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Question For AFTER Processing.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have 50 meat chickens that will be processed next Thursday.  My question is: Where do I go from here????  I read they need to be kept cool for 2-3 days and let rig pass.  I don't have the fridge space, so can i just pack them in ice water (coolers) for 2-3 days before packaging?  Will all of the water mess them up?  My issue is fridge space. 


Also, I have 1 that hasn't been walking much in the last week.  I don't think he's sick as he is still eating and drinking.  I have him isolated.  Do you think he's safe to butcher?

post #2 of 9

Keeping them on ice is fine. I would rinse and start fresh each day.  Meat birds are prone to leg problems, so I would guess he is fine and safe to eat. Good luck. Home grown chicken is the best!
Nancy

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Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyP 

Keeping them on ice is fine. I would rinse and start fresh each day.  Meat birds are prone to leg problems, so I would guess he is fine and safe to eat. Good luck. Home grown chicken is the best!
Nancy


Double ditto!  DON'T forget to change the water/add more ice as needed!  I did that last spring - forgot to put ice back in one out of 4 coolers full of turkey we had processed after draining off the pink water that night and OMG was it bad by the time I figured it out the next afternoon!  I was absolutely sick over loosing 2 turkeys too...just don't forget ice even melts when it's cool! The little bit left in there was not enough to keep those birds "fresh" at all.

As for the bird...well...it could just be leg issues - let your senses be your judge.  If alive there seems nothing infectious going on, go ahead and process that one now and then reinspect.  As long as the meat looks, smells, and lastly tastes as it should, I would say no worries.  But if you start plucking and notice crazy things going on, or go to gut and notice crazy things...sacrifice it to the buzzards and be done with it.

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"Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint." - Mark Twain

Check out my goats and other stuff at http://www.nadalottaranch.com
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post #4 of 9

If you don't have fridge space, it is OK to bag them up and put them in the freezer.  Then take them out a couple of days before you use them and let them thaw and rest in the fridge one at a time.

I've tested that on 20 ducks when the fridge they were resting in froze them all.  So, into the freezer they went and I take them out a few days early and rest them in the fridge and they are perfect and tender.

I don't like the idea of leaving them soaking in water for several days.  I'm afraid you'll soak all the flavor out of them.

You only have to rest a bird until the rigor passes.  If you can easily wriggle the legs and wings, then they have rested enough.  It should be in less than 1 day.  A 3 day rest isn't necessary.

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Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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post #5 of 9

LOL - you're right, a 3 day rest isn't crucial - not for the bird...but for ME it is sometimes depending on how many we did that day!  smile  I reach a point where I can leave 'em on ice for a day or 2 and I do - it's the procrastinators code you know smile

"Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint." - Mark Twain

Check out my goats and other stuff at http://www.nadalottaranch.com
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"Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint." - Mark Twain

Check out my goats and other stuff at http://www.nadalottaranch.com
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Blues 

If you don't have fridge space, it is OK to bag them up and put them in the freezer.  Then take them out a couple of days before you use them and let them thaw and rest in the fridge one at a time.


This - no issue at all with freezing ASAP and then thawing and letting it get out of rigor and rest if you wish.

How to process chickens at home! A step by step pictorial on processing chickens at home without lots of tools.

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How to process chickens at home! A step by step pictorial on processing chickens at home without lots of tools.

~No one ever said you had to be perfect to be happy. ~

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post #7 of 9

Ours are kept in ice water until the day after processing, then we package them and either put them back on ice (so we can take them to the drop-off spot), or they go in our fridge or freezer.  Sometimes we package the night of processing, but it is usually the day after.

Heather, full-time farmer and homeschooling Mom to two boys, four dogs, 20 layers, and 17 guineas. We recently relocated to Virginia and are anxious to start our farm back up.
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Heather, full-time farmer and homeschooling Mom to two boys, four dogs, 20 layers, and 17 guineas. We recently relocated to Virginia and are anxious to start our farm back up.
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post #8 of 9

i plugged my freezer in the day we processed.  It took them that long to freeze solid anyways.

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chickens, ducks,, seasonal cornish X, horses,  sheep, a milk cow, asnd a milk goat, dogs,  cats, and eggs in the 'bator.. And the greatest family in the world!
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post #9 of 9

I also let them sit in iced up big coolers rinsed daily, but I also add the proper amount of salt to the water as to brine them for enhanced flavor, works great and are ready for the freezer a day sooner.

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As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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