whats the best age to process a bird at?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by crystal94040, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2007
    I'm a very "backyard" with my chickens, i only have 6 [​IMG]

    I have to move into a small apartment due to an impending divorce and figure I'll be having to process my chickens within the next 3 months.

    just wondering what the ideal age of a chicken for slaughter.

    mine are now 23 weeks old...so I guess I'm looking at about 35 weeks old? is that a good age?
    these are the breeds if it matters...

    australorp
    plymouth rock
    delaware
    2 buff orphs.
    red star
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    At that age they will only be good for stewing.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, soup would be the best thing for them at that age. Generally for non meat birds, like extra roosters, 16-20 is as high as you want to go age wise for eatable meat.

    You could try to eat the meat, but something soup based after aging the bird for about two days would be best.
     
  4. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    really? so no fajitas huh? :|
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It would be like eating stringy leather. Stick to the soup and cook it long and slow.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you use a pressure cooker and cook a long time, you might be able to make some enchiladas. MissPrissy is our local food expert though!

    Back in China, my mom would eat hens that were a few years old... but the standard of food was much lower if you didn't really have anything to eat. She tells me of times where cats would steal their weeks worth of meat and they'd go chase down the cat to take the meat back and they would still eat it, even if the cat had already chewed on it and dragged it though the dirt.
     
  7. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmmm, what if I put it in a crock pot on low all day and make pulled chicken sandwiches. ( slow cook in chicken broth then drain and add bbq sauce) Has anyone tried that? do you think that would be ok?

    I've never made any kind of chicken stew before....have to look up a recipe...
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You can try it. It will be edible. It won't be delectable. Even the pressure cooker is a good idea. I use it all the time. The thing is these backyard chickens get alot of exercise. Exercise builds muscle. Big muscles on chickens means a more stringy fibrous meat.

    Let the chickens rest in the fridge a minimum of 48 hours before you do anything with them. Then cook them long and slow with some liquids to help tenderize the meat in your crockpot.
     
  9. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mmmm maybe I'll try this...
    chicken tortilla soup...
    * 2 chicken breasts halves, boned, skinned and cubed
    * 1 onion, finely chopped
    * 1 clove garlic, crushed
    * 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
    * 4 cups chicken broth
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    * 1 mild green chile, seeded and chopped
    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * tortilla chips
    * shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a little for each serving
    * 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or
    * Italian parsley
     
  10. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Since these ones are in their prime laying age and won't be as good for meat, why not adopt these ones out and get some meat birds? Since you have 3 months to do this, that'd be a perfect processing time for meat birds!
     

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