First time chicken processer needs advice

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by NicholasJ, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. NicholasJ

    NicholasJ Hatching

    Nov 1, 2014
    Hi! This is my first time posting. I've been raising chickens for about three months now. With winter coming I'm thinning out my flock. To begin, I sacluded 8 chickens and two ducks. I went out second morning and found one dead and another badly injured. I made it through 4 chickens before calling it a day. With this being my first time I understand it took longer than I thought. Went out today, third day and finished scolding first chicken. I found open wounds down the back and legs. Wings were really bad. I also noticed rigamortice set in very quickly and inside almost seemed dry. this safe to eat for humans? If not what about dogs? I obviously feel like I've done something wrong. Yes, I did have water available, no food. Should I let the remaining loose, regroup and try again. Any information would by very helpful. Thank you.
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would not eat the injured birds, and if they are that stressed, I would turn them loose at this point. Stress raises adrenalin levels and makes them tough. Rigor mortis will happen with all of them. Part of the reason for resting the meat is to allow it to pass. I've never isolated a bird for slaughter more than overnight, sometime not at all. You want them calm and content when you do the deed. You won't ruin the meat if you nick an intestine; just rinse it well.
  3. Viva-Lena

    Viva-Lena In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2014
    I don't bother secluding. I actually find it just as easy to cut the head off, run my finger around the crop to loosen it from the skin then carefully gut it leaving the gizzard inside. Then pulling from the neck up. A spilled crop can be really annoying to clean. Mine are on a bit of a sandy run and they eat a bit of it. They leave their pen where they were happy with their buddies and a quick walk across the yard and then nothingness. They are upset a matter of 45 seconds. This was my first year butchering myself and I've done 101 chickens and 3 turkeys. I'm up to 24 a day by myself. It's a big job!!!!
    1 person likes this.
  4. TedSheckler

    TedSheckler In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2014
    The way I go about it is to remove the head, Slice through the skin on the opposite side of the neck and up over to the crop then pinch all the excess and pull/seperate the bare neck to the side.

    From there get the connective tissue lose around the crop then pull it and the extra taut and slice it all off, Neck gets removed with snips.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

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