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When to eat chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by thereverend, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. thereverend

    thereverend In the Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    I have been told many, many things about eating chickens.
    Can someone tell me when is the best time to eat them and.....
    what happens if you eat a chicken thats say... 1 year old??

    Here is my thinking.

    I love the eggs that they lay. BUT i want to cycle them every 1 or 2 years
    i want to eat the ones that are 1 or 2 years old and of corse replace them with
    new chickens.. Can you tell me if this is ok. What the meat will taste like ect..

  2. Charles07

    Charles07 Songster

    Apr 10, 2010
    Sheridan, Indiana
    For older birds:

    'n dumplings
    pot pie
    gravied over rice
    gravied over bread
    ground for sausage/"burger"

    Low and slow in other words. Expect more complex flavor(s) than you might be accustomed to.

    Example of the above:

    Cut the "best" pieces of meat off of the bird for a pot pie, scrape the remaining flesh off for a gravy, add everything else to the soup/stew pot. Voila. 3 meals from 1 bird.
  3. thereverend

    thereverend In the Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    Ok but.. can you eat an older bird, the wings, meat ect??
    for example grilled?
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    Yes, you can eat older birds. You'll want to choose to make dishes with them that help tenderize the meat, things that cook for a long time with a lot of moisture or that require brining/marinading before cooking. Dishes where the meat is cut into bite sized pieces work well too. Soups, stews, gravies, etc.

    If they've been confined you can get away with more than if they've been roaming free.

    ETA: Are those your layers in your avatar? ISA Browns? IMO/IME they're not worth the time to process 'em. They're excellent layers, just what they were bred for, but they're skinny minnies.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The older birds you're not really going to want to grill or roast. The other ways mentioned are better to keep the meat tender and moist, if you try grilling it will probably be dry and tough.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    You can also can up older birds and they all come out tender and moist, ready for soup, casseroles, noodles, etc. No guesswork there...just can them like you would any other meat and enjoy them at your leisure.
  7. Marylizbet

    Marylizbet In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2011
    I know this is old, but can I have a few more opinions on this? I'm asking the same question. Would it be better to just get new chicks every spring, and then eat the others? I've only got ten chickens... Could I still freeze them? Or no. Thanks

  8. Marylizbet

    Marylizbet In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oh, and I've got Barred Rocks, Golden laced Wyandottes, and Isa browns.
  9. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Quote:What's your concern with keeping them indefinitely as layers? Are you concerned about their output? ...Or do you want to have "dual-purpose" chickens that are for both meat and eggs and your question is asking what's the most efficient way of doing this?
  10. Marylizbet

    Marylizbet In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2011
    Yes. I have "dual purpose" birds, and I want to know when to cull them. Would they be ok eating after 2 years? Or is one the max? Dual purpose are for eating and laying, so when's the best time to eat, and how long to let them lay leading up to the eating? Thanks, Mary

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