Eating Frozen Hen?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CluckOut, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. CluckOut

    CluckOut In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2013
    So last night was our first real gust of winter. Our youngest spring hen didn't make it to the coop fast enough and froze.
    With Thanksgiving approaching and this being the first chicken that we've ever killed, it is safe to process it and eat it?
    She froze fairly solid, should I toss her out or are there decomp processes that have already kicked in making it unsafe?

    Thanks for the answers!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How cold did it get? My chickens go out foraging in zero degrees Fahrenheit weather. I can’t imagine it getting cold enough for a healthy hen to freeze to death. Sorry but that just doesn’t sound right. Are you sure she froze to death or that something else, either disease, injury, or a predator, didn’t kill her?

    Anyway to answer your question, I suggest you look up “hanging pheasants” on the internet or something like that. Some game birds especially are aged with the internals inside for days. You might look up the requirements for hanging a bird. I think a big key is how warm it gets and how fast it cools off so the bacteria in its guts don’t multiply.

    One thing I’d be really careful about is that she doesn’t get too warm when you are thawing her so that bacteria can start multiplying.

    Personally I would not be that comfortable doing it but if she was cool enough it’s probably doable. Good luck!
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I also wonder why she died. I've had birds live in trees for years and no losses, so I doubt it was straight cold.

    I'm big in the frugal/waste not, want not camp, but I'm just not sure I'd be hungry enough to eat her. I'd either process her for a dog or just utilize her body for fertilizer.
  4. I agree with donrae, I do a lot of recycling here, too. But, I only eat chickens that I kill. Any birds that die from unknown causes get cooked in the "animal's" crockpot. The dog gets a bite and the hens get the rest. I put the bird in the crock whole and cook for 4-6 hours depending on the size of the bird.

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