Can/Should I eat this chicken?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A sad day here in the Colorado mountains. I lost one of my 2 Black Jersey Giants (about 5 1/2 months old) to a bob cat this afternoon. My mom was outside doing some yard work and the chickens were free ranging and she heard a loud racket and saw the bob cat with the chicken in it's jaws. She screamed and the bob cat dropped the chicken and ran off.

    I ran out but poor Tyra was dead. I decided to butcher her, because I'm considering getting some meat birds next year and thought I should have an idea of what I'm in for and discover whether I have the "stuff" to do the deed.

    I bled her out pretty quickly, after determining that she was indeed dead, but then had to get water boiling for the scalding process and read through some on-line information and watch a Youtube video. It took me at least an hour, probably closer to two to go from dead chicken to scalded, plucked, gutted, rinsed and into the ice-bath chicken. Along the way, I discovered two pretty good gashes, one high up on her back near the base of her neck and a bite mark on her thigh.

    I've learned some lessons about butchering, which wasn't so bad other than the fact that I was A) sad, because I'd raised Tyra for eggs and become quite fond of her and B) I was learning on the fly and didn't have everything set up properly in advance.

    But my real question is whether you think that this chicken is OK to eat. I'm satisfied with the final job I did, but wonder whether the time I took, and the fact that she was killed by a bob cat, rather than slaughtered by me will make the chicken dangerous to us.

    What do you think?
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I think it will be safe. The cooking process should kill any germs that the scalding might not have from the bobcat. Probably, since it was already dead, it didn't bleed out super good but a soaking in salt water and a 3 day resting period in the fridge should solve that problem.
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of blood, but since I've never done this before I have nothing to compare it too. Please tell me what/how the soaking in salt water works. Right now the chicken is still in an ice-water bath in my kitchen and I'm not sure what to do now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    The salt in the water helps draw the blood out of the meat. It also, to a lesser degree, tenderizes it. Put it in some salted water in the fridge for 24 hours, then in just water in the fridge for 2 more days. This way, rigor mortis will go away and you'll be left with the most tender meat you can get from that bird. Not saying it will fall off the bone, just that this will give you a better chance at tenderness.

    You can leave it in the same salted water the whole 3 days but it might end up tasting kinda salty.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  5. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless it's 100 degrees out, or you smeared feces on the plucked carcass, or rolled it on the ground, the two hours it took to get the bird on ice are no big deal. It's still fresh, so it's not the same as having cooked food sit on your counter for over an hour.

    As always, cook well and don't allow the uncooked carcass to sit too long before freezing or cooking, and don't allow the cooked carcass to sit around as leftovers for days (or at room temperature for over an hour.)

    Lastly, sorry to talk about poor Tyra as a carcass. You're a good and brave person for allowing her to teach you and provide you food rather than go to waste. I hope you don't lose any more birds to bobcats, but do be careful. Predators need to eat too, and they don't understand 'hands off.'
     
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for the kind words. She was so pretty and glossy feathered it seemed like a horrible shame to turn this magnificent bird into a scrawny carcass, but I'm actually proud of myself for keeping a level head and doing what needed to be done.

    I figure that my remaining 7 pullets won't be free ranging again for quite a while, which is a bummer because they really love it. The bob cat came back later during the afternoon and was eyeing the chickens in their pen and we chased it off. I've lived here for 12 years and haven't seen one and now twice in a day (and in broad daylight). I figure that once they are aware that there is and easy lunch available, I'll need to be ultra-cautious.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Quote:this

    sorry you lost your hen, good on you for taking advantage of the situation. This will make next time with the meaties so much easier.
     
  8. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hat is off to you. You have good reason to be proud of yourself. You turned a tragedy into a learning experience in that 1. you learned how to dress out a chicken 2. you provided food for your family 3. you rolled with the punches. How easy it would have been to hysterically cry, blame the bobcat, blame the chicken, blame yourself and concentrate on feeling sorry for yourself. Stand up and take your bows. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Way to go!!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks. Hours later I'm feeling the sorrow over the lost pullet and delayed shock over my 80 year-old mother chasing off a bob cat. That's somewhat typical of other high stress situations in my life. I usually keep a pretty level head, deal with the emergency and then hours later at bed time, find I can't sleep.

    While butchering a pullet who came running when she was called was probably harder than butchering a bunch of chickens that I purchased intentionally for that purpose, the fact is, I didn't have to do the hardest part, which was the actual killing of the chicken...she was already dead, so how I just had to make the best of a bad situation.
     
  10. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry about your loss. To protect your chickens from the bobcat, put up an electric fence if you can. Put it at least 3' away from your coop and run, have at least 2 strands, 3 are better. Put the 1st one about 8-10" off the ground, the next one about a foot higher, and the top one another foot higher. Cats can jump a 6' fence without problem, but if it doesn't know the electric fence is there, it will hit that 1st, it won't see the electric fence as something to jump, and will train the cat to stay away from your coop. You will have to watch the chickens when they free range, as they will still be fair game when out of the coop.
     

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