How to make use of every part of the chicken?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bluebonnet, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
    I was wondering what folks here do with various parts of the chicken?

    I eat only the thighs, breasts, legs and wings. The rest of the chicken is generally thrown out, but I was wondering if there are ways to use the other parts of a chicken for purposes other than eating?

    I believe there is a way to use the bones for fertilizer, but I am not sure how to process the bones for this purpose.

    I am also wondering if there are things you can do with the blood, insides, feet and all the other parts I do not use.

    Surely there must be a way to make use of all their other parts on the farm.
  2. Coralietg

    Coralietg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Opelousas, LA
    I haven't processed my own chicken yet, and to be honest, I've never eaten anything other than chicken meat. I do simmer the bones for bone broth every time though. It makes me sad to think of all the carcasses I've thrown away without making use of the bones.

    When we start with our own meat chickens, I'll be using the necks and feet for stock too.
  3. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
    I know how to process my chickens and made a point of learning, but I hire out the work to a neighbor, along with other assorted butchering, because it is not a pleasant necessity by any means.

    I have a cute little dog, as you can see in my photo, although she is quite old now and am thinking of getting additional dogs for use on the farm and breeding.

    I was wondering if maybe there was a way to turn certain parts of the chicken, maybe the liver, into dog food or dog treats? On occasion, when I treat my dog, I take the skin off and give her an entire breast to herself. However, she might like the other parts, since dog tastes can be different than humans.

    I never give her the bones though, as they can splinter and kill her.

    I have some rabbits and I make a good deal by packaging and selling their manure to gardeners. I do not know if the same kind of thing is possible for chickens, but it is better than letting things go to waste.

    I've just been throwing things out, since I am not sure how to compost chicken parts and I do not want to mix it in with my other types of compost incase there are bacterial issues and such.

    You make stock from the bones? I'm a bit too chicken, (I know, bad joke!), to use the necks, but maybe making some stock to freeze would be a good idea.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I save the thighs, drumsticks, breasts, and wishbone for my table.

    I use the backs, wings, neck, heart, gizzard, and feet for broth. If you scald the feet, the toenails twist off and the skin peels off. That gets them clean enough for me to use. I canned 17 pints of chicken broth today.

    The liver is sometimes cooked separately for my lunch since my wife has this thing against the liver. Or it can go to the dogs. The dogs also get any developing yolks I get out of hens or pullets.

    When I butcher a chicken, I keep a separate bucket handy for various parts that are fed back to the other chickens. I empty the contents of the gizzard and crop in there, plus I cut up the crop and drop that in. You can do that with the intestines. It won’t hurt. I throw a lot of fat and just parts in that bucket. I usually limit how much this is because I want the rest of the flock to be able to clean everything up before night so nothing is laying around smelling and attracting predators.

    I’ve been known to save the saddle and hackle feathers off of roosters for people that make jewelry from them.

    The rest of the stuff gets buried. In the fall it goes into my garden. By spring it has broken down. Any other time of the year I either bury it in my orchard or put it in the bottom of my compost if I have a fairly fresh batch.
  5. RogerShoaf

    RogerShoaf Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2014
    Quote: The liver is the best part of the chicken IMO so the dog would get the gizzard or the heart. (these are too chewy for my taste.)

    Of course you make stock from the bones. It is not the bone itself that adds to the stock but it is the bits stuck to the bones that melt away into the stock. The marrow is good also so if the leg or thigh bones go into the stock then be sure to crack them open.
  6. GrayHill Farm

    GrayHill Farm New Egg

    Sep 7, 2014
    Keep every part of the chicken you don't want and freeze them in a bag...throw all that (yes, even the head) in a pressure cooker...strain out all the bones and add vegetables and some egg noodles for the best chicken stew you've ever had.
  7. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    After I part out the legs, thighs, breast meat, I save the wings for Buffalo wings for football games. , the backs , ribs, necks are boiled off the bones and I get 1 - 1 1/2 lbs of meat for taco / chicken pot pie / etc . per bird. Also the broth from this boiling becomes lots and lots of chicken broth. Since I butcher 25 Cornish X birds at a time , I get just over 35 POUNDS of meat to eat that some others just throw out. [​IMG]
  8. bhanley

    bhanley Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2014
    Princeton, Ontario
    Chicken bones are completely safe for dogs so long as they are raw. Never give a dog cooked poultry bones!
  9. Aust1227

    Aust1227 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    I bait the havahurt trap with all the leftovers!
  10. osbmail

    osbmail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2013
    Use feet, heads, necks, backs for stock.Fry liver, hearts.Some told my you could smash the gizzard with meat tenderizer and fry it.Feathers , blood, guts go in pile of wood chips for compost. I usually bury cooked bones in garden.

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