Little Cornish Hens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We're going to butcher little cornish hens Sat. Haven't dones these before, only big chickens. We would appreciate any advice, differences, or recipes. Thanks.

-- Cindy (, April 12, 2000


You would dress them out like the big ones, being careful not to dip them in the hot hot water as long,keep them whole unless you like tiny fried chicken. My mother used to dress out banty chickens and fry up two or three at a time. Baking them would be fast and easy just rememer they will cook faster.

-- Karen Mauk (, April 12, 2000.

Karen makes sense to me. I have found that a water temp of 145 to 150 works best for me, but then I've always killed them at 6 (3 1/2 lbs) on up to 12 or 14 weeks (7 - 9 lbs) Are you going for the truly little 1 1/2 pounders? How old are they? Please share your experience with us when you've done it! Good luck!

-- Brad (, April 13, 2000.

Thanks for the advice. We butchered the little chickies this morning. When we butcher we have a "butchering" like a barn raising without the barn. Friends come over to help and we have good food and talk alot, and have lots of fun. (Tell that to a city person) One of our friends usually brings her 85 year old mother. She's a character and can work rings around most people(but she couldn't come this time). We did take you advice and were careful about the water temp. The chickies were 7 weeks old and probably 1 1/2-2#. They are easy to butcher and having smaller hands is helpful. We didn't feed them the night before, that's always helpful. We grilled them, they taste fine, but I'm don't think they're worth the money and time unless you want them for a special occasion. They have BIG gizzards for such little bodies. In two weeks we do the big CornishX. Would like to do them sooner, but It's not gonna happen. There's something really satisfying about raising your own food. Cindy

-- Cindy (, April 15, 2000.

Can I come next time? Or would you like to come here for my next time? You've got a great system! Most of my neighbors and friends are willing to pay $2.50 PER BIRD to have the local butcher shop do them. (That is "do" as in taking them from squawking to frozen. Can't be too careful around here!). Anyway, Maggie does a lot of the self-sufficient stuff, but butchering "ain't one of 'em!" I think I may have someone to help this year, since I have offered to help them with their few and teach them how. Anyway, what kind of birds were these? Certainly weren't Cornish X, since those dress 3 1/2 to 4 at 6 weeks by my experience. I have ordered the super cheapie, 15 for $4, heavy breed cockerels this year along with my meat birds. I figure they may be less expensive for a small bird, but this is an experiment. Doesn't matter if you buy cheap chicks - question is, "How much feed did you pour into that sucker to get something on the table?" So what did you do? My guess is I'm better off with the more expensive Cornish X Rock chicks, since they're more feed efficient. Hey guys, and I mean everybody here, what are your experiences? GL to all!

-- Brad (, April 17, 2000.

Come on down and help, the Sassafras Festival is the 29th. They're Cornish Game Birds-We got the "b-b-q" special from McMurray. They're the kind you put on a rotissore(sp)'cept we don't have one. We also have the big Cornish X. Good friedand stir-fried. We'll butcher them this weekend or next or both. We got them the same time as the little ones. To butcher both, we put a broom handle against their necks against the ground, step on the handle and pull. It sound awful, but it's quick and easy. My husband does most of the killing, dunking, and singeing. I and whoever's here does the rest. I don't like scraping them after they've been signed And they really do run around like a chicken with it's head chopped off. We gave them the meat maker( I know, more chemicals) and broiler booster for a while. Still better than store bought. If they get older than 10 weeks, they get tougher. When we first started butchering it took me forever to do one, Now I can get one done in around 10 min. or less. It ain't for everyone, but it's part of the process.

-- Cindy (, April 18, 2000.

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