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what is the oldest you can process a roo and still get tender meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by peacebird, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. peacebird

    peacebird Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    Seems that three of my four peeps were roosters, and not only will Mario not tolerate that much competition but there are only 6 hens.... they would be worried to death by that many roo

    The roo are about 18 weeks old. Thanks!
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Most people say the optimum time to process roos is 15 weeks, I think that at 18 you should still be good, but don't wait too long, it goes down hill from here. [​IMG]
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    "Tender" is a seriously loaded term. You can have 'tender' meat by confining your roosters in cages so they don't get exercise. Commercially raised chicken is confined and 'marinated' in salt water prior to packaging, so it is 'juicy and tender'.

    What we have come to recognize as 'tender' chicken is really artificial. Animals with exercise will have more muscle with a stringier, stronger texture. I've learned to love it and can't go back to grocery store chicken at all. It just tastes wet and flacid to me.
  4. peacebird

    peacebird Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    Thanks LoneCowboy! And Greyfields!
    I've been eating wonderful free range organic birds for a couple years, just never my own... I did get one roaster at the local organic store -raised locally too - but I think it was truly a hen past her laying years cuz that bird was SO tough that no amount of cooking in the stewpot could make the meat anything but rubber!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They will be tougher but I say get the job done sooner rather than later. Then after butchering, let the guy age in the fridge for 2 or 3 days so the muscle can fully relax before trying to eat. It shouldn't be too tough yet. A soup based cooking would be best.

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