Is it necessary to gut a bird in all circumstances?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by scribbleuk, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. scribbleuk

    scribbleuk Hatching

    Feb 27, 2013

    We processed our first bird this weekend. After much research on BYC and some recommended links we felt confident in the process and also committed to completing it well. Overall I think it went quite well, the bird died quickly and without fuss and we were able to pluck and butcher it following the guides.

    The longest part of the job for us was the gutting of the bird, partly as it was our first time while trying to follow printed out guides. However we prevailed, and where able to cut the bird into managable sized portions for the fridge and freezer. At the end of the process we sorted of wondered why we did all of it. We only need the breast, thighs and legs as we don't have enough space to store a whole bird(s) in the fridge/freezer so portions are better for us. I know people may shout that is wasteful, but given our current circumstances and experience of using the less common parts it is the best at the moment. We only have fridge/freezer space for portions at the moment rather than a whole bird.

    However we could have easily removed the legs and thighs without needing to go into the carcass, and after removing the oil gland and a careful cut around the vent, the breasts would have come away nicely as well. Which made me wonder why did we need to gut the bird in this case, and do people always gut the bird regardless of what portions they are using?

  2. Bone143

    Bone143 In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2013
    In my opinion yes. There is still alot usable there that is wasted. I understand you dont have space but there are alot of people that would use it for you! The livers gizzards heart etc I dont eat nor care anything about but I keep them so I can give them to my parents for cat treats or I have a couple others that take them for animal treats. The in laws take some of the livers to eat for them etc. To me it would be such a waste to only take the thighs legs and breasts when there is still so much more to be used. The feathers are awesome fertilizer along with the rest of the inards that arent used. etc. Run an add on craigslist next time you process one for someone to come get the inards for dogs or what not. Keep the feathers in a old feed bag sealed up (one of the plastic ones) then you can give them to someone for a garden. etc. I would try to use as much of it as possible personally. I try my best not to waste any of them even if it means I cant use it but someone else can. I have alot of time and money in it not to mention the chickens investment, I just like to utilize it.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Is it necessary? Obviously not if you can get all the parts you want without gutting them. Nobody is going to arrest you or fine you for not gutting them. I haven’t seen it for quite a while but someone even posted a procedure for doing exactly what you are talking about. You do need to be careful what you cut into, especially when removing the breast section.

    That would not work for me. Not only do I keep the breasts, wishbone, thighs, and drumsticks for the table, I use the necks, backs, wings, feet, heart, and gizzard for stock, then pick that meat for casseroles after it is cooked for stock. The dogs get the liver. I’ve even saved some feathers for people that use it to make jewelry. What’s eventually left over gets buried where it will break down and my trees can use it. I don’t throw away a lot.
  4. scribbleuk

    scribbleuk Hatching

    Feb 27, 2013
    Thanks for that - I was wondering if there was some specific health or hygenic reason that I had missed. I undertsand it's not the most efficient use of all resources on the bird, but hopefully as we get into a routine we'll be able to use more and more with less waste.

    I hadn't thought of putting feathers on the compost - I wonder how long they take to break down. We did pour the blood around the trees.
  5. msulaimain

    msulaimain In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    North Carolina
    Yes. The bird is dead and the organs inside the bird are no longer getting the nutrients and oxygen that they need to survive, which will cause them to eventually decay and cause your meat to become bad as well. Juts gut them really quickly. All you have to do is get the major organs out like the crow, intestines and other gobbly goo that is attached. If you have trouble getting the lungs out, just leave them in their and get them later, after the chicken has frozen a bit.

  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    If you do not have frig or freezer space you had feed the heart, lungs, liver, gizzard etc to you dogs, cats or even back to your chickens raw right after you butcher. No need to cook, cool or throw them away. Everything is fresh and healthy. My dogs LOVE them.
  7. pbjls

    pbjls Chirping

    Mar 11, 2013
    if you gut it then you can use the neck, back, and feet to make stock which can be used in all kinds of dishes. if yu are only going to use the breast and leg quarters then you do not need to gut the bird. just pluck, fillet the breast, and cut off the leg quarters. feeding the insides to pets is a good use and composting all of the rest including feathers works well if you keep a hot compost pile. you most be carefull with this, however, because if not maintained correctly you can attract pest and have a bad ordor around compost pile.
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
  9. I sympathize with you as this is my plan as well and I have already been read the riot act. However, throwing the unused parts to the dog tomorrow or a year from now makes no difference. If you don't use it you don't use it. Pigs are also great disposals of remains. So it is all food chain if you take the "left overs" and give them to your other animals as feed all you are doing is replacing mechanically seperated & over cooked chicken by products with your own home grown more nutritous by products. I see nothing wrong with it. Why pay for something you already have? You may not have dogs, cats or pigs but you must have chickens and they will clean it right up.

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