1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Need advice from a pro chicken killing hero

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by AtomicPink, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. AtomicPink

    AtomicPink Hatching

    Jan 10, 2010
    We recently butchered our first chicken. The flavor of the meat was superior to anything factory farmed store bought but the meat came out very tough, too tough to eat. It wasnt just the legs either, the texture of wings and breast were just as tough. We are hoping to find out why this is before we bother to buy any more chickens to butcher so if anyone has any ideas or advice then please post.
    This was the scenario, it was a 9 month old Rhode Island Red Rooster. All the chickens roam free 100% of the day over 2 acres. Could it have been the particular breed that is tougher, or the amount of exercise that he had, or the fact that it was a rooster? Do they need to brine or rest several days after the kill to loosen up? I have also considered that when my husband dunked it in the hot water bath to remove the feathers he may have had the water too hot or kept it submerged too long. I wasn't present for that part so I dont know how long he held it in the hot water and asking him would be pointless since even if he did know how long he had it in he knows better than to admit he screwed up.
    So does anyone know, based on experience, what would make them come out tough?

  2. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    OMG!!! I have absolutely no advice for you, but the part about being pointless to ask your husband just hits home with me! He never admits he screwed up, and even when he doesn't think he screwed up, his memory isn't that good anyway. He doesn't think it's important, so he doesn't bother to try to get the story straight! I just had to commiserate with you on that one.
  3. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    I'm not a pro but usually those types of chickens are best before the age of 6 months. My grandmother used to say if they're old enough to crow they're old enough to go. However I doubt she came across one like my current br roo who started crowing at 2 weeks. Once they get past a certain age they'll be too tough and they're really only good for soups. Hopefully some more experienced folks will chime in here.
  4. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Cold bath & brine, then crock pot on low with garlic & onions.
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    There are several things you need to consider when butchering a bird. First, age does matter, --the younger the more tender. My rule is when he crows , he goes, too. 9 mos is considered old and therefore won't be as tender as a 6 month old. I don't let them get past 6 mos if I plan on roasting them. (also the last 6 m.o. we did, his legs had alot of tendons that were tough in them.) If you want to do an older bird--think soup--long slow wet cooking.
    2--rigormortis. If you have not let the bird age properly, and cook him when he is stiff--you will have a tough bird. Try to let him rest a few days (at least one daymin 3 days max) in the fridge. Tehn freeze or cook.

    By possibly leaving the bird in the scalding water too long will not 'really' affect the tenderness of the bird, it will just start cooking the skin, which will be obvious when wiping the feathers off.

    Best thing to know is younger, more tender, older-soup. The fact that it was a RIR or that he was a rooster has nothing to do with it. If you are roasting a 6 mo, try marinating him or brining him. I have never brined personally, as I think it would remind me too much of store bought chicken.
  6. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    That was a mature rooster. They are good eating, but you have to stew it longer. No pot frying or deep frying. It would require a lot of preparation for that kind of cooking. What my momma always said was to use the young roosters for fryers and the old rooster and old hens for gumbos and soups.
    Don't be discouraged with the texture. Just prepare it different next time around. It isn't too late to kill it, just know what you will do with it is all. Like if its going to go into freezer camp, you would also want to mark the age of the bird.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by