Oldest age for butchering roosters

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by docarch, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. docarch

    docarch New Egg

    Oct 5, 2012
    What is the oldest age that roosters can be butchered & still be edible. We have several very nice roosters (Sussex, Partridge, Australorp, Araconda mix, Game) that are 8-9 months of age, but too many. I was out of town for a few months trying to make a meager living when the opportunity arose when they came of prime age & my wife would not have done this, they are just about her pets & mine too to some degree. I would sell them, but don't know where to sell locally & cannot list yet. That being the case I guess I am going to have to butcher them. I have read in several areas & heard from folks that there is no way you can eat them at that age, not even for stewing since they are crowing, have small spurs, & combs & wattles. I have heard they will be extremely horrible tasting, stringy, & tough. I seem to recall eating them when we were kids & they seemed even older than these guys & tasted fine. Could I get some enlightenment on this? Thanks.
  2. LilRedRoo

    LilRedRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
    Bremond, Texas
    We've eaten many a rooster that was older than yours and heard only compliments from the kids. We cook older birds in the crock pot, and the meat has come out extremely flavorful, with no issues on tough or stringiness. Take the fat off of them and render schmaltz, or just cook them whole and let it flavor the broth.

    For selling them you could try craigslist...

    ...or (have joking...) just bring them to me!!! :)
  3. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2014
    West Sacramento
    There is a reason they make pressure cookers.[​IMG]
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I butchered a 4 year old rooster a few months ago. Pressure cooked him, shredded the meat and made enchiladas. Tasted great to me!

    Granted, none of your roosters are going to taste like store bought chicken. I likened my old rooster to eating a lesser cut of steak, vs eating veal (store bought chicken). It's rich and flavorful, but yes, you actually have to chew the meat, it's not just mush.

    We quartered the carcass, cooked for 30ish minutes at 15lbs pressure if I recall. Did the 4 year old roo, and an 18 month old rooster. Both were great.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ruthster55

    Ruthster55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    Your roosters will have very little fat on them. Old hens often have fat but mature roosters have very little.

    They WILL be tough.....so you gotta know a few little tricks.

    Trick no. 1. After butchering, cut them up into pieces with knife and your handy-dandy poultry shears for cutting those tough ligaments. Have a big pot ready and some fridge space. After completely defeathering and cleanng-washing very well, soak your Rooster pieces in buttermilk (or fresh-from-the-cow milk, if you have access to that) overnight. Your erstwhile Roos will relax in the fridge with buttermilk! :)

    Trick no. 2. Next day. Slow-moist-cook. Either use a pressure cooker or plan to spend 3 or 4 hours simmering. Sometimes it helps to partially pre-bake the pieces, and THEN put them into a slow-simmering stew with whatever veggies or ingredients you like - potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. More veggies in late summer of course.
  6. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2013
  7. docarch

    docarch New Egg

    Oct 5, 2012
    Thank you for all of your replies.
    Red Roo, We are unfortunately no longer in Texas as I was transferred here to SE Alabama about 12 years ago by this company that I had given my life & soul to for years before they canned me & others last year. If not I would be happy to work something out with you. I don't mind the stewing part as there is nothing like the flavor of good long stewed or crockpotted Chicken with veggies. I might even have to make that into another one of my many recipes from Uncle Crock's Kitchen. However, I had been told by a number of folks that you just cannot eat them like that a they are entirely inedible. As I mentioned that was not what I remembered from when I was a kid or even when I used to butcher them more regularly about 30 years ago.
    Ruthster & Donrae, thank you for your thoughts as well. I like the butter milk issue. That is sort of like what I used to do to wild game & Shark years ago & it worked extremely well. I would have never thought of it here, but when you do it makes perfect sense.
    Enchilladas, Tammalies, etc. sounds real good. I had even talked to one guy who has a few too many as well about using them mixed with other meats to make sausage. He had mentioned it one day when we were talking about it & I said I don't know why not as I used to grind up older turkeys years ago & add it to pork & sometimes Venison to make some great sausage. Now you really have me thinking too.
    Uh-oh, my wife just looked over my shoulder & she is no too sure of all this talk. She is not giving me a good look & is shaking her head.
    Well, if I could find some interested folks I suppose I could still revert back to the sale or trade idea. They are really nice looking roosters.

    Thank you all again & I am still wide open to any other ideas.
  8. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2014
    West Sacramento
    I don't no if like indian food, but you can't make the bomb chicken curry without a long spurred rooster. You just have to unlocked the flavor hidden in them bones.
  9. pound4pound

    pound4pound Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2014
    watching, wild and free!
    i hate butchering roosters. if its possible i'll let them crow their hearts out till they drop!:lol:

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