I found a dead one at 5:30 this morning.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Denninmi, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    It was VERY freshly dead -- still warm and still limp.

    I don't have a clue why it died. They all seemed perfectly normal at 9:30 last night when I locked them up for the night.

    For better or worse, I plucked, gutted, and cleaned it. It's soaking in salted water right now, then I'm going to put it in the fridge until tomorrow to rest.

    I'm just proud of myself! I've cleaned birds before, but it was like 15 years ago. No ... um ... unpleasant side effects, which is surprising since I have a strong gag reflex and "weak stomach", but it was probably a good thing that is was WINDY outside and I hadn't had breakfast yet. I'm ok as long as I don't get a big whiff of the odor. When I do my main processing in a month, I plan on keeping a fan to my back and using "aromatherapy" -- I'll probably set some lavender oil around the area in a few spots so I can mask some of the odor.

    It was actually far easier than I remember. I just "dry" plucked it, since a 3 week old Cornish isn't all that feathered. Mostly pin feathers. Plucked what I could, then singed more off.

    I kept everything except the inedible insides and the head. I even saved the feet! I was surprised at how easily the inner lining of the gizzard came off. Also, I opened it up fully along the breast bone, made it far easier to get the lungs and windpipe out.

    It is definitely on the small side for a Cornish hen, but well worth saving. If it doens't seem right or taste good, I just won't eat it.

    Sorry, just had to gloat! Another big hurdle on this journey just cleared![​IMG]
  2. erinchelsea

    erinchelsea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    Webster City, IA
    Way to go! It is a good feeling, isn't it?
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Did you notice when you cut open the bird, did it seem to have a lot of fluid in it? We lost a bunch early spring and only caught a few of them on their way out so we did butcher them and ours had a lot of fluid in them which we figured is CHF. [​IMG]
  4. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Morning! [​IMG] I am sorry you lost one, but great job processing it!! You should be very proud [​IMG]

  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:I was kind of thinking that might be the case, but there was no fluid in the gut cavity at all, just the normal "moist" feeling to it.

    I kind of think they might have had a nighttime pile on and suffocated it. They tried this again last night. When I went in to check them and shut the door just before dark, they were piled into a big mass in the corner. So, I separated them again. I have cages from quail that I am using, they're about 18 x 36 x 18 inches tall, so I just split them up more, from 8 a cage to 4 a cage. Which is fine, except now I've got 6 separate bins of poo to empty every day. Oh well, its a short term project. By the end of the weekend if all goes well, they'll be in a tractor. Got the stuff, just have to get it made.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Trade secret: Dab some vanilla extract right under your nose. Use real vanilla, not imitation. You'll be pleased at how well that masks odors.
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Thanks, I'll try that.

    Oh, and the chicken was fine, except I BURNT it on one side -- I decided to fry it, and was washing dishes and had to put the dog out all at once, so it tasted a little burnt. But we still ate it, I even tasted the feet -- not much on those at that size, will save the rest for stock.
  8. Dave Bean

    Dave Bean Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    What is CHF?
  9. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    CHF - Congestive heart failure

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