Meat from chickens is TOUGH

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by baptistbirdman, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. baptistbirdman

    baptistbirdman Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2010
    We raised some Cornish X and when we butchered them @ 8 weeks every last one of them was tough. Later (a month or so) we had to butcher some RIR roosters and they too were also tough. What is my problem?? Is it the feed? I use the store bought complete formula so I'm at a loss.
  2. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2010
    Are you letting them sit in the fridge for 2-3 days before eating?
  3. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    Hmmm. They definatly should not be tough at those ages. How are you cooking them? I'm at a loss besides that.
    Anyone else have any ideas?? [​IMG]
  4. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    You gotta let the meat rest for a day or so, usually in the fridge.[​IMG]
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Unlike a fresh picked fruit good off the tree, you generally need to let the meat age in the fridge for a few days or it will be tough due to rigor.

    However, they will be a little bit "tough" because they do not fall apart like tofu-like store chickens which usually have a use by date that 7-10 days or so past the time it hits the shelf!
  6. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I would add that it also has to be aged even if you are going to freeze them or they will still likely be tough. Let that rigormortis subside a bit.
  7. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    Quote:Can you let it rest after you have already frozen it? I noticed that the last chicken we ate from our freezer, also from the last batch of meat chickens, was just a little bit on the tough side but not really that bad. We froze them pretty soon after slaughter since we couldn't fit all 24 birds in our fridge that night.
  8. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    After eating homegrown chicken, I find that chicken from the grocer is gross and mushy. My chicken is in no way 'tough' - but it definitely is more firm, but again, not at all tough.
    Here are a couple things you can try as you adjust to homegrown chicken. First, follow the advice of above posters and age the meat in the fridge a day or two after it is completely thawed (or before you freeze them). Or you could try a brine. Next, try cooking longer at a lower temp. Probably not relevant, and this may be an old wives tale but we adhere to it pretty diligently animal that experiences fright at time of butcher produces tougher meat. We are gentle and respectful of the bird through the process.
    Gosh, I hope your next bird is a much better experience.
  9. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    Your RIRs are going to be on the tough side as they need 20 weeks to mature and will be presumably running around. If your crosses are also running around they will also get tougher than store bought mush birds.

    You can try cooking the legs separately from the rest of the bird as the dark meat takes longer. The slower you cook it, the less tough it will be. Try it at a lower heat. Also, try putting pan of water in the oven to keep it moist or putting some rub under the skin.

    In the Olde Days people mainly ate the dark meat. It has only been in the 20th century that the breast meat became popular.

    The flavor is SO much better it is worth a bit more chewing. You can also make a terrific soup. I use tons of sage that I grow myself along with home grown root vegetables, celery, etc. It is unbelievable.
  10. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:i don't buy the whole "running around makes meat tough" talk.... my birds range unrestricted and i have never heard a complaint about the texture.

    it has much more to do w/ the age and/or gender than anything else.

    ETA no matter the age, breed, gender, etc., proper cooking techniques make ALL the difference! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010

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