Can I eat a bird that died on it's own?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KathyK, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. KathyK

    KathyK Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Liberty Hill, TX
    Cornish X are 6 weeks old today. Planning on processing this weekend. One died on it's own a few days ago. It couldn't have been dead for more than an hour. It didn't bleed very well, but I processed it anyway. The meat is very dark red. Is this safe to eat? Is this blood that didn't drain off?

    One died yesterday. I found it and it was still warm, bled it out and butchered it. The meat is normal colored on this one. I feel okay eating this bird, but wonder about the other one.

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I wouldn't eat the one that died on it's own unless I knew what the cause was.
  3. KathyK

    KathyK Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Liberty Hill, TX
    I'm pretty sure they both had heart failure. One had fluid buildup and the second one just stopped eating that morning and flipped on it's back that afternoon.
  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    My guess would be that the first one is darker because the blood didn't drain out of the meat properly. But that is just my opinion. I also think that it will taste strong and gamey.
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Wouldn't recommend it, as the bacteria in the GI tract start multiplying immediately and can spread into the blood and tissues surrounding the abdomen. Especially if you don't know for sure what the cause of death was. Not bleeding the carcass immediately will also affect the taste negatively. I might be tempted to cook it up and feed it to my dogs though.
  6. annageckos

    annageckos Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    SE PA / NJ
    If you are going to eat it I would soak them in salt water, especially the first one. It will help to get the blood out. Or if you have dogs or cats you can feed it to them. I feed my pets raw only. I, personally would probably eat them. Depending on how they died, what they look like and how they smell.

    Edit to add:

    When hunters take ducks and other fowl (and other animals) they do not always get to gut them right away. Often they are not bled out. Or gutted til hours later. Some are gut shot too. Yet they still eat these birds without a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  7. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Quote:Yeah - the above is true - husband has brought home things like quail, and THEN gutted all at one time at the house hours later - we have never had any issues. I would say, since you are FAIRLY positive how it died...maybe do a good salt water soak to get as much of the blood out as possible, cook it up, and tread with caution - take a nibble, just a nibble of the finished meat - if it tastes and smells fine, you are good to go. If the fact that you didn't get it all the way bled out makes it too gamey for you, have a back up plan for dinner, like mac-n-cheese [​IMG]

    We had a turkey we brought home one time that had a heart attack as we were processing it's sidekick - it was hot, and stressed, and took us about 45 minutes to get to it - tasted just fine once we got it cooked though. Never could tell one from the other in the freezer or on the table [​IMG]

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