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chickens past their prime :)
April 4, 2011
8:04 pm
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debbie
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We have 12 Araucana chickens that have all but quit laying.  I really would like to be able to do something with the meat, but have heard that will probably be too tough to cook.  Does anyone have any suggestions? (Not sure where this should have been posted…sorry!)

April 4, 2011
8:52 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Your post is in the old barn so that's the right place for chicken questions debbie… 

Well, you can certainly make broth from them, which is what I'd do.  I love to pressure can or freeze my own low sodium broth, which I do on my own in any case using chicken I get on sale.  If I had  chickens to butcher like you're talking about, I'd do, and did back in the day when I kept hens long enough to do that too. 

Plenty of people will tell you that you could crock pot/stew them, but when I have older hens like that, I just make broth.

They may not be tender enough to eat, but they still provide flavor and protein for broth.

 

Located in N.E. Ohio

April 4, 2011
9:35 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Chicken salad.

April 5, 2011
1:56 am
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Amerayl
Bisbee, AZ
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Coq au Vin! Lol, the french made the dish especially for such chickens.

April 5, 2011
9:33 am
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sparrowgrass
Iron County MO
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I find them too tough to eat.  They do make great stock–for the chicken soup that dreams are made of.  happy-flower(The kind of dreams you have when you have a bad cold and need NEED need some soup.)

I make my stock in the pressure cooker–if you pressure them long enough, the bones get soft and you can use the meat/bones/veggies as a great add-in for dog or cat food.

You can always try one in a long cooking recipe–coq au vin sounds good–and see if your family likes them. 

I just haven't been the same since that house fell on my sister.

April 5, 2011
9:53 am
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hershiesgirl
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Ok I know nothing about this topic, but I need to know!!   Wouldn't pressure cooking them make them less tough, so that at least the meat could be shredded and used for soup, salads, etc??  

April 5, 2011
10:09 am
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Sonia
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I am such a softy, all my animals eventually become my pets.  They all get to head to the retirement home or pasture to live out the rest of their very spoiled lives.  If I did not have a butcher nearby, I would probably have to become a vegetarian…and I love my meat..LOL!!

April 5, 2011
11:27 am
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langela
iowa
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I asked just this question to some Amish friends of mine a couple of weeks ago. They can their chicken. They said it is not tough and tastes wonderful. I plan on doing this with our next batch of “oldies but goodies”.hungry

April 5, 2011
12:32 pm
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mamallama
Spencer, WV
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I'm with you, Sonia.  LOL!  Actually, I am vegetarian most of the time.  I just really don't like meat.  I'll eat it, because my husband really likes meat, and I don't always feel like cooking something different for myself.  I think my chickies will most likely have a little retirement pen going on when they get to that point.

chicken

April 5, 2011
1:00 pm
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sparrowgrass
Iron County MO
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Hershiesgirl, your mileage may varyhappy-flowerbut I found that by the time they were pressure cooked to tenderness, all the flavor was leached out into the stock. 

I just haven't been the same since that house fell on my sister.

April 5, 2011
4:56 pm
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Flatlander
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I have no experience with your “breed” of chickens, but I do know that the Leghorn can be very tough, they are better for broth and to can.

The ISA brown are “softer and meatier” and after their retirement perfectly for whatever you want to use them.

These are the only 2 kinds I have and have experience with.

April 5, 2011
6:15 pm
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Chickenlady62
Upstate, New York
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my girls are pets and never will be eaten. heart They will be placed in the “burial spot ” in my back yard with my first dog. It may seem like a waste of meat to some , but then, I would never eat my dog either. Everyone feels differently on this topic and to each their own. My meat birds that I raise are a whole 'nother story hungry they are a BIG part of why I bought a pressure canner.

 

TinaH

TinaH

April 5, 2011
7:55 pm
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miki
Mississipi
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April 3, 2011
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When we get to MS my BIL wants to get chickens and I am not sure how I will feel about that either.  Like you said about the dog.  When I was a child, I was not concerned with calves I raised being butchered or chickens either.  Not as young as I was though.  I guess if times are very tough, I might have to be too.  I do have the pressure canner!

Where are we going and why are we in a handbasket?

April 5, 2011
9:09 pm
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MaryB
WV
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mamallama said:

I'm with you, Sonia.  LOL!  Actually, I am vegetarian most of the time.  I just really don't like meat.  I'll eat it, because my husband really likes meat, and I don't always feel like cooking something different for myself.  I think my chickies will most likely have a little retirement pen going on when they get to that point.

chicken

Sonia said:

I am such a softy, all my animals eventually become my pets.  They all get to head to the retirement home or pasture to live out the rest of their very spoiled lives.  If I did not have a butcher nearby, I would probably have to become a vegetarian…and I love my meat..LOL!!

I knew I loved you guys!  You are women after my own heart!  hug

April 6, 2011
4:19 am
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MaryB
WV
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How long do chickens live ?  How old are they when they quit laying?

April 6, 2011
7:55 am
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mamallama
Spencer, WV
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Hehee!  Yeah, I'm a softie.

Chickens live for 8-10 years and typically lay steadily for 5-7 years.  They don't just stop laying eggs at any given point, but they lay fewer and fewer as they get older.  

 

chicken

April 6, 2011
8:59 am
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MaryB
WV
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chicken Oh I see.  Thank you mamallama!   I never thought about how long they live or lay.   See, I learned something new around here, again!  happy-flower

April 6, 2011
10:44 am
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NorthCountryGirl
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I don't feel so bad.  I often wondered what I will do when the girls get too old to lay. I was sure I could raise them without getting tooo close to them, but that was not the case. I'm a sucker for a cute beak!! AND, the little buggers know it. …Although, there are a few I could easily imagine simmering in a stew pot, but the marshmallow in me will no doubt say “NO” when the time comes.  happy-flower

April 6, 2011
11:29 am
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MaryB
WV
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That’s why I’m a want to be farmer. My husband tells me we can send them out to butcher, but I know I couldn’t do it. I do know it is a needed job

.

April 6, 2011
11:53 am
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hershiesgirl
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I used to think that I would be too big a baby, too. But then I read a really good article on how meloncholy it is to butcher, but that it is done with respect for the animal providing for the farmer, in return for the farmer providing a good life for the animal.

Still don't know how I will take it when the time comes…but as a friend said that just moved to a farm a couple of years ago….”I can't help butcher, I can't….but if you bring me back something that looks just like store bought, I can cook it.”  That may end up being our solution also.  :)

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