, and the Rhode Island red processed out to 4 pounds even. [​IMG]
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Congratulations !!!!! How will you cook them?
  3. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Well, they were kinda old (the RIR was 6 months, the EE probably 8 months or so), so they will be stewed and/or slow roasted.

    I'm totally open to suggestions and recommendations.

    We were pleased at how easy/fast it was, so we are going to make this a permanent part of our "chickeneering" venture here. I no longer have to be afraid to hatch out of the fear that they're all gonna be roos! From this point forward, all subsequent roos will be joining Freezer Camp.
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Quote:My suggestion/recommendation/advice - Don't think that is too old. [​IMG]

    6 months old is PERFECT. 8 months old is still really good, so long as they're frozen or refrigerated for at least 12 hours before cooked, and they'll be nice and tender.

    I do find though that skinny birds should be stewed no matter the age. (by skinny I mean production type birds such as most RIR's)

    Roosters that age I often like to roast, do a lemon-herb kinda thing. You can also fry them, stew them, grill them, whatever you like.
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I usually don't process until the roosters tick me off and that is about 1 year later, so mine don't get processed until 1 year. I always stew them or put them in a gumbo.
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    you got a good plan'

    Age 12 weeks and before fryers...after 12 weeks till like 6 months roasters, older are best stewed.
  7. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    One of the things we noticed is that these guys are all meat, almost no fat. Since being sequested in Freezer Camp (special pen we built for the roos we planned to process), we have been feeding them a pig food that was recommended to us by a fella at a local feed store who raises dual-purpose chickens for meat and swears the pig food is way better because it's like 24% protein & he gets meatier, less fatty birds from it. They were getting that with lots of scratch grains and the other treats everybody gets (table scraps, apple peels, spinach, greens, pumpkin, scrambled eggs, cooked rice/oatmeal/flaxseed in the mornings, and of course, mealworms).

    I am really excited to cook/eat one of them. [​IMG]
  8. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    What about brining? I have heard it mentioned and seen it in posts... is it recommended before freezing them?

    Also, my step-mother (who raised meat chickens for almost 60 years) said that it's better if I cut them up rather than freezing them whole so that the inside body cavity doesn't get freezer burned from exposure to air. She suggested cutting the chicken into quarters and then freezing it.


    You guys are best!
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:I also read the same thing about brining but I never tried it. I do want to try it next time I process my rooster to see if there is a difference.
  10. RoeDylanda

    RoeDylanda Songster

    Dec 9, 2010
    Central CT
    We're just now brining a bird culled for pecking me in the head repeatedly. I'll let you know how it turns out. She was 9 months old.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by