Can You Eat Cockerels? What Age? – MY EXPERIENCE!

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Yes! A cockerel is a young rooster that is matured enough to be eaten, usually 6-7 weeks old. A rooster meat is safe to eat too as far as it is healthy and fed well.

Can You Eat A Rooster?

Absolutely! Roosters meat taste better than hen and are safe to eat. We recommend cooking your male chicken using low and slow, moist cooking to get the best of it.

Why do People Not Eat Roosters?

A lot of people may not want to eat roosters, or male chickens for some reasons.

One of which is that people don’t trust the processed rooster meat they sell at the supermarket.

The second reason is that people may prefer what is more available; which is female chickens. Flocks barely need more than 1 rooster so people prefer not to kill the cockerel because if they do, who will protect the flock?

I can relate with this because I own 10 chickens in my yard and only have 1 rooster (if any) and that rooster will last for plenty of years.

A lot of people never have the urge or need to eat roosters, since they don’t have one!

Why don’t many small chicken flocks have a rooster? Hens will lay eggs without a rooster. The rooster is only needed for fertile/hatching eggs. For eating eggs, a flock of hens only is fine.

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Does Rooster Meat Taste Different?

Rooster meat taste different than broiler meat that you commonly eat.

A male cockerel meat is stringier and flavorable than stewing hen (laying hens used for meat/broth) then the rooster is just a bit stronger (if it is older).

It tastes similar to stewing hens than it is to broilers!

Normally, an older rooster will have a stronger flavor than a younger rooster.

How to Cook the Rooster So You’ll Like It

The best way to prepare your rooster is:

  • Use moist heat, do not roast
  • Cook low and slow
  • Usually the meat is pieced up or shredded in a dish, like with rice and vegetables

This recipe is great! You can even add in traditional cooks by spicing it up with vegetables and some spices!

Americans, prefer to prepare fried or roasted chicken, and have side dishes to round out the meal.

If you want to eat more “American style” chicken, use a broiler.

You can use a rooster to cook rough meat and you won’t be disappointed.

So, if you’re interested in more of a deeply flavored, one dish style meal use a laying hens or a rooster.

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can you eat cockerel

Do People Eat Rooster Meat?

Yes, people can safely eat a healthy rooster meat. They’re commonly used for BBQ, dinner, thanksgiving, parties, etc.

A rooster is a male chicken, and one half of the Cornish-Rock cross chickens commercially raised for meat (broilers) in this country are males.

Commercial chickens are typically slaughtered at 6-7 weeks before they are sexually mature. At this age, they are called pullets and cockerels instead of roosters (and hens) and the only difference is that the males grows slightly faster.

When it comes to commercially raising chickens, especially for eggs (layers) most of the males are typically killed the day they hatch. The only actual roosters in commercial operations are breeders that are culled when they age.

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What Cultures Eat Roosters?

Some cultures that eat rooster include:

  • Asian
  • Indian
  • African
  • Indian
  • Mexicans

Does Rooster Taste Like Chicken?

Yes, they do. Rooster meat is leaner, tougher, and stronger tasting than commercial chicken.

Dressed, they look like the rubber chicken of vaudeville days. While I occasionally sell or gift one, I usually make cat food with my old roosters and hens.

Do We Eat Roosters in America

Do People eat Capon Meat?

A capon meat that is surgically castrated is safe to eat, while the chemically castrated ones aren’t.

The capon is a castrated male chicken.

They grow larger than either chickens or rooster and have more body fat.

Now that most chickens are harvested after about six weeks, capons have become a rarity.

Do Commercial Farmers raise Roosters?

No, commercial farmers do not raise roosters. It rarely ever happens, and  most poultry farmers raise very few roosters.

Baby chicks are sexed shortly after hatching; almost all male chicks are culled, typically by maceration in a grinder. They don’t get fast enough and don’t lay eggs plus they consume more.

A few are allowed to grow up to produce genetically desirable sperm, and the rest are mulch.

Do We Eat Roosters in America?

Yes, but roosters aren’t common in America because commercial farmers hardly keep them since they aren’t less economical to raise than hens. Backyard farmers keep a few though.

Rooster Meat Benefits

It’s rich in

  • fat-soluble
  • vitamins B
  • complete protein, heme iron,
  • selenium,
  • Vitamin B12, and more.

Can You eat a Hen?

You can eat laying hens or non-laying ones as far as they are either and culled humanely.

Do We eat Male Or Female Chickens?

Yes, We can eat male (cockerels, roosters) or female chickens (pullets, or hens). Male rooster meats taste stringier, leaner and yummier though.

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What Age Can You Eat A Rooster?

I recommend butchering cockerels about 18-22 weeks old, though sometimes I go a month or more than that.

When cooking male roosters, I coat them in oregano, basil, and sometimes a bit of parsley, then put them in a baking dish with some tablespoons of water.

The baking dish is sealed so that no moisture is able to escape. I typically bake them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 hours, but the older ones may be cooked for 3-1/2 hours. I’ve cooked very old hens and roosters using this method but setting the over on 240 and cooking them for an extra hour or so.

Can You Eat Male Chickens?

Male chicken meat is 100% safe and healthy to eat. It has a fuller, richer, and yummier taste than hens.

The older a chicken gets, the better flavor it has. The texture they have too is great! This is more true in males than females. However, that does not mean the meat from an old bird has to be tough. It all depends on what style you cook it with.

On tender v.s. tough, if you are used to supermarket chicken, homegrown birds may seem tough. To me, homegrown birds under 6 months are not tough, they are firm. Like the difference between filet mignon and a good T-bone. I rest my birds until the leg moves without moving the whole bird – it usually takes between 3 and 5 days to loosen up.

Coq au Vin is a traditional French method of cooking an old rooster. That meat is quite tender and delicious. The secret to cooking an older bird is to cook it slowly and with moisture. The older the bid the slower you cook it and always with moisture. So why was the meat tough on yours? Mainly the way you cooked it.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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