How do I know if my feet are still good?

RM44

Songster
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
401
7
123
Woodstock, Georgia
I processed some birds a week and a day ago. I put them in a cooler b/c I didn't have room in the fridge. The cooler is not a high quality one, and the bag of ice I put on top melted before I realized and the chickens got a little warm. I put another bag of ice on them but it was 2 days total before I put them in the fridge. I also had some feet and necks. I was able to put the feet and necks in the fridge after 1 day (and in a glass bowl).

Today I pulled the chickens out of the fridge (I've always operated on the instructions of letting them rest in the fridge for 4-5 days) and the chickens were bad. They were slimy and smelled spoiled.

But the feet and necks, which have been in a glass bowl in the fridge, seem to be okay. The necks are not slimy and don't stink.

However, the feet always stink! LOL. They smell like an old tennis shoe that has been left in the gym locker too long. They smell like that from day one, so how can I tell if they are bad? I just spent the time peeling them and have thrown them in a pot with the necks and I am boiling them down now. Are they safe? What signs might tell me if they are bad? I don't think I will be able to tell by the smell since the feet always stink?
 

RM44

Songster
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
401
7
123
Woodstock, Georgia
Yes, you are right. Lesson learned. But what about the feet? They were in the fridge earlier, and the necks seem fine. I have always left the chickens in the fridge 4-5 days after processing to "rest" before cooking. This time I went a lot longer plus the cooler debacle, so a few unknowns.

If I cook the feet down to broth, should I be able to tell by the taste? Or should I just throw it all out?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Hopefully you peeled the feet at the time you butchered and not after they'd been in the fridge for days.
Feet are the dirtiest part of bird IMO unless you nick an intestine.
I scald and pluck, then cut off the feet and throw them back in the scalder pot, by the time gutting is done feet peel easy and they go in the ice bath with the carcass.
 
Hopefully you peeled the feet at the time you butchered and not after they'd been in the fridge for days.
Feet are the dirtiest part of bird IMO unless you nick an intestine.
I scald and pluck, then cut off the feet and throw them back in the scalder pot, by the time gutting is done feet peel easy and they go in the ice bath with the carcass.
If your scalding temp is correct, the feet should be peeled when they come out of the plucker.
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
Not if you hold on to the feet when you're scalding...

old.gif
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
Hear, Hear!.......and especially if you don't have a tub plucker....I pluck by hand.
I had to process 45 birds in one day. Even with help, I'll never do that again. But that day, the chicken plucker was worth its weight in gold.
 

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