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How long to cool off carcasses?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bigcountry1009, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. bigcountry1009

    bigcountry1009 In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2013
    Clinton, SC
    How long should carcasses be cooled off? I put them in a cooler of ice water for about 6 hours and the skin seemed to get very rubbery and the legs stiffened and were straight. Made them hard to wrap for freezing. Did I wait too long?

  2. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Sunny So Cal
    I know what you mean about legs sticking straight out. Last year I waited until after I finished all the birds I was processing, and there was a long-legged Rhode Island Red that I could not get into a bag. I finally had to have someone hold the legs down while I sealed the bag.

    I now stick the carcass into a zipper bag immediately after I finish it, then bury the bag in ice to chill. I prefer to dry chill, and by bagging immediately the chick goes into rigor in the shape of the bag. The carcasses are chilled through within an hour this way.
    1 person likes this.
  3. lokua

    lokua In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    The stiff legs are just rigor mortis. That goes away after a day or 2 in the fridge. I keep mine in ice water for a few hours then stick em in the fridge for 2 days. I cut up most of my birds, so fitting in bags is not an issue. For birds to be frozen whole I cut a slit in the skin over the cavity and tuck the legs. They still stiffen but the skin holds em back enough to fit in bags.
    1 person likes this.

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