Interesting Observations After Butchering

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Salt and Light, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I butchered 21 FR's yesterday. For the most part, one bird looked like all the others, but I did notice a couple interesting oddities.

    At least two birds had deformed hip joints. Primarily, I observed that the ball of the femur was deteriotated with what I suspect to be arthritis. In one case, the joint was totally eaten away. I had observed this chicken limping, and now I know why.

    One bird was full of fat. I'm mean it had a thick layer of fat under the skin and several large deposits of fat. I also noticed it's live was more yellow than any other bird. Obviously, this chicken had some type of metabolic/endocrine disorder. Weirdly, it was not a large bird, just full of fat!

    I also had one bird come undone after slicing its neck. It ran for a couple seconds and then sat down. Within seconds, her head dropped and eyes started to close. Not wanting to prolong her dying, I left her alone and went to another bird. Well, to my amazement the bird started to recover and when I went to pick her up, she ran off. Apparently, chicken blood coagulates very quickly because she was no longer bleeding.

    Just a couple oddities from a 1/2 day killing birds....
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Those are interesting findings. I wonder if the femur deterioration was more common with the breed. was it a meat breed that tends to grows quickly?
  3. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Songster

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    Crazy she got back up and ran away.
  4. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Very interesting!!

    Anyone else have any similarities when processing? The deformed hip joint bit is very curious to me.

    Yes...chicken blood coagulates quickly! When I went to throw the bucket of blood from my first processing - it was like completely solidified jello. The blood splatters on the top of the bucket were like dry paint.
  5. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Our CX have never had bad joints, or the BB turkeys of either color. The FR we got to try were just so unhealthy, major flip, just stunned growth next to LF chicks. We culled the last 3 at 6 weeks and threw them out. Never trying FRs again.
  6. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Songster

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    Quote:Other then a slight waddle all mine walk and move around fine. TO be honest I didnt pay that much attention to the joints. Im not to for sure id even know what was normal or not.
  7. jwg423

    jwg423 Chirping

    Jun 10, 2011
    We have a flock of 50 FR's and many of them have limps and there is one who can use her legs if needed but does not move much at all and when you look at her feet they look like the fingers of a person who has severely arthritic hands (sort of crooked and oddly shaped, slender and bony)
    We have only harvested one so far (he wandered into the pig pen and found out why that was not a good place to be) and that was a very greasy fatty chicken, there were huge fat pads inside and the whole bird was greasy before cooking, more than normal...
    This is our first time experimenting with meat birds and we have decided that next time we will be going with something else next time also...
    Thank you for your observations, I will be more aware of what to look for while harvesting the rest of the birds, I'm interested to see what we find
  8. ixnay

    ixnay In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Bridgton, Maine
    We started out with 102 FRs, lost 3 at about 2 weeks to an unknown condition, but maybe they were crowded/smothered. A fourth was a runt or something (sat around looking like she wasn't paying attention; not sick looking, just dumb), so we culled her - no apparent abnormalities apart from being small.

    Last week we processed 14 birds at about 7 weeks - we were looking for grilling-size birds. One was quite lame, and my suspicion of slipped tendons (both sides) was confirmed. The others all dressed out at about 2.5 lbs, and once they were butterflied, were perfect for grilling. No excess body fat.

    We will be processing another bunch tomorrow - as many as we can stand to do, because the poop levels are beginning to be a chore. Plus one of the cockerels is crowing already. They were put on pasture in two tractors, with an open area with a 160-foot electric fence. We move the entire rig about every other day. They like the pasture, but rest time and night time, they all move into the tractors. Great, except they have decided that they all need to be in a single tractor. And they poop a lot. Yes, the waddle is pronounced in many of them. Doesn't seem to slow them down.

    We raised FRs last year (only 25), and I don't think they grew nearly as fast as this bunch. That said, we waited too long last year before processing, and had hair feathers and a lot of internal fat. I don't like feeding just for fat, so we're trying to get it done earlier this year.

    Seems like the son's spin-off business may be resulting in a different set of breeding priorities. We might be checking around to see about more of the options re: the label Rouge types for next year.

    I'll try to update after tomorrow's processing.

  9. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Songster

    Aug 31, 2010
    Lebanon, TN
    We did 26 Freedom Rangers last winter and each was pretty healthy. One or two had a large amount of fat under their skin. We did have one runt, which we kept and ended up brooding out two chicks.

    We were pretty happy with the results. All of them were processed at 12/13 weeks.

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