First timer with "meat birds"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lacrego, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. lacrego

    lacrego Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2012
    Well, our Roosters have reached 'that' point. My husband and I are going to be processing them this weekend. It's my first time but he does have experience from when he was younger. Anyway, we have 4. 2 are Barred Rock/Americana crosses. The other 2 are Americana/Jersey Giant crosses. How are these breeds as meat birds? We've done some research, we've youtube various videos etc. Anymore advice? I hope I don't get squeamish, any advice for that? I'm a little nervous but happy that these guys lived a good life and now will be feeding my family.
  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Be prepared for the death throes - where the muscles release and contract and release just prior to full bleed-out.

    I CAN slice the veins, but I choose to let my man be my man and take this part of the job.

    We say a prayer of thanksgiving for each bird prior to putting in cone (like while we're walking bird from run to processing area).

    Have processing area AWAY from view of other chickens. They know what's going on - really, I swear they do. But they seem to 'forget' quickly. (like a week or so). If you are the one to catch the chickens; once processing is complete, take out the living some super-special treat (oatmeal with raisins; mealworms; hot sweet potato cut into chunks, etc.). That helps them to realize you provide great things. Keep it up for a few days afterwards too.

    Be prepared for the heat of the body and the unique smell of chicken innards. Can't describe it any other way. Processing in the cold means that the carcass steams (seriously!). That was new to me - guess I didn't notice it when processing in July!

    Yes, it's hard on the tenderhearted - but all things are created to provide for others. Chickens provide lots of good things, the last being, meat for your table to sustain your family. God is good.

    Rigor will pass in 2-4 days in fridge, so make sure you've got some room to put 'em all in the fridge! And some 1gal or even 2gal size Ziplock bags so the meat doesn't dry out. My sons are now pretty calm about seeing a chicken on the top shelf of the fridge - first time though, they were a bit surprised (son asked "Is that Roaster or Napoleon?" My response, "that's Roaster, that's Napoleon", son, "oh, ok, I just was wondering where he went!")

    Best wishes! Once you taste the product of your own hands, it's hard to go back to blah grocery store! Doesn't matter if it's tomatoes or squash or green beans or cow or pig or chicken. Yummy stuff!
    1 person likes this.
  3. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2012
    2-4 days of resting in the fridge....
    then i can freeze them?
    what about canning? how long till i can can them?
  4. lacrego

    lacrego Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2012
    Well, it went exactly how I thought it would go.

    The first one was the hardest, I didn't think I would cry, but I did. My husband did the actual killing but our first one was the hardest of the 3, because he fought the most and twitched a lot afterward. I thanked all of them before we did anything. Everything else after that wasn't so bad, I did most of the work and didn't mind the smell. The meat we kept in the fridge a few days, I just moved it to the freezer this morning. The killing part was the hardest part, I think I'll need awhile to process everything before I'm ready to do it again. I'm glad I'm learning and I'm glad I have the experience. And especially glad I know exactly where my meat came from. I am thankful for them.

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