Full crop or not full crop?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bluff Country Chicken, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Bluff Country Chicken

    Bluff Country Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 3, 2011
    SE MN
    I'm looking for advice regarding whether to withhold feed before butchering so the crops are empty or let them eat so the crops can be easily located and handled. I have received conflicting responses from my local chicken "experts." Thanks!
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I take feed away 12-18 hours prior to butchering. I had read of people letting them have feed so the crop is easier to grab, but it makes it difficult and messy when pulling the crop thru the body cavity. If you cut it, you likely have feed come out and get stuck to the fat around the neck/breast and it's hard to remove it from the fat. Make sure they still have water right up to butcher time.
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    When I cleaned my one lone bird the other day, I just split it all the way from tail to neck along the keel. It isn't "picture perfect" that way, and I wouldn't do that for a bird I wanted to stuff and roast, but it sure made it a heck of a lot easier to clean inside, especially the organs closer to the front like the lungs.

    When I process all of them in the next 5 weeks (I may do them in stages as they grow, some next week for Cornish hens, some for fryers, a few for roasters), I will probably do the same for most of them, and skin them as well rather than pluck, because we generally buy chicken parts anyway, and almost always remove the skin. The only time I cook a chicken with the skin is a whole roast or rotisserie chicken.
  4. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    The crop is easy to find. It's a smallish sack adhered to the chicken's right breast. Better to leave it empty than full. You will find it with no problem.
  5. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I helped at a farm a month ago where they did not withhold feed. It was awful. There's the added time of having to pull the crop from the top as well as very full intestines. It was almost impossible not to keep squeezing poop out while scooping out the insides.
  6. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    We process ours with empty crops. I've never had any trouble finding one.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    The crop is a large lump of hard muscle. You won't have any problems finding it or getting a hold of it even when it is empty. It's not a little skin sack. It's a chicken gizzard.
  8. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Quote:The crop and the gizzard are separate things.
  9. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Quote:The crop and the gizzard are separate things.

    The crop stores food the gizzard grinds food.

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