I have only butchered 3 birds - 2 roosters each between 12 and 18 months and one 5 week old duck. The roosters I did expect to be tough. I cooked one long and slow into chicken soup and it was ok. It sat 2 days in fridge after butcher. The next roo sat 3 days and I threw it on the grill. I am telling you it was the toughest stuff imaginable! My son and I had to fight to gnaw it off the bone! So last week I had an owl attack one of my 5 week old ducks in the night. He survived but was not able to move around and did not look like he would make it. I don't know the breed - I think a Rouen mix. These were ducklings I got cheap intended for meat - all mixed breed. So I butchered the duckling and ate it on the grill the next night (so about 30-32 hours in the fridge). I was so looking forward to a tender meal and it was still pretty tough! What am I doing wrong? I butcher with cuts to the jugular, they're contained in a cone and it's a pretty peaceful process, they are fed unmedicated chick starter or game starter until 5 months and then those roos were on layer. I thought that duckling would be so tender and it was way better than the roos but still pretty tough. Any hints for tender meat? I have 50 Freedom Rangers now 10 days old and I want to make sure I get nice dinners from them and not 50 tough stringy birds!