If a bird gets stressed during kill will the meat be tough?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by freshegg, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    greenfield,ma
    I tryed pithing this weekend on a turkey and it took forever (20 minutes) to die and a farmer friend says it got too stressed so meat will be tough is this true? I was thinking of cooking today. I did the deed sunday. ps legs on turkey are standing straight up very scary
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That has no effect on the meat.

    Have you kept it in the fridge since sunday? Did you brine it?

    Grocery store turkeys would have legs standing up too but they use those wires or plastic to hold them down in place. You can do yours with kitchen twine.
     
  3. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes I have it in the fridge with water coving most of it (bigger pan wouldnt fit in fridge) I put some salt in but think Im going to add more for a couple hours
     
  4. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Hampshire
    I've heard people say that it makes the meat tougher, but I also remember a National Geographic special long ago about some tribe that tortured cattle to death to tenderize the meat, so go figure.

    Pithing should be nearly instant. If it doesn't work next time, maybe wring it's neck or cut it's head off rather than wait twenty minutes.
     
  5. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well I didnt just wait after 5 I cut artery on left side, then 5 more did right side and 5 more cut the throat it was a horrible experience. I never culled before just cleaned a turkey I shot out in the wild.
     
  6. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    After cutting the arteries and it bleeding out I don't see how it could have been alive. Are you sure it wasn't just nerves? An animal that is dead won't react if you touch it's eye. Then the movement is just nerves.
     
  7. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was pouring out blood, occasionally lifting its head, opening and shutting its mouth as to gasp for air and moving its eyes. believe me I couldnt believe it was still alive after loosing all that blood
     
  8. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Quote:Those could all have been nerves. Believe me when I say I have had to dispatch many animals in 20 years of farming. I had the same upset you had each and everytime. Until I was told about the eye reflex.
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    There is only anecdotal evidence that stress effects the meat. With that said, I strive to make sure the animals aren't stressed, simply because it's ethical.

    A lot of people slaughter a bird then eat it the same day. These will always be tough, as you're eating rigor mortis.
     
  10. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    Quote:ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

    According to my prof. at University of Guelph Animal & Poultry Science dept.....

    "Tenderness is directly related to aging. Poultry meat needs to age for at least four hours before it is eaten or frozen, or it will be tough. This is because of rigor mortis—a temporary toughening—which is part of the process of muscle death, the natural biochemical process that converts the muscle to meat. Although the bird is dead, there is still energy in the muscle. The muscle cells continue metabolizing until this energy is used up, switching from aerobic metabolism to the less efficient anaerobic (without oxygen). Rigor mortis does not set in immediately after slaughter, but gradually as the muscles deplete their energy stores. "Cross bridges" form within the muscle structure, and the muscle cannot be extended. After a while, the muscle structure starts breaking down and the muscle becomes flexible again.

    Rigor mortis is relatively brief in poultry; it is largely complete in 4 hours in chickens (6 to 8 hours in turkeys). Rigor is not fully complete for 24 hours, but tenderness only increases marginally after the initial 4 hours."
     

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