How long does a fresh bird last in the fridge?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HappySlappyDuckfeet, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. HappySlappyDuckfeet

    HappySlappyDuckfeet Out Of The Brooder

    May 8, 2011
    Garden Grove
    If I have a duck processed today (at 10 am or so) will it keep in the fridge until tomorrow afternoon? Or should it be frozen and taken out to thaw tomorrow morning?
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    I found this. Hope it helps.
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    Our birds are kept on ice or in the fridge for two or three days before we cook them. If we haven't eaten it within three days or so, we will put it in the freezer.
  4. ixnay

    ixnay Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Bridgton, Maine
    To a certain extent, I rely on my nose: next time you buy a "fresh" chicken from the grocery store, take a good whiff when you open the package. While I haven't bought poultry from a store for a long time, I recall that they pretty much always had a smell. I think this is part of why cooking instruction always start "rinse well in cold water and pat dry." Take a look sometime at how far out the sell-by date is on commercial poultry. We all know the level of sanitation (or not) of commercially processed poultry. If you had your duck processed by someone else, then definitely give it a good rinse when you get home.

    Now, about the birds I process myself: they never have that smell, even after resting in the refrigerator for 2 days, being frozen, then being thawed, then dealt with sometime in the next couple of days. We do not have a dedicated processing area, but we do have a soapstone sink and counters and LOTS AND LOTS of clean, cold water for rinsing.

    We processed a bunch of random birds (guineas, a turkey, a couple of runts) on Monday (6/13). All of the parts for stock - gizzards, hearts, feet, necks - were rinsed and put in a clean bowl with a plastic cover, and stuck in the refrigerator to wait for other parts for stock. Well, today (6/18), I finally got around to gathering up all the bits and pieces of various birds, cooked and uncooked, and remembered that I had never dealt with the bowl of stock parts.
    I got them out the the refrigerator, took the lid off, completely expecting to be grossed out. Nope. They had absolutely no odor, no slime, nothin'.

    So, everything into the stock pot. If it had been regular meat parts, I would have had no qualms whatsoever about cooking and eating them.

    The bottom line: if you are very clean when you process, and chill thoroughly as quickly as possible, several days in the refrigerator will be fine.

    Another note: most of the folks here, myself included, recommend at least one day of "resting," maybe two or more, to let the muscles relax. Otherwise you run the risk of tough meat.

  5. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Nan - thank you for that post! I enjoyed reading your response and how thorough you were. [​IMG]
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    A freshly killed home raised bird, promptly refrigerated and kept properly cold, I wouldn't hesitate to cook and eat after a full week in the refrigerator. That store bought chicken is very likely already a week old when you purchase it and it's anybody's guess how it has been handled.

    After butchering, refrigerate for 2-3 days and then freeze in a moisture barrier wrapping.
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    After processing I would go a minimum of one to two days for a young bird, and minimum of 3-5 days for an older DP no worries for your duck! [​IMG] It's good to let them have a nice "chill out" time for a day or more.

    Now if you were going, say over a week, you might be pushing it a little bit - but not much. Two weeks....that's getting iffy [​IMG]

    Like Nan says though, the best is to rely on your nose (or someone else's if you're isn't too keen to some smells like mine!)
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I wonder what the average age of a chicken in the store is at the time of purchase. Anyone have a guess or factual answer? if I didn't raise my own, I wouldn't want to know the answer to this. LOL
  9. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have "forgotten" about resting birds in the upstairs refer before (we have a small dorm type fridge upstairs we use when we process a few birds).

    Eight days later, they still smell great or lack smell (not even close to the smell Nan talks about with store bought chicken - that is a yucky "fresh" smell, turns my tummy to even think about it). We ATE them and are still around to process more birds. [​IMG]

    I do, keep our birds in lightly salted water while resting in the fridge (our area is very, very dry and the bird would be cardboard in a day or so without the moisture).

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