Is it best to not feed your culls 12-24Hrs before culling?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Ol'FashionHen, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Ol'FashionHen

    Ol'FashionHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just wondering. I have 3 roosters I am going to be culling this weekend with my DH and DS. My DH says it dosen't matter if you do feed them up to point, and I have heard some people say "don't feed". I would like to know what would be best. I'm scared to break their neck too, because they are some big ol roos and I have been pecked and was left with a bloody bruise by one of these guys they are around 18 weeks old. So we were thinking of using a 22. What do ya'll think ? I've never done this before.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  2. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    I take mine to a processor, so I can't help you with the method. I can tell you, however, that my processor does ask that the chickens be dropped off the night before they are to be slaughtered. They are slaughtered the next morning, and you pick them up that afternoon. So I'm assuming this is their personal preference....I guess it varies. But I would assume that them not eating overnight gives their bodies time to digest the food eaten that day? [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    There are two reasons for withholding feed for 12 hrs; one, it will empty the crop, and two, it will, er, not *empty* the intestines but at least reduce how full they are.

    Having an empty crop means no food to spill out when you're cleaning the bird; OTOH it's just, literally, food, not even digested at all, not offensive or gross or particularly unhygeinic, and easy enough to wipe away if it happens.

    Having an empty crop can also make it harder to FIND the crop, though, if you have not done very many birds before... so there may actually be an argument FOR having something in the crop if you're new to this (I found it helpful myself, anyhow).

    The intestinal-contents issue is a little more significant, in that it involves hygeine and food safety issues not just operator convenience. The fuller the intestines are, the more you need to be real REAL careful not to nick them when cleaning the bird. You will need to be careful either way, of course, but accident is likelier the more poo is stuffed in there. Of course you can wash the carcass well if there's an accident but it's better to do what you can to avoid it in the first place.

    FWIW, I did withhold feed for my CornishXs that I processed, but I did not do it with the chantecler cockerel that I processed because he was in with other chickens from whom I did not want to withhold food and I hated to make his last hours all scary by penning him separately. It worked out fine both ways, although having had some experience using a knife and doing dissections did help.

    It is probably not a GIANT issue one way or the other [​IMG]

    GOod luck,

    Pat
     
  4. Ol'FashionHen

    Ol'FashionHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks fellas , boy this is gonna be some adventure for us, I was concerned with holding the feed because they are with my other chickens and I did'nt want them to do without. I just wanted to make sure. Of course my DH says "well when ya kill a deer it's usually eatin' chickens should'nt be no different". Thanks Yall !
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:You know it took me a minute and a couple re-readings to get that correctly... I was thinking "boy, they got dangerous-soundin' deer out there..." [​IMG]

    LOL,

    Pat
     
  6. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Some people insist that you must withhold feed before culling. I was unsure, so I called my dad. He said when he was younger his father would just up and decide to butcher the chickens one morning. No warning or anything.

    Sooooo, my answer is no. Yes, it's a bit less messy when they haven't eaten, but it's still no big deal to encounter feed crumbles and grass in there.
     
  7. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Um, pat, why did you cull your chantecler? They are so beautiful and very rare too. Where'd you get him? I'm sure that someone *cough cough me* [​IMG] would have liked to take him.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, they're not really THAT rare I don't think, also this was a buff chantecler (not an APA color) and I rather suspect a significant amount of Buff Orp blood in him. I did try somewhat to give him away, but no takers, not surprisingly.

    If you are in Ontario and would like his brother and two sisters, I am planning to try to sell them in the spring but if you wanted them NOW I am sure we could work something out [​IMG] (Unfortunately, statistically speaking you are probably NOT in Ontario [​IMG] )


    Pat
     
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

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    I have done it both ways,,,,,, and withold the feed is step one in our butchering.. true, a little poop squeezed out is no big deal, but you have to wash the whole table off EACH TIME it happens.. If you are doing 20 or more birds, that is a lot of down time.. You have to remove any other birds on the table before hosing.. In my life time I have butchered upwards of 10,000 chickens.. just take my word for it..

    We had a large amout of chickens get let loose just before we were about to start buchering one time..

    we got out the 22's and went to work.. we shot about 20 roosters. that we could not chase back into the coop..
    just a tip. try to head shoot them from the rear or front. a side head shot does not always kill them. and BE CAREFUL.. and the more you shoot, the wilder the remaining ones become..
     
  10. Poler

    Poler Out Of The Brooder

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    My personal preference is to segregate the selected chickens a week beforehand and feed them nothing but clean feed, no grain, bugs, whatever they can get, I take away feed 24 hours before I slaughter and I take away water 12 hours before. That way most of the feed has gone through the bird, and if you accidentally cut the intestines or break them open, its not such a disaster, and the crop is empty.

    Just dont forget to take off the oil gland on the tail!

    I had a rooster with the same issue, that being extremely violent. I went in wearing extra, long sleeved clothing, and gloves, once you get your hands on him, hold him upside down by his feet and swing a little bit, it kind of calms them down. Then have someone else tie the feet together and slice the throat or decapitate.

    I dont know about ya'll but I dont think I could hit a chicken in the head with a .22 without risking getting another chicken.
     

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