to raise meat or not because they were nasty

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by thefishery, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. thefishery

    thefishery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2009
    We raised some cornish x last year.

    Shortly after we got them we had a house fire and were displaced. I moved the meat birds to a friends farm where they were free rangers for the second half of their life. They had free supply of grower food, got scratch and plenty of water and shade. They never went far from the food source.

    I butchered them and then when we ate them, they were not good. I don't know why, if it was from the free ranging? The time of year is going to be on us soon to purchase again if we decide to.

    I've been reading on different breeds for meat but I know what will happen, if I get a dual purpose bird, I will only want to use that hen for eggs.

    What other types of meat birds are there? What do I need to do differently to make them taste better? Was the different taste due to being fresh and I'm only accustomed to the store bought birds? If so, I can't raise another meat bird because that meat was so off that I couldn't eat any of it and we ended up tossing it.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What do you mean by off? The meat tasted bad? Could it have been the way you processed them?
    I've raised cornish cross, freedom rangers and many breeds of which I've eaten the roosters. They all tasted like chicken to me. The free ranging birds need to be cooked on lower heat for much longer.
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I'm also confused. While having only raised one group of Freedom Rangers (plus one Jersey Giant I butchered and put in the smoker after a bobcat killed it) I've found the chicken I've raised to be flavorful and delicious. Was the texture off or the taste? How did you cook it?
  4. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Letting the birds free range should have made the flavor better. Did you let the body rest in the fridge for a day or 2 before cooking or freezing? Did they sit in the fridge for too long? Were the carcasses chilled rapidly after butchering? I just can't imagine the meat being offensive for no good reason.
  5. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    I will have to agree.....Free ranged birds have great flavor. We have raised thousands of Organic free ranged birds from Rangers,
    Cornish x, Ducks, Turkeys.and others.

    Factors which effect the flavor of meat birds are as fallows:
    Quality of feed and forage.
    Water Quality.
    Breed genetics and age of bird.
    Clean kill and cooling method.
    Proper aging. We let the birds age as long as 4 days depending on age and breed.

    just my .02
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I suppose if it wasn't processed correctly or not allowed to rest for 2 or 3 days in the fridge, (or if they were old) it may have been a toughness/texture problem if that is what is meant by off. I know when I butchered some cockerels from a "Fry Pan" Special, I certainly thought the flavor was "off." It wasn't, but it wasn't what I was used to - which is 6-7 week old Cornish X. Sorry you had problems with your first batch - don't give up!
  7. thefishery

    thefishery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2009
    By 'off' I mean they tasted bad. When I processed them I washed then off and then put them in a ice chest of ice. I rinsed them one more time in the house with salt water and then froze them. I had 9 of them, if I remember correctly. It was a bad time of the year with the house fire and all. There are a lot of things that were a blur from that time but I specifically recall how nasty those chickens were :/ They may have been a week or two past ideal slaughter date. None seemed to be weak or suffering with leg problems. I guess I'll try it again, it's an addiction. We've done so well providing naturally for the family, I can't give up on the chickens.
    Thank you for the advice and help.
  8. maryhysong

    maryhysong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2012
    Claypool, Arizona
    I haven't done Cornish but harvest cull roos all the time. I I rinse and check for pin feathers; soak an hour or so in cold water, drain and let sit loosely covered in the fridge for two days then cook and eat. Taste like chicken to me. I have no idea what was wrong that your chicken tasted 'nasty'. The only thing I can think of is if the meat some how spoiled after processing, Was your freezer working correctly the whole time? No period of time it could have been off and allowed the meat to go over? Very strange.
  9. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    If the flavor was literally "bad" and not just different, could you have torn/cut a gall bladder when eviserating? Gall can taint the meat and if they were all in a water bath that could have affected the meat. Diet will affect the taste of meat/eggs but that is more of a concern with waterfowl eating fish etc.
  10. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Excellent point. I've never experienced this with the birds I've butchered, but I've read to avoid it at all cost because the taste is so bad.

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