Trim Fat for Roast?


Sep 17, 2019
Whidbey Island, Washington
Hello! Preparing to butcher a chicken here in a few weeks and I would like to now if any of you trim the yellow fat deposits on your birds (if theres any) or just leave it for roasting.

Also: I heard they taste better than store bought, and opinions?


Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
I remove excessive abdominal cavity fat and leave the rest for roasting. 'Taste better' is a matter of opinion. To me flock/home raised birds are far more flavorful than the mass produced birds. Understand that not all folks like the added flavor. Good luck, and I hope that you enjoy your home grown meal.


Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
California's Redwood Coast
Agree with sourland. Don't forget to butcher far enough ahead to allow for the meat to "rest" before cooking.

Brining or even a dry brine is a good choice... depending on the age and breed of your chicken.

Cornish cross will likely taste about the same and cook the same as a store bought bird if processed under 10 ish weeks old. But yes overall better and you feel better about knowing exactly how it lived every day even through it's last moment and not floated down blood river with a thousands of other birds... oh AND often injected with brine solution, I don't wanna pay for salt water at meat prices. :sick

Heritage or dual purpose birds are often processed older at 16-24+ weeks and require slower and lower heat and they have a stronger flavor, again depending on age and breed... that picky folks like me who were FAR removed from our food until the recent past, have learned to *associate* this stronger flavor as being offensive and even an indicator of it having gone fowl. (pun intended)

Fortunately we live in the information age where I have learned to overcome what was taught me by my elders who didn't have refrigeration or much scientific understanding as to how or why.

It's a slight adjustment but so worth the effort! :highfive:

I have only previously raised heritage birds. But traded for a CX once and I can see the appeal. My heritage mostly go in casseroles and such, but roast chicken is amazing. :drool

Happy processing! :wee


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
What sex and how old will the chicken be when you butcher it? Is it dual purpose, Cornish X, Ranger type, or something else?

My dual purpose cockerels that I butcher between 16 weeks to 23 weeks have very little fat on them. I feed them a fairly low-protein feed along with the rest of the flock and they forage a lot. Old roosters don't have much fat on them either, not enough to make it worth taking off. If you feed them differently or they are a "meat breed" they may have more fat. I don't raise those.

I tend to butcher my pullets at about 8 months, after they lay a bit so I can decide which I want to keep. Those pullets and older hens have a lot of fat. Most of it is in the pelvis area in what they call a fat pad, you wonder how they squeeze an egg through that to lay it, but they do. They also have a lot of fat scattered on the rest of their body, on the organs and in with the meat. They put on all this excess fat so they have something to live on when they go broody so they don't have to leave the nest much to find food. Older hens have a lot of excess fat too, not just the pullets. I do remove that fat. It is a lot.

I don't roast mine but usually bake the cockerels and pullets. I cook the older hens and roosters in the crock pot. I use parts from all of them plus the cooked bones to make broth.

Once cockerels hit puberty and the hormones start flowing the meat gains flavor and texture. Pullets also gain texture and flavor as they age but not nearly as much as the boys. As mentioned above, some of us like that flavor, but some don't.

When you roast a turkey many recipes call for adding butter under the skin and to baste them in the droppings as they cook. This adds flavor and helps keep the meat more moist. If you remove the fat before roasting are you going to replace it with butter or some other fat?

Some people save the excess fat and process it to make schmaltz. I don't know if you are familiar with that, it's pretty common in certain cuisines. I doubt you will get enough fat from one bird to make it worthwhile making, but not all people consider chicken fat bad.

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