When to butcher & how/why to "rest" a butchered bird?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JenMT, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. JenMT

    JenMT Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    I'm making my first attempt at butchering some of my meat birds this evening! [​IMG] I have 12 Red Cornish (the slow growers) that are 12 weeks old today. I'm reading here that I should allow them to "rest" a day or more in the fridge before eating or freezing. What is the reasoning behind the "rest"? I don't have room for a dozen chickens in my refrigerator. Also, is it possible to let them get too big if I wait and only do 2-4 at a time every week or so? Thank you!
  2. dsnewark

    dsnewark In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2009
    Every year we raise 25-50 cornish rocks. We have them butchered in the morning, bring them home and put them straight into the freezer. Never had a problem. I assume the reason it is recommended is for aging.

    They will continue to grow, but the only issue I would see is that you will have roasters instead of fryers.

  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Letting them rest a day allows rigor to leave the muscle tissues. Put them in a large cooler, on top of the ice, and let the ice drain out overnight. A 100-120 quart cooler works well for the amount of birds you have. Your solution of butchering a few birds at a time also works well.

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