Slaughtering a mature rooster

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BoereMeisie, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    I have to cull my mature Rhode Island Red rooster. He's become a real bully in the flock and on top of that he started kicking me [​IMG] He's around 18 - 22 months old, and I imagine he will be too tough to eat. Does anyone have any tips on how to tenderize the meat after slaughter or will he just do as soup or dog food? (Hope this is the right section to post this!)
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Check out this article: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...rom-historic-chicken-breeds/0_20#post_3473262

    It is linked in the sticky in this (meat birds) forum. There might be some other info in the same sticky, or in our recipes forum, here.

    His taste and texture will certainly be quite different from store bought chicken, and yes it will have a firm texture -- "tough" I think is kind of a judgment call.

    The traditional French recipe for coq au vin (chicken with wine) calls for a two year old rooster and a full bottle of wine.
     
  3. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Oops... Firm then, not tough [​IMG] This will be a first for me, as I have my chickens mainly for eggs. The roosters are there because I want to start hatching the eggs. I do realize that I will be getting a lot of roo chicks from hatching, so I will have to get used to firm textured meat. I'm sure once we are used to it, we won't want to eat store chicken anymore. Thanks for the link, I will definitely check them out!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Funny, I just put a 3 year old in the refrigerator from the freezer to start thawing for Thursday night supper before I opened your post.

    First, when you butcher him, go ahead and cut him into serving pieces, then chill. Put in the refrigerator covered with salt water for maybe three days. I don’t do that step myself but it does help.

    Then cook him. There are several ways to cook an old rooster. They all involve cooking him long and slow with added liquid. You can look up Coq au Vin (Cock in Wine). That’s a traditional French way to cook an old rooster. Just make sure you use an old traditional recipe. A lot of the recipes you get in modern cookbooks and online assume you are using one of those baby chickens you buy at the grocery. What you are looking for is a recipe that takes a few hours to cook, not something done in a couple of hours.

    Chicken and dumplings is another traditional farmer’s wife way to cook an old bird.

    You can use a pressure cooker. I never had but I’m sure they will work.

    I have used a crock pot. Put in a bay leaf, a dozen peppercorns, a rough chopped onion, carrot, and celery, and some herbs like basil, oregano, parsley and/or thyme. Cover the bird with water and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. By the way, if you save the back, neck, I use the wings, and gizzard and cook it this way, then strain off the liquid and take the fat out you’ll have the best chicken broth you’ve ever tasted. You can pick off the meat from this and use it for chicken casseroles, tacos, chicken salad, anyway you’d normally use cooked chicken meat. I often make sandwiches with this meat for lunch. Some people just use the entire rooster to make broth. There is no use to waste any of the carcass.

    I’ll probably cook this one in a covered baking dish. Rub the thawed meat with herbs, add a little water, and cook at 250 degrees for several hours. A 5 month old cockerel usually takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours this way. With my tough 3-year-old rooster I’ll probably go 4 hours before I start checking him.
     
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  5. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Wow okay! And here I was thinking he'd be dog food... Sorry doggies, Ridgerunner actually has my mouth watering and I will definitely give slow-cooking a try!
     
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  6. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a Coq au Vin recipe:

    http://www.cuisine-france.com/recipes/coq_vin.
     
  7. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I recently processed 4year old and 18month old roosters. We slaughtered, cleaned, quartered and put in the pressure cooker. no resting, no brining, nothing like that. Seasoned and in the pressure cooker at 15lbs pressure for I think 40ish minutes. Meat fell off the bone. Yes, a little firmer than Cornish cross, but made perfectly edible enchiladas.
     
  9. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Good to know :) We slaughtered him yesterday and he has been in the fridge brining since then. I'm erring on the side of caution because the owner of the farm recently raised some meat chicks free-range style, and they took forever to get to size. He finally slaughtered and sent us 4, and straight into the pressure cooker they went, 40 minutes, another 40 minutes, another 40 minutes... That meat was TOUGH, not firm... So I was a bit put off by that.
    When my niece and I went to fed the chickens this morning and Steve (the RIR roo we slaughtered) wasn't in his pen, she said "may he rest in fridge..." Haha that was so funny!
     
  10. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you got the birds, had they rested in the fridge for 48 hours to let rigor to leave the muscles prior to cooking? A lot of times that is the problem when young chickens are tough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

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