Culling a single bird

klohman

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2015
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Hi all - unfortunately it looks like we are going to be culling a bird when my husband is home for the weekend. We've just got a bad egg so to speak. She is broody, eating eggs, won't leave the coop, aggressive towards us and a big bully to the others. It's creating a bad dynamic.

Is there anyway to cull a single bird for meat? Do you have to have equipment? Just looking for the best route after the action step is complete.
 

AmericanMom

Songster
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013
2,842
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Oregon
Hi all - unfortunately it looks like we are going to be culling a bird when my husband is home for the weekend. We've just got a bad egg so to speak. She is broody, eating eggs, won't leave the coop, aggressive towards us and a big bully to the others. It's creating a bad dynamic.

Is there anyway to cull a single bird for meat? Do you have to have equipment? Just looking for the best route after the action step is complete.

To do a single bird is pretty easy, if you skin it then you don't have to worry about plucking feathers etc..
We tend to like the skin but no big deal for us to heat a pot of water outside to dip the bird after hanging and slitting throat, pluck, gut and rest in the fridge for a couple days :) from the time we snag her from the coop to resting in the fridge is maybe 20 min if we have everything ready to go before hand
 

bobbi-j

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You certainly can kill a single bird and use it for meat. Depending on the age of your bird, it could be tough, and frankly, laying hens aren't real meaty birds. The breed of your chicken will have a lot to do with that. She most likely won't be a fryer for the grill, but if you cook her low and slow, you can have some real tasty meat for soup, stew, enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches... whatever you might want to use shredded chicken for. The crockpot is a nice tool for this.

As far a killing her, the tools we use are a hatchet and stump. We feel that's the quickest, most humane way of death because it's over in seconds. If you don't think you or your hubby can do that, you can also use a killing cone and sharp knife. There is some good information on the Meat Birds section of the forum about killing and processing your chickens. If it were mine, I'd skin it, gut it, clean it, maybe cut it up, maybe not (depending on the size of the bird) and put it in the crockpot for the day. Then I'd pick all the meat off the bones, and freeze the broth left over from cooking it. That will add some good flavor for soup or stew next winter.
 

bobbi-j

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She'll have some meat on her then, but don't expect anything like what you see at the grocery store. Also know that home-grown laying hens have more flavor and texture than what you buy in the store. When we process our older, spent hens I pressure can them, but it's not worth the effort to do that for one chicken.
 

aart

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I'd suggest letting the carcass sit in the fridge for 24-72 hours after butchering before cooking or freezing....the meat will be less tough if rigor is allow to pass.

I cook low and slow until meat is done, strip the meat and put all the bones back with veggies and seasoning for a great broth.
Recombine with noodles and fresh veggies and YUMMMM!

bobbi-j...do you rest your carcasses before canning?


Wondering also if pressure cooking would work as well on older birds as crock potting?
 

bobbi-j

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On the MN prairie.
I'd suggest letting the carcass sit in the fridge for 24-72 hours after butchering before cooking or freezing....the meat will be less tough if rigor is allow to pass.

I cook low and slow until meat is done, strip the meat and put all the bones back with veggies and seasoning for a great broth.
Recombine with noodles and fresh veggies and YUMMMM!

bobbi-j...do you rest your carcasses before canning?


Wondering also if pressure cooking would work as well on older birds as crock potting? 


I let them rest before freezing but not canning. The canning process tenderizes them quite nicely. That being said, I would think pressure cooking would do the same.
 
Last edited:

aart

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Quote: Thanks....I have a few old hens to process sometime this summer, I'm going to experiment with resting times and slow vs. pressure cooking.
I like pressure cooking, uses less energy and it's faster....I like the smell of chicken soup cooking, but don't want to smell it all frickin' day long.
 

donrae

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I have a little experience pressure cooking older birds.

Last year we culled four roosters, from 1 year to 4 years. Not spring chickens, for sure. Honey did the butchering and skinning and I brought the carcass inside. Did any finish work...pin feathers, lungs, etc. Then I stuffed the whole thing in the pressure canner. Water, veggies, seasonings, etc. Cooked about 40 min, during which time I was doing finish work on the next carcass. Rapid cooled the canner and pulled the meat out with tongs. The broth was still VERY hot and I just plopped the next carcass in and brought it back up to pressure. Did that with all 4 birds, using the same hot broth. Saved a lot of time and energy. Plus, I wound up with the richest, most flavorful broth I've ever had. Very concentrated. I froze it in ice cube trays and just a few were enough for whatever I was cooking. The meat was reasonably tender and deboned nicely. Still not the texture of a CX, but that was fine. Each carcass yielded about a quart of meat. I didn't can the meat, but wished later I did. So much more convenient than frozen!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I have a little experience pressure cooking older birds.

Last year we culled four roosters, from 1 year to 4 years. Not spring chickens, for sure. Honey did the butchering and skinning and I brought the carcass inside. Did any finish work...pin feathers, lungs, etc. Then I stuffed the whole thing in the pressure canner. Water, veggies, seasonings, etc. Cooked about 40 min, during which time I was doing finish work on the next carcass. Rapid cooled the canner and pulled the meat out with tongs. The broth was still VERY hot and I just plopped the next carcass in and brought it back up to pressure. Did that with all 4 birds, using the same hot broth. Saved a lot of time and energy. Plus, I wound up with the richest, most flavorful broth I've ever had. Very concentrated. I froze it in ice cube trays and just a few were enough for whatever I was cooking. The meat was reasonably tender and deboned nicely. Still not the texture of a CX, but that was fine. Each carcass yielded about a quart of meat. I didn't can the meat, but wished later I did. So much more convenient than frozen!
So you probably got the carcass into the pressure cooker before rigor set in?
By then time I'm done scalding(I like the skin!) and plucking that thing is locked up tight.
 

MANNA-PRO

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