Hawk killed my chicken, what now?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Michelle1234, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Michelle1234

    Michelle1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Around 4 pm on Christmas my 12 week old barred rock hen was killed by a hawk. I got there just in time to scare him off but he was headless, officially dead. I put the carcass in a bucket after making sure the rest of the flock was safe (they were out foraging). The hawk followed me as I carried the chickens back to the coop. I don't know if that was my best plan of attack but it was my first loss to a hawk and I wasn't sure what to do.

    So now the carcass has been in the bucket for a day and a half while I've been researching whether or not it's safe to eat. It's been below freezing outside so it's been preserved but now it's frozen.

    One thing I did not do was let it bleed out. I'm thinking a salty ice water bath might solve that but can I do that with the feathers on?

    This will be my first time trying to clean a bird so any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think that if the bird was headless, that it probably bled out a good bit. Since you witnessed the attack, the meat should be good if it has been below freezing. You could pluck it and gut it.....but if it were me.....I would skin it, cut off the breast, legs quarters and wings, the discard the rest.......but that is just me. If it was immediately after the kill, I would probably have plucked or skinned and gutted.

    It's just a personal preference.....the meat should be good, whatever you decide.

    Keep in mind, though, that a barred rock at 12 weeks isn't going to have a lot of meat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  3. Michelle1234

    Michelle1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2013
    Thanks do much. You were right it wasn't much meat under all those feathers. I did pluck simply because it was my first time and I wanted to try it. I ended up cutting a lot of the skin off where the talons had cut into it's back.
    I think scraping the lungs ended up being the most tedious part. Next time I think I'll definitely cut the meat off. :)
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Good for you for taking the opportunity to learn! Somehow it makes the loss to the hawk not seem so much of a waste.
     
  5. Michelle1234

    Michelle1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2013
    Thanks! I'm also hoping it will deter the hawk from coming back if his meal will be stolen from him haha
     
  6. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My deterrent is my Great Pyr who runs looking skyward and barking as hawks and crows fly over....but not the geese. I am waiting for him to run into a tree![​IMG]
     
  7. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawk attacked yours on Xmas too? Taking its meal will not deter it. We have had a hawk attacking all year... It gets chased off by dogs and once got stuck in my chicken tractor and trampled by the CXs. It came back on Xmas day to kill two of my egg layers. I hope you have better luck with your hawk than I have had in mine! As for the meat, yeah unless some guts spill onto it, it is fine. Getting the lungs out is pretty easy if you just feel up the spine inbetween and down into the ribs under the lungs... Then peel the whole thing out to the side. I don't get why lung scraping is a big deal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013

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