Tips for after butchering barn yard mix roos.


8 Years
Nov 23, 2013
Northern South America
Overnight. For food safety reasons, they really should only be in the fridge overnight and then cooked or frozen.

You can hurry up the process and make better meat by adding some milk, buttermilk, or lemon juice to the water in which they are "relaxing."


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Aging is where you let a bird rest after butchering to allow it to get over rigor mortis. If you cook the bird immediately after butchering before rigor sets up you'll be OK but you don't have much of a window. How fast rigor sets up will depend some on the bird and some on the temperature. How fast rigor passes will depend some on the bird and some on the temperature. Some people age them wet, some age them dry. Some in an ice chest, some in the fridge. The way you can tell rigor has passed is that the meat if very flexible, not stiff at all. That could be just the meat but wiggling joints if you have joints left after butchering, how loose are the joints? If you cook a bird while it is still in rigor it will be very tough.

Brining is when you soak it in salt or a salt water mixture. The salt causes the meat to retain moisture. It's not really about adding a salty flavor though it does. You can add salt anywhere in the process if you are after the flavor. How much benefit you get from retaining moisture depends a lot on how you cook it. If you use a dry cooking method like grilling or frying it can enhance the product. If you use a wet method like stewing or making soup not so much.

Then you have marinading. This is where you soak it in or apply an acidic mixture. Wine and vinegar are typically used though there are others. The acid in a marinade breaks down fiber, which tenderizes the meat. The stronger the acid and the longer it has to work the more it tenderizes the meat. If you're cooking a very tender very young Cornish X you probably don't want to over-marinade it, the meat can get mushy. But if you are cooking an older bird it can come in quite handy. Coq au Vin is how the French turn a very tough old rooster into a gourmet meal. A big part of that process is marinading and cooking it in wine.

You can add various flavors in any one of these processes. Some people like to age and brine at the same time. Like everything else we all have our favorites. Often there is some trial and error in determining what works best for us.

Good luck!


Jul 28, 2018
Would it be best to leave the bird whole or can I cut it up before the test period?

Thank you all for the great information!!


Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 7, 2015
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
Would it be best to leave the bird whole or can I cut it up before the test period?

Thank you all for the great information!!
I have been parting out as I go. If I am saving backs for broth, I clean well. If I am doing backs for the dog, I leave the lungs and testicles...goes much quicker to just remove digestive system.

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
Salisbury, North Carolina
Until the joints move freely.
Depends on the age and size, 24 hrs to 4 days
X 2. Just 24 hours isn't enough sometimes.
This is why I like reading all the threads, this is info I did not know. I haven't had an issue with processing older birds yet since mine have always been fairly young, If I do process an older bird can they go straight to the crockpot from processing or should I let them rest a few days?

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