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First time slaughtering bird, many questions...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by AmaDucky, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. AmaDucky

    AmaDucky New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2014
    Akron, OH
    Hi, guys! :3

    I'm obviously very new. Me and my boyfriend had our first experience slaughtering one of our birds today. This was the first little flock we've had, raised 'em from chicks, and one of them turned into an extremely loud rooster that we knew we couldn't have with neighbors so close (we can have chickens where we live, but we were very concerned about him being a noise problem). So we, er, took care of him today... We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people, and worked up our nerve to kill and butcher him, but I'm left with some questions that I'm hoping some seasoned veterans could help me with.

    If anyone would care to glimpse over these and give me a couple pointers for next time, I would be eternally grateful!!

    1.) Question about how clean/safe the carcass is: as you can imagine, this was quite a mess for us (we've never killed or gutted anything before). So, we kind of botched removing the crop, and it exploded all over our carcass... Is it still safe to eat after that?? We washed it off pretty good, but I'm still pretty squeamish about this stuff and wanted to make sure before we tried to cook it, heh. Carcass was immediately wrapped up and thrown in the freezer afterwards.

    2.) Our rooster was SCRAWNY!!! The chicks that we got were all Buckeyes, which I've read are supposed to be pretty good dual purpose birds, so I was really troubled when I felt how light he was when I picked him up beforehand--and just flat-out shocked when I saw how small his body was after we got all the feathers off. I'm wondering if we didn't feed him the proper diet? Can anyone give me some really good newbie tips for getting bigger, meatier birds (aside from just getting an entirely different breed)?

    3.) Scrawny as he is, we still want to try to eat him, and I'm concerned about the meat being tough. The chickens had a decent amount of space to wander, and I'm wondering if this is a contributing factor to why he is to lean--and I also read that makes for not so good meat. Does anyone have any good pointers for making a tougher bird more tender?? Whenever I cook the carcass, I had planned on brining it for at least 24 hrs. I guess I'm interested in any other methods, and especially cooking techniques, anyone may have.

    Thank you so much for your help and I'm happy to have found this community!!! These forums have already been extremely helpful in our new chicken hobby! :)

    ~ Amanda
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. AmaDucky

    AmaDucky New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2014
    Akron, OH
    Wow, very good information, thank you very much for the prompt and informative reply! I see we have a lot of learning ahead of us, but clearly hands on is the best method...

    To answer your questions about the specific bird, my bf just picked him and a few other chicks up from a guy nearby who made a craigslist post about available Buckeye chicks. I am certain now that whenever we have another go at raising meat birds (or even good layers), we will seek out better breeders for our specific wants in the chickens. The rooster we killed was probably about 5 months old. We didn't do any research on when is a good age to slaughter a Buckeye, because we had not originally planned on doing that. Now you have me wondering about other people who have processed Buckeyes and how long they waited, what their experience was like as far as size goes, etc. All of the birds had good poop, we never wormed them, and at the time we killed him we were feeding them just the regular scratch grains from the store, plus they grazed in our yard. I do want to put much more effort into their diet with our next round of birds. :(

    Thank you very much again for your reply. This has steered me in a good direct for more research. And now the learning process continues!!
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  5. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 26, 2011
    I think the scratch grains were most likely the cause of the small carcass. Since you mentioned that you have other birds for eggs you should get them on a feed with more nutritional value than scratch grains. If they are lying now get them on a layer feed, if not get some type of grower.
     

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