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#95272 - 03/20/11 03:24 PM Effects of hormone balance on meat???
Shepherd Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 131
Loc: New Zealand
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?

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#95294 - 03/21/11 02:05 PM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: Shepherd Girl]
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
I haven't heard of that before.

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#95303 - 03/21/11 08:28 PM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: Maria Ricardo]
Foehn Online   content
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
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.

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#95323 - 03/23/11 09:55 AM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: Foehn]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
I have heard moulting birds can be difficult to pluck, never tried myself though.

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#95350 - 03/24/11 09:48 PM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: Wieslaw]
nzchicke Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 75
Loc: South Island NZ
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

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#95359 - 03/25/11 12:52 PM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: nzchicke]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
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

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#95445 - 03/29/11 06:26 PM Re: Effects of hormone balance on meat??? [Re: CJR]
Shepherd Girl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 131
Loc: New Zealand
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!

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