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What to do with 2 year chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by crooked stripe, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    When a chickens egg production drops and it comes time to replace them with younger birds are the old ones just made for the soup-stew pot? Are the older birds tougher to process? Interested in any ideas. Thanks John

  2. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    when people ask me what to do with their older chickens, i tell them, if they don't want to eat her, sell her at the feed store. 2 year old layers still have some "umph" to them. give them a bit more protein and they'll give you 3 maybe 4 eggs a week, which some folks, that's all they need and they don't want to start out with chicks, so it's perfect.
  3. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Yeah, when my hens hit 2, I plan to rehome them rather than eat them. They'll be good enough for most people and I don't need to eat them. I can get meat birds for that.
  4. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    Wow. I didn't realize that 2 is old. At what age do they slow down and quit?
    Do most of you replace birds annually?
  5. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    my birds give me the best eggs between 1 and 2. it always seems the eggs get a size larger after their molt. production reds, blacks, leghorns and such are laying machines and usually will slow down drastically (laying 6, sometimes 7 eggs a week to maybe 3) around their third year. alot of people who have production birds will replace them around that time.

    other breeds aren't as prolific layers and so their slow down isn't so noticeable.
  6. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Part of my motivation to rehome the 2-3 year old birds is that I want to share the buckeyes with other people. It's an endangered breed and the more people have them, the more people will know about them. KWIM?

    OTOH, I'll probably be culling the spare roos to my freezer, as I'm unlikely to find people who want that many. I'm thinking I need to leg band the first generation of them so I can tell who gets culled and then go and read a good book on breeding before I get too far in.
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    stock, soup or stew

  8. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Oh! And for truly inedible birds, I want to hook up with a raw food group for dogs and give them dog food.
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I haven't had an old bird yet that didn't get tender in the crock pot. Some of them took overnight, but they all got tender. If you soak them for a day in brine, then crock-pot them, they turn out pretty good. Then you can take out the bones, and make chicken and dumplings, or whatever. The broth will is fabulous, a deep brown, save it for soups and sauces if you don't use it right away. I freeze it in those tall plastic sour cream or cottage cheese containers. Then I use when I make stuffing, or soup in the wintertime. Or if I have some leftover roasted chicken and a craving for chciken and dumplings, I'll thaw a carton or 2 of broth, add the meat, bring to a boil, add the dumplings. Yum.

    Fluffy Dumplings (the easy way)

    2 cups unbleached self rising flour
    1 cup buttermilk
    2TBS olive oil (or other cooking oil)

    Dump the flour in a bowl, push it around with a fork to make a little well in center. Pour the buttermilk in the well. Add oil to the buttermilk, use the fork to start whisking the oil into the milk. keep whisking till the flour's all mixed in. If it seems a little dry, add a little more buttermilk. You should have a thick but fairly moist dough. Drop by big globs into the boiling broth. Reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover, let cook about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the layer of dumplings turned out. With a wider pot, the layer will be more shallow, and will cook a little faster. Don't stir, or you'll break up the dumplings.

    Eat them up, yum!

    If you run out of room in the pot while you still have dough, you can make drop biscuits on a cookie sheet and freeze them, or go ahead and bake them. I like to freeze my leftover dough, then we have freezer biscuits handy for when we just want 1 or 2.
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    another good way is to put them to good use, slit the throat and toss them into the pig pen feathers and all, the pigs love it and will make quick work of it, and you will be recycling the birds.

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