Tough membranes and tight spaces

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

  1. Wax Myrtle

    Wax Myrtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    470
    18
    93
    Sep 17, 2012
    Galivants Ferry, SC
    Hi, folks!

    I processed two EE cockerels a few weeks back - one at about 23 weeks and one at 26 weeks (I was really hoping the second would stay a nice guy - no such luck) and I noticed something... The 23 weeks cockerel had just enough space for me to get my hand in his cavity, and I had hard work loosening all the membranes to draw him, but I was able to put a pretty whole carcass in the freezer. His keel was fully calcified, btw.

    The second one, at 26 weeks, also had a fully calcified keel, but I could not get my hand into his cavity. There was maybe an inch between his keel bone and his pelvis. I had to piece him out just to draw him. When I did, the membranes were so tough, and his organs attached so firmly that I finally got frustrated and tossed the back with all innards still attached (including nearly golf-ball sized testes!! [​IMG] No wonder he was so nasty.) I hate that I wasted all that good broth...

    Is this common with DP breeds? The tough membranes and tight space between keel and pelvis? I'm hesitant to buy st run ever again if the cockerels are always so much tougher to draw than what I've heard about the CX. Does it have to do with age? (I know the calcified keel bones are.)
     
  2. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    30
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    The connective tissue is due to age, yes. The cavity space is more due to breed - when I pick up my EE birds, they're pretty small, compared say to picking up the Barred Rock or breeder quality BLRW I have. Then again, nothing is as scrawny as my old Polish hen (she's 5 now). I think I could span her back and nearly meet with my fingers around her ribcage. The CX are bred to have a much more slaughter friendly cavity, but well bred cockerels of quality breeds can be pretty large as well.
     
  3. Wax Myrtle

    Wax Myrtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    470
    18
    93
    Sep 17, 2012
    Galivants Ferry, SC
    Okay, thanks, that's good to know. The older bird was pretty hefty, tho. Leg quarters and breast/wing sections weighed out at 2+ pounds. He's in the crock pot now for pie tomorrow. Hopefully not something I'll need to worry about too much in future, as I was so dissatisfied with the EEs altogether that I doubt I'll ever get more intentionally.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by