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To eat or not to eat, that is the question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lakeshorenc, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. lakeshorenc

    lakeshorenc Songster

    Jan 14, 2009
    Lake Waccamaw NC
    I hatched out 17 chicks that I was planning on butchering at 16 weeks old. I only want 3 more laying hens. I don't have a plucker and my husband says he won't help me kill them, I think my son will. I keep reading that they don't taste good and are tough and hard to pluck. SO, should I attempt this or should I just re-home some of them and stick to grocery store chicken???

  2. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    I butchered a single rooster last year. It was my first (and only) experience butchering of any sort. From start to finish it took about 90 minutes, most of that involved plucking (or reheating water so we could scald properly -- I think I had the temperature wrong and/or didn't leave in the water long enough). My kids who were 10 and 12 at the time participated in everything except for the axe wielding.

    Butchering 3 or 4 would not have taken us much longer. And, I am sure that it will go much faster next time around.

    This rooster was about one year old. The next day, before putting him in the crock pot, I cut off a piece of meat and fried it. It was tough, but quite tasty. My son described it as "tastes like chicken, only chickenier".

    I had some 17 week old roosters processed last fall. I have stewed them all. They make wonderful stock and great chicken pie, chicken and dumpling, and chicken soup.

    I do not mean to sound preachy at all, but I think experiencing home butchering was beneficial to both me and my kids. You and your kids may have a different reaction to the process, you're in a much better position to know about that than anyone here.


    PS The pullets will likely have less meat than the roosters and you can probably sell each hen for the price of a Purdue roaster in the local supermarket.
  3. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Most of the layers people buy are "dual purpose". That means they can either be used as layers, or butchered for meat (or both).

    I've not butchered any dual purpose birds, yet, but four-month-old birds shouldn't be tough. They're teenagers, and still growing.
  4. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    The easy answer to wasting so much time plucking is don't pluck them. Skin them. Last summer my father and I processed 30 birds in 2 hours. That's pen to freezer. My family doesn't care for the skin anyway. Try it next time and you will save a lot of time.
  5. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Quote:All I have to say about that is "[​IMG]"!
  6. dadof4

    dadof4 Songster

    Aug 30, 2008
    I would think they would be fine for eating.
  7. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I put all my roosters and culls designed to eat in a large cage on grass giving them lots of fresh water and only scratch or grain, including home scraps, no feedstore feed for about a week to 10 days.

    This way feeding them right and limiting their activity (Tough leg muscles) makes them more tender.

    Just mine 2 cents.

    There is no better chicken soup than from home grown chicken.

  8. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    I found that if you get a good scald on them it makes all the difference. I have been using water at about 145 degrees and leaving them in for about a minute. Pinch the skin on the leg. If the top layer will separate, that's about right. Also put a little dish detergent in the water.
  9. gearhead38

    gearhead38 Hatching

    May 2, 2009
    great to eat....kind like the guy that says skin them way faster. either way if u do it enof you will get faster. if you are raising just to eat u are broke way cheaper to buy from store (my personal opinion). when i pluck the water is really to hot to touch the hotter the water the easier the job is.
  10. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    I say do it. You will be proud of yourself in the end for growing your own food, knowing it was raised/killed humanly, and you don't have to worry about what you are really eating with grocery store chicken.

    I would pluck and NOT skin them.....WHO doesn't eat fried chicken skin???? I LUV it [​IMG] LOL

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