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wellington womble

Marans for the pot

I have five Marans' which I impulse bought at auction. I think they are about fourteen weeks old now, and at least one is crowing (and bothering the older hens, with mixed success) They are mostly destined for the pot, but they don't look anywhere near ready for it. How long can I leave them without them getting tough? They are all destined for roasting or chicken nuggets. I never slow cook chicken, so I don't want them to get tough.

I think they are Cuckoo Marans. They were actually labelled Morans, so I'm guessing. I've plenty of space, and no problems feeding them so I don't mind if they hang around for awhile. They don't seem to be fighting just yet, although I'm sure at least two are boys. They free range over a couple of acres.

Do people confine them for finishing? Or feed them special diets? They get supermixed corn ad lib (mainly wheat, with cracked maize, peas, oystershell, soya oil and grit) occasional sunflower seeds, mealworms, table scraps and what they can forage. I assume they forage a lot, because they don't eat much corn.
dpack

regarding tough even old birds will roast ok if you give em a boiling first to soften em up .

for a bird that would take 2 hrs roasting( by weight if a young one) about an hour boiling then give it the 2 hrs roast would be about right

or cook it a bit cooler and slower in a chook roaster,bag,foil or whatever and crisp it up for the last 20 mins

or poke a few holes in it and marinade it for a few days before roasting

grannie often cooked birds far older than the commercial meat birds by the simple method of a cooler oven and more time on an open roasting tray
Chez

I take them to about six months and I feed growers pellets. They are confined to a pen. If you have more than a couple they will start to be a nuisance to the hens after about sixteen weeks. If you pen them, do it away from the hens so they don't get frustrated.

The 'Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps' book says that feed to meat conversation ratio becomes uneconomic after sixteen weeks; but they are pretty scrawny at that age. They *will* be tougher than supermarket meat if you take them on to six months, just because supermarket meat is so rubbish.
wellington womble

I'm not expecting supermarket-soft (I sound like an ad for loo paper!) and I don't mind about feed costs. Even when I had the big flock, they got through less feed than I spend on eggs, so I'm breaking even with the poultry as long as a few are in lay. The definitely need to be tender enough to make nuggets with, and I'll share a couple which will probably be roasted or barbecued.

I'll see how they look in a few weeks. I was vaguely thinking of 20 weeks, but you read alsorts about when to take them to. There are two crowing now. The aren't bothering the ladies excessively, but they are squaring up a bit!
dpack

be a little careful around frustrated or rising roosters ,iirc bodger had a nasty surprise from one of his and i ended up in a trench fight with one of nat's which was one of my most scarey critter encounters .
savage roosters can be far worse than big fierce dogs,scared cattle,angry sheep,huge hungry snakes etc etc Wink
Woo

I have had success with leaving the meat in the fridge for a few days before trying to cook it. it gave the rigor mortis time to depart. I had many grumbles about the meat being tough from last years boys.
(but my oh could grumble for England, so pinch of salt)
they looked too scrawny at 16 weeks. but the noise at 5 am set me straight before too much later.
Chez

My marans cockbird has now bitten all the adults involved in his care and chased the helpxer around the garden. We will be having chicken pie later thisweek , whether or not we boil him first.
Ty Gwyn

Best to Maran Ate him.
dpack

Best to Maran Ate him.


Laughing Laughing Laughing
Chez

Best to Maran Ate him.


Laughing
dpack

based on my experience probably best to shoot him first. Chez

We're having him for tea tonight. In a pie. He's been hanging outside the bathroom window on a hanging basket bracket all day. wellington womble

Mr Marans didn't end up going until he was well over six months, and he didn't like milk, or bread much. Or sunflower seeds. So he got finished on mixed corn. I penned him in the eglu with his mate, and they were companiable enough.

He was quite small as I'd expected, only 1200g, but there was enough meat on him for four moderate appetites when we roasted him this afternoon. He wasn't at all tough, very juicy with barely any fat on him. As good as the organic farm shop chicken I usually buy, which is the best I've known. A success for us. Even though he was a lot older than I'd planned and wouldn't eat his special food.
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