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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:02 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Just thought I'd share, I slaughtered and processed 3 of my reject Araucana cockerels today. It was interesting as I'd never done it before, but it was pretty straight forward. The worst part was trying to catch them and then the plucking, lol, it was sooo time consuming. I am definitely going to make myself a chicken plucker before I do it again!

They were only 14 weeks old but they had more weight to them than I was expecting, and I really didn't think there'd be much meat at all. While one won't feed the family as a roast, if I do two of them or use them as a base for a soup I think they'll be good!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:53 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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i'm impressed.

Waiting to hear feedback on Araucana on the table.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:51 pm 
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Well done. A good job of plucking them too! If you withhold food and confine them to a small cage the night before the next processing day you'll cut out the hassle of catching them & have a cleaner intestines in the case of accidents. :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:33 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I think I'll roast two of them up for dinner tomorrow, that way there should be enough to feed everyone.

I definitely need to do that next time Cackles, I didn't even think of it until after I had slaughtered them, lol.

What has been very interesting to see is firstly, the size of the cockerels testicles, one bird seems to have had huge ones compared to the other two cockerels. I didn't get a photo of any of the third birds, but his were only a little bit bigger than the tiny ones in the photo. The big one was about an inch long if not a bit more (well both of them were).

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The second thing is how the pecking order has changed since I removed the three cockerels. Two of the 6 I have left seem to be fighting far more than they used to. The Dorking cockerel I have was tormenting the remaining Araucana cockerel. I just hope that there is no more drama over night tonight, I'll be sending the Araucana cockerel to live with a friend tomorrow morning so fingers crossed he is left alone. :pray


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:05 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Well done for processing your cockerels. I hope you enjoy them! I found araucana a little 'gamey' for me (even when young), but that is just personal taste

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:44 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Well done Azira. They look great. I have 7 cockerel's in a pen that will be processed eventually.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:35 am 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks all. :)

I think I'll do a simple Indonesian baked lemon chicken with them, as it's a recipe I've been meaning to try for ages and it should work. If they are a bit gamey as you say Nelly, hopefully the lemon will help lift it a bit.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:32 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I skin all of mine, so much quicker and cleaner than hand plucking, the end bird also suits our cooking styles (Perfect for soups, curries, casserole type dishes) better as well, as no skin also removes nearly all the fat.

For roasting we spray with oil, to start and again half way through the cooking time, yummy and moist, being a smaller bird only takes about 35-45 minutes on 190C fan forced oven




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Azira wrote:
What has been very interesting to see is firstly, the size of the cockerels testicles, one bird seems to have had huge ones compared to the other two cockerels. I didn't get a photo of any of the third birds, but his were only a little bit bigger than the tiny ones in the photo. The big one was about an inch long if not a bit more (well both of them were).



The second thing is how the pecking order has changed since I removed the three cockerels. Two of the 6 I have left seem to be fighting far more than they used to. The Dorking cockerel I have was tormenting the remaining Araucana cockerel. I just hope that there is no more drama over night tonight, I'll be sending the Araucana cockerel to live with a friend tomorrow morning so fingers crossed he is left alone. :pray


The testes are bigger in the more sexually mature male.

Flock dynamics, we had 4 (silver laced Wyandottes, Orpingtons) that were crowing so they had to go and also culled 3 others that had twisted toes (No good for exhibition purposes), the next morning after removal of the crowers there were 3 more crowing, obviously they were slightly down the order so were being quiet for fear of getting beaten up, it all changed in 10 hours!

Next round for processing will be tomorrow night, at least another 6 to go, still leaves about 30 more though!




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I think I might skin some next time, especially if I'm going to brine any if they are older. It will definitely make the process easier, although I do like a bit of chicken skin so I think I'll have to make the plucker at some point.

Watching the flock dynamics change as they have matured and now since removing some has been really interesting. My remaining Araucana has now gone to a friends house for a while and he's totally happy out there. It's been interesting seeing how little the big Light Sussex actually partakes in the squabbles. It's like he knows he's top of the roost so doesn't need to exert himself. He'll just stroll past two who are having a duel and they'll immediately stop and run off, lol.

You're going to have a freezer full of chicken to last a while, I've only got 3-4 left to cull.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:11 pm 
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Gallant Game
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The verdict after cooking tonight's birds. Not too bad! A definite difference in the leg meat compared to supermarket chicken, gamey but not overpoweringly so. The breast was really tender and juicy.

My eldest daughter felt the leg meat was a bit strong for her tastes, but my youngest devoured it. There was more meat on them than I was expecting, I didn't really need to cook both birds. We all enjoyed it, the only downside was I put too much of the paste I made up to flavour them with and they didn't get all caramelised and delicious on the outside. :doh But the bits that did were tasty.

I have been advised that the Dorking rooster that was going to go to a friend for breeding won't be used now so I think he'll be next on the dinner plate, then at some point the Light Sussex. It will be interesting to see how they compare to each other. I might have to throw a big chicken cook off and have everyone over to try them out, lol.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Gallant Game
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So my youngest daughter decided to write about the experience yesterday in class, the topic of the writing session was 'Our favourite memories' ...!!

Lol, oh dear. :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Keep that for a significant occasion.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:14 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Oh dear. That's a classic !


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:44 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Ahh children.


Master 13 and Miss 9 will help with various bits, Master 11 is happy to eat them.




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