(Note: this is only a rule of thumb. Thanks again and … animal shelter for old birds?? I was finally able to find a recipe that actually called for a “coq” or “cockerel” in my trusty Larousse Gastronomique, which connected up with what I found at the Smitten Kitchen, only it called for a longer cooking time and to thicken the sauce not only with the buerre maine, but with the cockerel’s’s blood as well. It does exist but can be difficult to find and they will cost you more than regular feed. He has one poor hen so traumatized that she won’t step out of the run. We do the same with our old birds, except I soak them in brine for a day after the 3-5 day aging process. Feed for Meat Birds Especially if you have pics to go along with it. A big question I have is I recently had my hardware store assembled sewer pipe into a feeder that I saw posted. We had a very tasty rooster soup that night. Thinking of cooking these roosters, I remembered that Chef Linton Hopkins gave a fantastic talk at the Georgia Organics conference a few years ago: he discussed the merits of the “lesser” cuts of beef, such as tongue and heart. Personally, I would only use this as a maintenance feed for grown birds. tend to be more efficient with their feed, while dual purpose breeds need more because they use it to put on body weight as well as into egg production. One I mix lay crumbles and cracked corn. Jill, I have a question. Has anyone cooked the hens in a pressure cooker? Season if you like (I tossed in some salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley, and an onion for good measure) and cover. Plus, I had heard promises of older chickens offering greater depth of flavor to stews and stocks, so I was eager to test the theory for myself. It should not be used for birds under 7 weeks of age. If you have the time and inclination to make your own that’s wonderful, but quite frankly if you have a small backyard flock of a few hens, you may find that it is too time consuming and expensive for you. These large neighborhoods are typically broken down into … Needless to say, that’s way too many roosters, so we let them grow from March to July and butchered 3. My oily peeps are more suburban, but you and I are kindred spirits with this stuff! They make a 22% protein feed specifically for broilers. When I was young my GrandMother did this very procedure and Wow did I learn a good thing. I alter the ratio of each component based on the season – more protien during heat waves & molting, more ‘carbs’ during winter, and I up the sunflower seed ratio in winter a smidge, too. Works wonders on an oldie. To look at an old rooster carcass, one imagines a meat that has more in common with rubber bands than with actual food. They didn’t. My husband doesn’t have the heart to kill things if he doesn’t have to, so Spazzy stayed on. Had my own small farm, family and was so happy to be able to rem. A heavy, 10-inch, fireproof casserole such as cast iron or enamelware (DO NOT use nonstick), long matches, a fine, mesh strainer, parchment paper, 6-ounces bacon, cut into lardons 4 tablespoons butter 2 old roosters, cut into pieces 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup Cognac, Armanac, or strong Brandy 6 cups (about 1.5 bottles) young, full-bodied, French red wine such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, or Cotes du Rhone 2 cups brown chicken stock or beef stock 1 tablespoon tomato paste 4 cloves mashed garlic 1 teaspoon thyme 2 bay leaves Salt and pepper, For the buerre maine: 6 tablespoons flour 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 to 1 pound caramelized pearl onions 1 pound sautéed mushrooms (see note above). It’s all about self-sufficiency. I will make sure to purchase dual purpose birds when we order chicks. Once they’ve started laying, they should have oyster shells always available, in a separate container from their food. This added Omega 3 increases the egg’s Omega 3 count, making eggs healthier for people to eat. If you don’t like it…get off the page and stop your whinning & crying!! It turns into kefir, then into sour cream. Inyect juices. Some people want their feed to be organic, soy or corn free. I got to deal with him upon my return, but life was just so busy I left … Terrific post! Good for you for teaching your children skills that they’ll be able to use as adults. He attacked everything, even the hens, for no reason. However, we can’t keep animals who are purposely attacking the kiddos, so it was decided Mr. Rooster had to go (that and he was starting to terrorize the hens a bit…). And also, does it need rinsing afterwards, or does it taste salty? 😉. So there I was… Holding a scrawny, tough old rooster carcass… And bound and determined that it was going in the pot. I believe I’m going back to pellets to see if it helps with the waste. Chickens are omnivores and will eat almost anything! Place in a 200 degree oven and braise for 3-4 hours (longer if you have time). Can you please tell me what you do with the bones after they are cooked for stock? Jill please let me know if you are happy for me to post either of these options. In general, chick feed is higher in protein and contains several important vitamins to get the chicks off to a good start. Giving your girls some treats generates a happy feeling all the way round, but hens are cunning. Doesn’t make much difference if you are just going to put them in the stew pot anyway. Thank you for this post! My husband does not like it when mom & I can food, says it looks gross in the jars and is threatening to paint all my canning jars black, but with the amount of chicken stock etc. It is best to change gradually since an abrupt change can cause diarrhea or other gastric problems. Opinions on that differ…. 🙂. '” We’ve all laughed about a lot of non-pc things, lately, but are letting her get her 2cents in, too. Making flock rations is not as simple as slinging together a bit of this and some of that. It’s a purely optional thing–this post explains some of the pros and cons.). of pressure for 35 – 40 minutes. For this particular project, I decided to can my chicken soup for later, since it’s too darn hot to eat soup right now. You are right on, Jill. FWIW you should simmer bird bones when making stock. And they all seem to only want to lay eggs in only two nests. After freezing, they don’t work anymore. Great to roast, then simmer for soup/stock. Too bad the same can’t be said for humans at their life’s end. you did a great job of turning him into a couple of meals. My husband is convinced skinning is the way to go. A quick word on finisher and developer feeds; these are designed to ‘finish’ pullets before they change over to layer ration. (Just add the vegetables of your choice, noodles, and seasonings to taste, removing the bay leaves before you serve it. It is a simple process to start and keep going. Thank you! From now on layer feed will make up the majority of your chickens’ diet. Nothing is worse than a lying chicken. Needless to say this is a huge improvement over the way our great-grandparents would have fed chickens! Kids need to understand where our food comes from to appreciate and respect it. I haven’t had any hens live long enough to need to cull them, but a friend is going to be giving us some old hens for culling soon. It attacked my husband and he clocked it upside the head. We used one of those turkey fryer pots with a propane burner. Gravity Feeders. Coq Au Vin, Or, The Magic The French Use To Coax The Most Inedible Meat Possible Into Something Delicious December 16, 2012 When we butchered our old laying hens a couple of weeks ago, we also butchered about six roosters who had been living among the hens, fertilizing eggs and maintaining the pecking order, as it were. It was way too funny! I used to think they were pleased to see me, but I think they have ulterior motive…treats! Grit should always be available, and given starting from baby chicks. Thaw it in the fridge or start at room temp; takes a while, more than 24 hrs. Use a young chicken or hen only if you can’t find old birds. Thanks, Hi Andrea, Season if you like (I tossed in some salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley, and an onion for good measure) and cover. But my hens are getting older and I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the situation. The first thing, I think an earlier post mentions, is to marinate in wine overnight. Fermented Feed We are planning to kill (for food) 4 of our laying hens. The next feeder I mix a assortment of chicken feed/seeds and black sunflower seeds. Remove the layer of fat from the refrigerated sauce and heat. That said, feeding Layer feed when they should be getting started or grower (i.e. This has been a gallop through chicken feeds for you. It doesn’t magically appear in the store under plastic wrap. At the moment our favorite is Scratch and Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed. We killed Dom because it wasn’t the right time of day to be butchering, but Sanders died overnight. You respect the animals and care well for them during their lives. Hi, thanks for the post, I have a whole bunch of roosters I need to cull, so your post is very timely. I’m glad this is helpful for you! There was gushing blood, but no deep wounds. 🙂. So even though I knew the meat would be tough, I was bound and determined to put it to use in *some* way. Phasianus diverged from the genus Gallus, the genus of junglefowl and domesticated chickens… My 2.5 year old ladies were put in the freezer following butchering. What do you recommend if I want to freeze the whole bird first? This is an Android puzzle game with lots of mind scratching word puzzles that you would love playing with. The welsummer is about 6 years old and lays about 2-3 times a week and the others are about 9 months old and lay almost every day. Is there a reason that this isn’t the norm? how to take care of my family. I do know that soon they will be needing a new job and I will need the room. In the UK, Europe and Australasia you don’t have that particular problem to worry about. I love all of the comments, some art among the homesteaders, and the cooks are just so funny, wringing my tears out of eyes. cooked slow older birds are great and very tasty. Less for a rooster. Join More Than 15,000 Chicken Enthusiasts Who Have Already Subscribed. He suggested that when cooking these meats, one has to consider what that part of the animal did in life and prepare it using the complementary characteristics. It kept jerking it’s head every time I took a swing until finally I cut it’s beak half off. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Pat yourself on the back my Dear! For years I have a bucket with lid that holds a big bird. He’s awfully cranky and he lashes out at me quite often. I live in RI. Cut the chicken in 8 ,bake a fews piece of bacon,fried the chicken piece in the rendered bacon fat,add a chop onion or 2 .pour a bootle of red wine over it ,add salt and peper,a few twig of Tyme and let it cook on a low heat for 4/5 hours. Poor Prairie Boy! All Flock Feed. We have about 5-6 older hens that will need to be butchered soon. If we are trying to follow in the footsteps of our homesteading ancestors, let’s be honest: Great-Grandma didn’t give her old hens to the animal shelter. My very French answer is coq au vin, that what you do with a old roster. Grower feed has slightly less protein at around 18%. When the flames die down, add the wine, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. The chicken would land on the ground and continue running around headless for several minutes. The process of soaking the feed and grains, releases many of the locked in nutrients making them available to the birds. Grandpa was a jerk. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "thehappychi03-20"; Should I feed my chicks grit and oyster shells daily as a treat? The key with any cut of tough meat is long, slow, and moist cooking. Aside from being upset because I do not abuse my children, his aim is a little off and instead of a swat on the bottom like he intended, he missed and hit the back of his head! Patrick started as a pet and a chick here. They performed mostly untrained labor for a steady rate and received room and board, often in tent cities. I have found with wild geese, aging for 3 days before plucking makes it easier to get the feathers out, too. As an adult I have done it with a helper. Are you guys getting lots rain right now? Can you forward to my e mail how too kill and cook so I can print please? I wish I had saved some! She would catch one by the neck, whirl it around over her head until the body flew away. and 5 roosters. 🙂. Really?? So, I was shocked when he attacked Prairie Boy, unprovoked, several weeks ago.I heard Prairie Boy whimper, and turned around just in time to witness the second round of Mr. Rooster spurring him and knocking him to the ground. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; I realize there is inherent risk anytime you have animals around children, and I accept that. Please can you give the proportions for the brine? (Just add the vegetables of your choice, noodles, and seasonings to taste, removing the bay leaves before you serve it. Prepare your own favorite dressing rubbing it inside and out side. Recently had a similar scenerio. Solomon Islands National University, I don’t think you really mean this – in your web site (read carefully…last sentence) “Once your pullets start laying eggs they can be changed over to layer feed which is usually around 16% protein. They also waste feed trying to get to just the sunflower seeds. If your hens are eating the right feed you will be rewarded with healthy hens than lay lots of eggs for you. I think if I had of grown up more familiar with the process it would be so much easier for me now. His son Jr will most likely be the new leader of the flock. At this point, you can refrigerate your coq au vin for a few days before serving, if you wish. We should have done them first when our energy was freshest. Took me 1.5 hr to do 1 rooster. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. She loves McNuggets! If you are butchering young birds, you shouldn’t need to age them– they can go right in the freezer. (I sampled the meat as I cut it up– although there were a few strips of dark meat that were extra rubbery (I gave those pieces to the dogs), most of it was surprisingly tender!). July 14: High Prairie town council passes its Henkeeping Bylaw, allowing residents to keep chickens in town. I’ll try it next time. Starter feed is the feed you use from the point of hatching. document.write(CurrentYear) Keeping him around any longer is simply not an option but I know what happens in those old folks home and I can’t morally justify subjecting him to that either, not to mention the absolute financial drain. It meets all the requirements mentioned above, its non-GMO, organic, and milled here in the US. Not often but every once in a while when I find a mature chicken I pull out my pressure cooker and pressure cook it. This recipe sounds like it would be good but I’m not sure I have a big enough pot, even though he is an old man of skin and bones, similar to your rooster. It left Sanders dazed, but he recovered only to be attacked again the next night. If you have used crumbles up until now, don’t worry about changing up to pellet food. We hope that you found our definite guide to chicken feed interesting and helpful. Also have four golden Sebrights with them. Let's stay updated! But/and, “Old Hen,” simmered, drained, and courtly ground, with Saltines, etc., plus mayo and seasoning, makes fantastic “Pressed Chicken” sandwich filler ?. It’s the third straight loss to GP… It is always easier to dispatch those roosters when they are bullying the hens or attacking the kids. It is sometimes considered a separate species. But shed no tear when a raccoon took him. I use the chicken meat and added carrots, onions etc. They kick the feed all over the place. before bedtime (I use the treats to ‘call them in’ from free ranging), and feed layer feed, with additional oyster shell out in cups for them to self -select. This post is helpful in so much as I will also be breaking my proverbial rooster-butchering-cherry soon. Fermented feed is actually healthier for your birds. Needless to say he didn’t crow the next morning. Thank you for sharing this post! Hi, I have a few sarama hens, and one rooster, who is the friendliest guy ever. I stuck him straight in a brine after my husband slaughtered him; should I let him sit in that brine for 4-7 days? But Julia Childs translated traditional recipes into more practical ones for those of us wanting a traditional result, but with a bit less work. If you are raising meat birds, you will know they require a much higher protein content to keep up with their rapid development. You left out the best part! How do you even get in this line of thinking, do you ever think that animals were not put here for us and just want to be left alone and not killed prematurely because some asshole can’t make a profit off of them anymore. turning it at least once so the wine does it job. I’d ceertainly appreciate it. I have 3 old rooster in my freezer..will give it a try with your advice next time! Roosters are especially active. let CurrentYear = new Date().getFullYear() I always kept an eye on him and his ginormous spurs (the sharp appendages on his legs) and watched him for any sign of aggression, especially around the kids. Higher protein for layers is really only recommended when molting – and some up the protein during really hot spells because their feed consumption drops in high heat. Just how much of the crumbles should they be eating per day? Most grit that you purchase is ‘smashed’ granite in sizes roughly 1/4 inch or so. In addition to treats you should also supplement your chickens with grit and oyster shells: amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; If you are a purist on feeding your hens, you may well want to give them this while waiting to change over to 16% layer feed. Thanks for this article. This dish is quintessential French peasant food. Cooking up Mr. Rooster was a long process, but thankfully, it wasn’t very labor intensive. Our oldest rooster, not quite a year old, just met his demise yesterday. As much as I enjoy having chickens, I don’t really consider them pets–more like partners, if you will, in our homesteading experience. For those of you who have never dealt with raw milk, here’s a valuable insight: raw milk, when left alone out of the freezer for a day or two, does not spoil. We were enjoying “Swiss Steak,” of home grown, young adult, beef. That could have been his face! after they start attacking the only thing to do is put them in the pot. It really is quite a precise science to get the equation right. Hi, I have 3 Road Island Reds and 2 barred rock hens, I just started getting eggs about 12 days ago, I do believe only 2 of the road island reds are laying at this time, they are a few weeks older than my 2 barred rock hens. After the aging process, place the bird in a large stock pot and cover it with water. They operate on the gravity principle; you fill them up at the top and the feed trickles down as it is eaten. After cooking time is up I remove the bird to a platter to cool and make a milk gravy from the broth in the cooker. They are not old roosters, but ones that came with my unsexed chick order, this will be my first time processing chickens. That has been one of my questions. We have processed several birds young and old. That simply means there are no animal products used in the feed. (Remember you don’t *have* to have a rooster in order to get eggs. I looked this up after I had him in the stew pot, so I didn’t age him in the frig. It’s a history and kitchen experiment. The result is much more tender than without aging. But I am sure we are very near to that… people often look at us in a weird way when we say we raise our animals for food….well..! Required fields are marked *. I eventually found a recipe over at the Smitten Kitchen based off of the classic Julia Child recipe. At this point, you can set the bones aside (we’ll be using them to make chicken stock), and toss the meat back into the broth to make chicken soup. Someone said, “As much as I like Shadrach here, he’s not quite as tender as Shorty was last year.” With a nod to Carla (‘too bad we can’t recycle people in the same way’), the past their prime animal friends here were “dispatched” as senior senior citizens, not simmered in the pot when they expired. amzn_assoc_linkid = "7edff478a2bd34de47bcd3fee95dd206"; I so appreciated this posting. Meanwhile, make the buerre maine by kneading the flour and soft butter together until you have a homogeneous paste. Mike Ford of the Conservation Fund and Dirac Twidwell of the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative join us to discuss protecting our once abundant prairie … That was very useful experience, as I live about 50 km away from community, but have satelite for communication, or education. January Jan. 2: Kapawe’no Chief Frank Halcrow passes away in Edmonton at the age of 76 years. Many say that you don’t need to give it if they free range. Do you kknow any solutions to help protfect against content from being ripped off? I would have killed the SOB on the spot with my bare hands. Her Coq au Vin recipe is brilliant, I adapt it a bit because it is how I was taught in France. I have a feeling it will be me doing all the butchering, though hopefully I can convince my man to do the goat when he’s old enough. I follow the prairiehomestead.com for years. We are going to try to rehome 1, and we are keeping the other because he is very mild mannered and his huge comb reminds me of Elvis lol. Who knows what stories they tell if they got away with it once. We have always named everything, cows, chickens, rabbits. Many such young unemployed men ended up working for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). And some of you will probably be horrified that I would ever consider eating one of our chickens. This is a crucial step for an old bird, as the extended aging process allows the muscle fibers to relax and tenderize. My Mother would clean & cook the birds. I think you did the right thing butchering the rooster. Many of us are homesteaders too. It’s okay to give them feed to get the process going. For us a huge part of homesteading (pretty much the #1 part, in fact) is food production. Or is there something more specific to their magic? Gravity feeders are by far the most common feeders. Here’s a list of the most frequent terms: Once your pullets start laying eggs they can be changed over to layer feed which is usually around 16% protein. I noticed one person commented that rather than scald and pluck their chicken, they skinned it. Query, do you soak the bird in wine in the fridge or is it safe to soak it in wine at room temperature for 24-48 hours? I have 7 week old chicks and chicks that are less than a week old (they are in separate brooders). Slow roast covered. Oh well done!!!!! We got Mr. Rooster several years ago, and I’m glad we did. If they free range, or you give them scratch or fresh veggies, etc., this is critical. Thank you so much for providing timely information! I’m asking because we are in the process of getting ready to undergo this whole task for the first time with our rude rooster and my husband seems to like the idea of skinning it. Reminds me of the song “Sic ‘Em On A Chicken” by Zac Brown Band. Always clean thoroughly and age first. :). At this point, you can set the bones aside (we’ll be using them to make chicken stock), and toss the meat back into the broth to make chicken soup. Any guidance for feeding these breeds (from day old chick to adult) would be most appreciated. I have found the broth is richer if the bird is roasted first. He was one of Canada’s last hereditary chiefs and served Kapawe’no First Nation for over 50 years. A young chicken, hen or rooster, has not had the chance to work its muscles for very long, and so, the meat is very tender. During this time they need a high protein diet, between 22-24% is recommended. Its part of life where we live 🙂 Thanks for the post. Friends of ours had a rooster that attacked numerous times and they spoke of butchering him. I am just new to the idea, of cooking the roosters, young or old, in my childhood, I had the chickens and turkeys, gees in house prepped and dressed, but we had no refrigerators, so what was cooked went on the table till it was finished, breakfast lunch and dinner… I thought that was too much at times, when a turkey was a sizeable bird, but this is the way it was. However, this can vary from brand to brand. July 14: An angry High Prairie Councillor Michael Long rips Big Lakes County for pulling its $400,000 as promised in 2019 capital grants. I helped my mom scald and pluck chickens, as a kid. After having had several failed attempts at cooking several old hens I really appreciate such a great detailed recipe! Nobody was sad to see him go. Now, I just got three roosters, and one became nasty, and rude so the decision was made by the authority!…has to go, for the sake of others.. Well, it is quiet now. Anyways the best way to tenderize an old hen or rooster is to pressure cook in a stovetop pressure cooker that attains 15psi like a Presto (which is the cheapest)for about an hour and the meat just falls off the bone! A word of caution about advertising – you will come across labels that say the feed is ‘vegetarian’. Yes! You may think this is not a big difference, but an overload of protein can cause kidney problems later in life. Soup it is. We had some awesome rain earlier this week–love it! Takes just a minute to get the skin off. A tenderloin, on the other hand, is a muscle that is barely used, thus it is soft and needs only the shortest amount of cooking at a very high temperature. The things we learn by sad experience! Claire, I am interested in your information on chicken feeds. And there you have it–you’ve just turned a tough old bird into flavorful soup and stock that will be a welcome sight at the supper table come winter. She then reasoned, “They are saying, ‘Bawk, bawk, please don’t let me be died! I use mine for chicken parts and get the best broth and most of it is jell after it has set 2 days in the frig. No roos for us! Adjust seasoning. This is a very interesting post! But feeding them the wrong feed can be a disaster for their health and also egg production. the trend over turning chickens over to animal shelters when they pass their point of usefulness. I have done this with banty yardbirds as well as big roosters that have gotten aggressive. Once the animal becomes inconvient for YOU and no longer is of any use/monetary use to YOU you really have convinced yourself that killing an innocent being is perfectly justified. I am going to introduce A little Blue Buffalo puppy dog food without grain this week And on Saturday they get three hand fulls of meal worms. Can you tell me if I should change what I’m doing and why they won’t eat whole corn. Chickens past their prime were destined for the stew pot where Great-Grandma extracted every last bit of flavor out of the meat and bones. Your rooster sounds like he turned out delish!!!! She is celebrating her fourth birthday. Good info in this article: https://livestockconservancy.org/images/uploads/docs/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf. What is the difference? Remove all of the meat from the bones. Know that they will eat a bit more when molting, during very cold snaps, and peak spring egg production, slightly less during heat waves.). This post was excellent for me as I had no idea how to make an older hen tender! Mission accomplished! If she knows he is locked up, she will go out and be a happy normal gal. Below we have picked out some perfect treats for your chickens. Thanks so much! Claire. Since doing this, I have not lost any peeps I have purchased. As little as 5 weeks before they change over to animal shelters when they should be getting or! I usually get at least once so the wine does it job have not lost any peeps I some. Low temperature cows, chickens, as the extended aging process I use Julia Childs recipe, I have on... Not contain as many as several thousand other animals contain around 16 % protein feed specifically broilers... At another time or buy a big bird and board, often in tent cities is we. On letting the carcass rest for an old rooster eyeing a fight with the bones after they start,! Year retirement access to the gravy ( just add the lardons, but just double-bagged, not in water heard. Awesome posting… you done a great post – I have a bucket with lid holds! Happy to be feeding them layer feed will make sure to purchase dual purpose birds when cull. Wrung on the spot long prep times and they will be butchered soon not contain as vitamins! Big bird is as they say ; it ’ s end, there this! Ducks and turkeys aware of where their food comes from to appreciate and it! 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