chicken liver colors


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 10, 2010
NW Michigan
Sorry if this has been covered before but can't find the topic at the moment. Today we butchered some elderly roosters and hens and younger hens too. Half the livers were yellow tinged, the rest were normal liver color. I separated these two colors as I'm not sure the yellow ones are healthy. I wasn't present and dh (who was helping) believes that not all the odd colored ones were from the older chickens. What would cause the yellow tinge and would these be safe for pet food?
Honestly, I have butchered thousands of birds and still can't figure out this question. I've never really tried to research it though..... however my theory is the liver turns that lighter color due to sitting dead too long. Like if you get behind on eviscerating the last birds will have it..... My second theory is too hot of a scald.....

But again.... I really don't have a clue. But would love to find out as well.
Yellow is OK, just a fattier liver. Prefered by some because it is sweeter, less bitter than the red ones. Jacques Pepin prefers them.

Green not so good. Contaminated by the bile from the gallbladder

Greenish Black is OK, in small quantities- just spleen

Imp- suddenly not so hungry
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I purchased some that were Perdue brand, and there were 4-5 livers like that, I threw them out, not knowing.
I would really like to know this one.
I didn't realize there would be this much interest in the topic but I'm even more curious as to what others have to say. And thanks for the info., Imp,....I think. Certainly glad that the two colors are frozen in separate packages. DH did the killing, scalding, and ran the super-duper-Whiz-Bang-chicken-plucker! Then brother-in-law gutted them so it was an efficient assembly line. The livers as pulled out of the body cavity were that odd yellow color, not due to delay, scalding etc. This is the third butchering this summer, and this is the first time I've noticed this.
I have butchered hundreds of chickens on my farm. The livers usually have 3 colors. One third will be red. One third will be tan. And on third will be green. My research indicates that the reddish-purple color of a healthy liver comes from iodine. Young chickens will usually have a dark reddish-purple liver that is tough as nails, you can't cut it. Since our soil has no iodine left, the grain we feed our livestock has no iodine in it. As chickens or any mammal ages, they run out of iodine and the liver becomes a tan color. This tan liver is often so fragile it will break apart in your hands. Since iodine is a disinfectant and the tan liver has no iodine to kill bacteria, the tan livers would have eventually filled with bacteria. The green colored livers are so sick the bile has become infected and the liver is full of green infected bile. People who eat these chickens will acquire the same results and become iodine deficient. They will have all kinds of diseases like insomnia, acid-reflux disease, fatty liver disease, gall stones, dry skin, SID, ADD, birth defects, cancer and diabetes just to name a few. In fact they say that almost all of our health problems from asthma to psoriasis are caused by eating these grains and livestock that have no appreciable amounts of iodine in them. Each generation gets worse and has more health problems. I have learned to cure my chickens and heal my family by putting one drop of iodine in each gallon of livestock drinking water for my chickens, cows and pigs. I also add iodine to my garden. If all farmers would do this, America would not need the health care industry or health insurance. The pharmaceutical companies would go out of business and just disappear. This is one thing they do not want anyone to know. Please tell everyone! There are dozens of pages on the Web explaining the iodine deficiency epidemic and safe ways to take iodine. The AMA doctors also have pages warning you to never take any iodine supplements. Guess why?
THANK you so much I did some birds the other day and most of them had a tan liver. So I just have to put iodine in their water?
If you supplement liquid iodine in the case of iodine deficiency, may I ask how much? We culled approximately half our flock last week and every single one had the crumbly, tan liver you describe. They are on a layer feed that has kelp but it is whole grain, so unlike a pellet feed, I suspect they are just not getting enough of the kelp. I have lugol's 2% solution with a dropper and was hoping to start putting it in a 2 gallon waterer. Any recommendations?

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