Please help! too old to butcher and eat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by XL506, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. XL506

    XL506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ohio
    Hello guys
    A friend of mine has a bunch of cornish hens. A little over 5 months old. 23 weeks to be exact. Is this too old to butcher and eat. Will the meat be tough or anything? I keep reading that most people butcher them at like 6-8 weeks.. please help, if this is ok. He told me I could have as many as I want.
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Are they true Cornish or Cornish X?

    Cornish X are the jumbo boilers that get gigantic. True Cornish hens are a breed of chicken with very long legs that will be just fine to butcher at 23 weeks.

    I just butchered some 18 week old Dark Cornish hens a couple weeks ago and they were tasty. There isn't much leg/thigh meat on them, but the breast meet was delish! I've got three more out there I need to process.
     
  3. XL506

    XL506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ohio
    Theyre just regular cornish hens. not the jumbo.. so they will good?
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Sure - if they are not the crosses they should be just fine.

    You might want to age them in the fridge for at least 24 hours to help keep the meat tenderer, and/or you could always marinate or inject the chicken with a marinade.

    My 18 weekers that we processed - the breast meat was VERY tender and yummy. The legs were a bit tougher - but they don't have huge legs and thighs anyway so I think it was just a higher tendon vs muscle ratio that the typical larger legged/thighed chicken.
     
  5. XL506

    XL506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ohio
    Why must you process the cornish x crosses so early.. do they go bad or is it just because they will get too fat and obese
     
  6. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    3,701
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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    The meat is more tender at an earlier age, and if you don't process them early, you might lose them to heart attack before you can get it done. Also when processing older chickens, they are never too old to eat, you just have to alter the way you cook them! Past a certain age, you get out the pressure cooker.
     
  7. XL506

    XL506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ohio
    Im going half them... soak them in beer for 24 hours.. spice them up and put them on the grill .. would this be an ok way to cook the normal cornish hens at 5mos old
     
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Sure - sounds yummy....when do we eat? LOL
     
  9. XL506

    XL506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ohio
    Come to ohio! Everyones welcome. We'll have some drinks.. eat some chicken.. play some cornhole.. go fishing.. I got plenty of room [​IMG]
     
  10. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    :)wish i could take that invite hahaha
     

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