Effects of hormone balance on meat???

Posted by: Shepherd Girl

Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/20/11 03:24 PM

We've always avoided butchering cull hens when they are clucky or moulting - I've always assumed that the meat would not be as nice at these times due to different balances of hormones...

Does anyone know if this is correct or not?
Posted by: Maria Ricardo

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/21/11 02:05 PM

I haven't heard of that before.
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/21/11 08:28 PM

They can lose weight during this time, both for moulting and brooding, so there is a potential for the meat to be tougher, although likely leaner.
Posted by: Wieslaw

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/23/11 09:55 AM

I have heard moulting birds can be difficult to pluck, never tried myself though.
Posted by: nzchicke

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/24/11 09:48 PM

Very annoying to pluck birds half way through their feather changes. We only do roosters but I always check their feather growth before doing it! lol
Posted by: CJR

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/25/11 12:52 PM

It's the pin feathers that are tedious to pluck--skinning is the answer, sacrificing the taste of crisp skin--that's okay, if just a bird or two--as for tough or tender--choose the best method of cooking (maybe stewing is best). CJR
Posted by: Shepherd Girl

Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? - 03/29/11 06:26 PM

Culled 4 hens today (a few more to go yet...) and butchered 2 cockerals.

We're not very keen on chicken meat - so we only kept the breast meat and the drumsticks of the 3 younger hens. We didn't even remove the insides - just skinned enough to get those portions of meat off. Very lazy, but it suited us just fine.

Although we did remove the insides of the cockerals and keep the carcass whole, we also skinned them. We don't appreciate the skin much (We've never tried singing the hairs off it!), so skinning them was no loss. It was also a lot quicker - so made the whole session more manageable!

One of the hens was moulting, and one of the others had already moulted. So I guess we might notice if some of the meat is not as nice as the rest - seeing all of the breast meat and drumsticks is being cooked together the same way.

The other hens to be culled will be done another time (once they are not laying!). But this frees up space so that our younger chooks can move out of the housing that they are out-growing!