Slaughter for the first time.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pfost262, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four hens I am looking to slaughter. Two are just over 4 years old and two are just over 3 years old. It will be a first for me. They have pretty much stopped laying and are of no use to me. I would like to begin to learn how to slaughter some hens and raise a few for meat. I am just worried that because these hens are too old their slaughter will be useless as that their meat would be too tough to eat. If I slaughter them in the next couple of months will it be worthwhile or am I just killing for no use? It's taken me some time to come to the conclusion that I would like to do this. I watched the youtube videos and read the books and I think I'll have the heart to do this. Otherwise the other option is to just give them away on craigslist. It my venture worth while?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I think they will be fine. I mainly raise bantams and I think yours will be good cooked the same way I do mine - I skin them (a real time saver) and then put them in a large dutch oven or stock pot and cover with water. Get the water to boiling and then cook it so it simmers for several hours until the meat has fallen off of the bone. Pull it all out so you can separate the meat from bones. To the pot add vegetables like onion, celery, and carrots and herbs and continue cooking that for about an hour. Let that cool and strain it out and now you have homemade chicken broth or stock depending how you do it. And plenty of tender shredded meat for soup, enchiladas, or whatever you like. Freeze it and its ready to go when needed.
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They're not too old to eat. You just have to adjust your expectations and your cooking methods. I've eaten a 4 year old rooster and it was fine.

    Cooking for these birds is going to be some form of moist heat. Pressure cooker is great if you have one. If not, a low and slow method is what you'll be looking for. Recipes where you simmer the carcass, shred the meat and use it in casseroles, soups, tacos, sammiches, things like that. You're not going to roast or fry these older hens, they're too tough for that. But they're exactly what chicken and dumplings or chicken soup recipes were invented for.
     
  4. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I've been hearing. If I placed the carcass in a slow cooker for about 8-12 hours it'll be some fine meat for soups and whatnot, right? I've finally gotten the nerve to take a chickens life and it's very very intimidating.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It is very intimidating. When you're dispatching the bird, it's hard not to think "I don't want to hurt it". You need to think "I need to kill this animal quickly" and be bold and confident. It's going to be dead eventually, trust me faster is better. Afterward, it's pretty empowering.

    Do be sure to let your meat rest a few days before cooking. 3 days in the fridge is good. I've been soaking mine in a brine, other folks just let it set in a baggie or whatever. But those few days make a huge difference, letting the rigor mortis pass so the meat fibers are more tender.
     
  6. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you give me some instructions on brining a chicken?
     
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I just put some salt in the bowl of water that I have the meat in while it's resting in the refrigerator. I can't say how much since that would depend on how much chicken you have. I think I can usually fit four or five bantams in my 16 quart stockpot, fill it until they are all covered, and then I put probably a tablespoon and a half of salt but I don't actually measure it out, just pour until I feel like it's enough. Let them sit for a couple days and make sure they stay under the water. Then to cook them I put fresh water in there and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer it covered for 8-10 hours. Ladle everything out and separate meat from bones. Usually I use the meat right away for soup but if not then I'll put it in the fridge in baggies or freeze it in freezerbags. Then I add some seasonings and onion, celery, carrots to the water and put the bones back in and let that keep simmering until I get tired of seeing it there or its in my way. Strain it all out and put the broth in baggies and put that in the freezer for whenever I need chicken broth or stock for a recipe.
     

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