When to eat chickens


In the Brooder
9 Years
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..
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.
Ok but.. can you eat an older bird, the wings, meat ect??
for example grilled?
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.
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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.
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.
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
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?
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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