Tasted our first roosters this weekend!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by EricaD, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    So I've been debating what kind of chickens I want for meat next year. I've tasted several cornish x from local farms, and finally found someone willing to process and sell me a handful of barnyard roosters so that I could do a taste test.

    These guys were under 6 months old, and dang, TINY! I mean, I was expecting a rubber chicken looking bird, long and skinny, but these were just so small!

    I'm assuming they were the worst possible breed for eating, lol, like white leghorn crosses or something.

    But this was just for a taste test, and there's enough meat on them for that, so I cooked up the 2 largest on Saturday!

    I cut off the legs and thighs and tossed them into the crockpot with some water, brandy, and seasonings (tarragon, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.) Cooked it for 6 hours and just tossed in some small potatoes at the end. OMG, it was delish! Served it by itself with some good french bread.

    The rest of the carcass (including the microscopic breasts) went into the stock pot for broth. Simmered all day. Then I removed the meat from the bones and will make some noodle soup later this week, and can the rest of the stock.

    One of the birds had a very interesting texture - parts of him had the texture of giblets - really firm and chewy. We love giblets, so I didn't mind one bit. The rest was falling off the bones in shreds, and so tender! Even the white breast meat was tasty, which I typically dislike.

    The taste really can't compare to a cornish x. It was wonderful! I stood at the kitchen island with my mom and we were just eating the de-boned boiled shredded meat plain, with nothing but a little salt. So much flavor!

    So my mind's made up - DP it is!

    I just need to find breeder quality chicks in the spring and get a good selection of birds for breeding going forward. And I need to decide on the breed(s) I want. My short list includes Turkens, Buckeyes, BO's, Dorkings or Dark Cornish. Or some of several breeds and choose our favorite from there (or possibly allow them to breed as a mixed flock and eat the roos, and use the hens to replenish my layers and sell off the extras, since my layers are all hatchery stock and I will probably phase them out over time in favor of breeder quality birds). Heck, I'm even considering an American Bresse pair (a small fortune, I know!) and just keep a breeding flock of a single breed of meat bird, completely separate from my layers. I don't know...

    Anyway, just wanted to share!

  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    One suggestion:

    If you are willing to keep one breed, you can buy top quality breeder birds, breed them, and eat the males and sell the hens as show quality purebreds for enough money to pay your expenses.

    It costs more to buy a trio of quality birds, but chickens reproduce fast and you can have an huge flock of quality birds by the end of the season.
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    We just got our first 5 roosters processed this weekend, and I'm anxious to try them, if not a little sad. They were my first, and I took it better than I thought. They are quite large in every area but the breast, and were 19 weeks.

    What kinds of breeds were they? Only thing I notice weird is the skin. You can see where the feather follicles are in places.
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    The reason you suggest top quality is so you can make enough profit by selling the hens?

    Because mine were just a mix of my biggest hen, and my biggest rooster. Neither are good quality for their breeds, but are even heavier than the standard suggests. It made for good meaty boys, and pretty hefty girls, but not as big as their mother. I sold the girls for $10 as layers/brooders. I used the boys for meat.

  5. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    These were barnyard mixes - he keeps BR's, RIR's and White Leghorn's so they were some combo or another. They may have been younger than he stated, too. I'd guess they were around 2 pounds each, give or take. Truly, these were never intended for eating - I just persuaded him to sell me a few processed so that I could try "rooster".

    And yes, the skin is really odd. Thick and with those huge follicles, quite unattractive, lol.
  6. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    That's a great suggestion. It's the way I'm thinking of going - I just have to settle on the breed. I'm giving serious thought to shelling out for American Bresse and keeping a flock and selling the babies. The pullets I keep can replace my brown layers (along with other layer breeds I hatch out), the rest sold, and the roos for meat.
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    2 pounds?! WOW. lol My mixes at 19 weeks are well over 6 pounds. I'd say closer to 8.

    I have to weigh them, but they weigh more than my 6 pound cat, and that's all I know :p

    Mine are barred rock x cochin mixed. Mother looks obese, but she lays very well (big big eggs!). The combo are very hardy. Haven't lost a single bird this year.

  8. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    We raise Cornish X and they're great, but there is just something wonderful about those roosters, right? [​IMG]

    We did a "great meat experiment" this year like you're talking about, but ended up selling off the Dorkings and Dark Cornish as chicks once I realized how many I had. lol We ended up raising some marans, white rock, delaware, and a Orp/RIR mix. Yum, but SO LOUD! We're sticking with Black Copper Marans - just because I love that breed all around.

    Enjoy! :)
  9. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    Yes, I'm thinking he must have been wrong about their age! These guys were only slightly larger than a game hen, lol.

  10. Double Laced

    Double Laced Chirping

    Sep 11, 2012
    I have someone who takes my young roo's and fattens them up for the pot. They let them grow to full size, corn fed and free range, and use them for casseroles / coq au vin. A full grown barney rooster gives about 8 lb meat and is full of flavour but needs substantial cooking.

    I'm hoping to get some bresse eggs for hatching next spring.

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