Processed our first bird yesterday. Need some advice. :(

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dandydoodle, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    We have been raising some roos that we are gonna use for meat. Our neighbor gave us a roo and since it was our first time we decided to process him first. I thought it would make it easier since I haven't seen that one grow from a baby.

    This is my question he tasted good but, he was really chewy. Is one breed more chewy then another. He was an EE mix. Was he chewy because of the breed. Are some breeds a little more chewy then others. If so what are some breeds that are more tender? I have raised some Coronation Sussex, Speckled Sussex and some Ameraucanas for meat. Are these breeds less chewy then an EE? If not what are some breeds that are good for meat. I am not wanting a Cornish or one of those birds that have been altered to grow really fast.

    One more question. Does it ever get easier mentally?


  2. TallChickMagnet

    TallChickMagnet Songster

    Apr 30, 2012
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    I think that it has a lot to do with age, and their diet...
  3. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    He was 8 months. If I have these breeds when should I process them so that they won't be chewy and tough?
  4. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    Anyone else?

  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I don't have much experience processing chickens, but I think many people recommend a dual purpose chicken be processed at 17-20 weeks of age. Older chickens are processed all the time, but may be better for slow-cooking in a crock pot. I have seen where many brine them with sugar and salt in water overnight to help tenderize. You may get some better advice if you just ask in a post "What age do you process your non-meat birds?"
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Eight months is pretty old - particularly if he was a free ranger. I don't know if certain breeds are any more chewy than others - except for Cornish X which is the bird you buy in the store and eat in the restaurant. This birds is engineered to be grow big quickly - never gets a chance to get tough as it processed anywhere from 6-8 weeks for fryers. Before the development of the Cornish X, I understand the Delaware was a popular meat bird in America. Heritage breeds (Rocks, Rhode Island Red, and others) are kind of making a comeback, however. Birds that old need to be canned or slow cooked into submission in my opinion, and made into tasty chicken soup or dumplings.
    1 person likes this.
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I couldn't agree more with redsoxs. Anytime a chicken reaches the age over 4 months, they start to toughen up. You could also try pressure cooking as well. :thumbsup

  8. TallChickMagnet

    TallChickMagnet Songster

    Apr 30, 2012
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Did you let it sit 24 to 48 hrs in the refrigerator before cooking it?
  9. missnu01

    missnu01 Songster

    Nov 16, 2012
    As a bird gets older they get tougher, and also a bird that gets a lot of exercise free ranging and what not won't be as tender as one that lives in a foot of space it's whole life.

  10. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Everyone has mentioned all the points I was going to make, except one. Yes, it gets easier. I say a prayer for each one as the Native AMericans do and it makes me feel better knowing I appreciate the food. Yes it gets easier to butcher.

    If you don't want the fast growing cornish X there are alternative chickens. THe rangers grow out by about another 4 weeks from what I have read; then there are very good heritage birds that some people are raising for meat : dorking, buckeye, and the like. SOme of the old breeds are dual purpose, some are better for the meat; some like brown leghorn are excellent egg producers. In general IMO most of the lines have not been kept up on their meat capacity and most certainly many have been pushed on egg production and body size is much smaller than the original intended size per the SOP.

    At this point I have not found an ideal meat bird in my flock. So I am still tracking down better meat stock.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by