More questions about meat birds

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
My farmer friend is selling everything and has about 100 Cornish rock meat birds, anyway, we are thinking of buying about 25. My questions are, how long can they stay in the freezer if processed by a facility? Are these chickens about the same as like Tyson birds? I mean size, and I guess taste too. I have family asking and not sure what the taste will be like. I would assume mine would taste better but I am biased. I guess I am a little nervous about getting 25 birds to just raise for 4 more weeks (they are already 4 weeks old) and then process. You do process at 8 weeks right? Oh, so many questions.....
 

SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
If you like the taste of trace (or not so trace) fecal matter, a large percent of injected sodium broth and decay based on unknown age, you'd better avoid processing your own. There's no way to replicate that in a homegrown bird. So... no, it won't taste like Tyson.
 

walkswithdog

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 17, 2008
4,639
44
276
DC Region
Quote:What Sandra said, ditto. Seriously, almost any decently raised home stock is an improvement on that stuff in the market. I really hated it once they started injecting it with goobers, much less the ham-handed processing.

There's a learning curve on cleaning and plucking your own, but you get there and YOU KNOW it is clean, not just visibly clean after god-knows-what happened.

Depending on their condition and what they were fed you may have to adjust cooking times or temperatures but in most cases the taste is awesome and the texture better.

Ask about methods, time and temperatures we use, what we do with overly thin or older meat birds, there are lots of ways to use homegrown. CornishX are a bit closer to what is found in stores in size, muscle mass, if they are properly reared. Good luck.
 

HidingInTheHenHouse

Songster
11 Years
Jun 21, 2008
393
6
131
Indianapolis
Yes, we process at 8-9 weeks and the Cornish X do have the appearance of the chickens bought in the store.

I think the flavor is better, but if you aren't used to it, you might think it needs salt. You could always soak in a brine solution for a few hours before cooking if you wanted the taste to be closer to the store bought.

If processed by a facility, I would think in a deep freeze and properly vacuum sealed, they would be good for a year. That being said, if you age the birds by letting them sit in the refrigerator for a day or 2 before freezing, they are more tender.

We have raised 3 batches or Cornish X now. It is definitely a learning curve. Our first batch was small and pathetic and we even waiting until 10 weeks to process. Now the birds grow quickly and dress out at 5-8 lbs at 8-9 weeks.

If you have any other questions, just ask. I think it is definitely worth it to raise your own meat.
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
11 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
449
336
Howell Michigan
Anytime I intend to roast turkey or chicken I brine it overnight in a salt/sugar solution. You will be amazed at how much more moist the bird will be. Learned that from the TV show "Good Eats" and it is worth the effort.
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
11 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
449
336
Howell Michigan
1 gallon ice cold water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar. Refrigerate over night then rinse. Note: this will substantially reduce cooking time as well. You can roast a 12lb turkey in 2 hours.
 

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
Quote:Thanks for all your great advice. What did you do differently that made them so much bigger? Do I just automatically take them at 8 weeks, I've heard so much about broken legs and such. Will it be too late if they break legs? I do have to make an appointment and not sure if I could just get right in if the birds start dying on me. How do you know they are ready? Can you do it at 7 weeks instead? Sorry so many more questions. But thanks again!
 

AnthonyT

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
81
3
31
Franklin, KY
If you are using the processor near Bowling Green they do vaccume pack. They also hand eviscerate and remove any pin feathers. I watched them do 600 birds one day and they do a great job. My 100 will be there on Thursday!
 

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