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Question about freezer camp

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KirstenJL, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Songster

    Jan 17, 2011
    Central Ohio
    So I hatched out seven chicks under a broody and naturally 5 or 6 of them are males (they're just 7 weeks old, so I can't tell about all of them yet). They're all dual-purpose breeds, and I'm trying to sell them, but I can see the writing on the wall. I'd like to keep them as long as possible--I have the space as long as they can mix with my flock, but I figure I'll have to eat some eventually. In her book "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" Gail Damerow says that after a rooster gets to be a "stag" with comb and spurs, then he can no longer be eaten. Does anyone know when exactly this would be? I have a 9 month old Sussex rooster who's been living on my last nerve, but is doing his job admirably. Is it too late to send him to freezer camp? What about the younger ones? Thanks!

  2. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    honestly, you can eat them anytime. Older animals aren't as tender as younger ones, but that's why man invented the crockpot! [​IMG]

    We've eaten roosters that were 3-4 years old, no big deal.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Quote:X 2 Crockpot-- coq au vin, stew, chicken and dumplings, pot pie, chicken soup or stock--- the uses for older chickens are limitless. The next question might be-- Why keep them that long?
  4. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Songster

    Jan 17, 2011
    Central Ohio
    These guys are from hatching eggs that I bought with the intention of being able to sell the boys. I have a lavender Orpington, a gold-laced Wyandotte, a Speckled Sussex, and maybe a Barnevelder or two for sale. It seems like there may eventually be some interest. Meanwhile, if my flock rooster gets any more aggressive after a year, one of these boys would be a good replacement.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    After a certain age, a chicken cannot be fried without being really tough and practically inedible. But, like others, I've eaten old chickens and found them to be delicious and tender. Cooking them involves slow, moist cooking, like everything on Sourland's list.

    I don't know your situation, how many chickens you have total and all that. I suspect around 15 weeks their hormones are going to really kick in. Some people start eating dual purpose roosters at 12 weeks, but I just don't think they have enough meat on them to make it worthwhile. But I free range them and mine don't grow as fast as those that are penned up and fed a meat bird diet. I normally start eating mine when they reach 15 weeks, but 18 weeks is more of a personal favorite. You'll find out tastes and results vary.

    Good luck on selling them.

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