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Processed for first time yesterday and can't get smell out of my head!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by momofpets, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. momofpets

    momofpets In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2011
    I grew up with parents from the old country. They would buy live chickens for holiday meals. I could never stand the smell of the wet feathers when they were processing. I processed 9 roosters yesterday. Slitting the throat was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Ended up slitting the throat twice and still wasn't getting any squirting blood. It was bleeding but I couldn't tell if the rooster was dying in pain or not. So I decided to use the lopper for a more humane kill. I found out that I still can't stand the smell of the wet feathers. I don't have a problem with killing them, its the eviserating and wet feathers I have a problem with. I have thoughts of getting meaties and I know its harder to process ones that you raised yourself. So I got these roosters off of Craigslist by someone who definitely spoiled them. Unfortunately I wasn't able to withold food for 12 hours. My dogs were creating a racket trying to get at the chickens in the chain link kennel and I didn't want the neighbors to complain about the noise they were making. So I ended up processing them all yesterday instead of waiting till next weekend. First off, next time, I definitely need to withold food. I accidentally knicked the intestines a few times and the contents spilled. I rinsed the meat really really well. Will I get sick from eating it or should I just feed the chicken to the dogs? 2nd, I think only 2 of the roosters would be presentable for roasting. The water was a little too hot during scalding and I cut a little too much skin off trying to remove the crop without spilling its contents. Plucking roosters with pin feathers is definitely a lot of work. I can't get the image of the innards and the smell out of my head. Ugh! For dinner last night, I had a granola bar with a big glass of milk. I just couldn't stomach eating anything with meat. The chickens are resting in my fridge and I will freeze them on Wednesday. Hopefully in a month or 2, I can eat the chicken. Otherwise, my friends and dogs will benefit and I will just have to be content with raising hens for eggs.

  2. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

    Sep 1, 2010
    You got farther then me!!!! I tried "processing" two birds I had to cull from injury as "practice". I won't go into the details, but it was horrible. I have taken a step back identified the issues and may have solutions, so may try again. If the smell of the feathers is the most horrible part for you, skin the birds that way no boiling water or bad feather smell. If you are determined to keep the skin you might try pithing, it is supose to make it easier to pluck, it may make it easy enough not to have to use the water, but I don't know that just saying it might be something to try. Also I've heard the meaties are easier to pluck since they are processed so young.
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    Growing up we had a annual chicken processing day on the farm in prep for our October chicken stew. I am 35 and have not took part in one since I was little girl and I still remember that smell.
    Mom also did pork and this never bothered me, still doesn't. I still help make sausage, but can't bring myself to do the chicken processing.
  4. codymax2

    codymax2 Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Liverpool, NY
    skin them! I did my first 2, one as dry pluck, and one skinned. They don't smell great while gutting but the wet feather smell =X
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I don't think you were prepared enough to undertake it, and it overwhelmed you, plus you let your emotions cloud your ability to work through your obvious discomfort. WTS maybe going to walmart and buy chicken might be the right choice here. Good luck to you.
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That really was a lot of birds to tackle on your own for the first time. I would suggest for the next time do only 2-3 birds, and/or work with someone else, preferably someone with more experience. There's only so much you can learn from books or online, I find it helpful to work alongside someone.

    There has recently been discussion on making a efficient kill cut, others in the past on dealing with that wet feather smell and on effective eviscerating. Let us know if you want help finding those threads, or in answering any specific questions.

    All these issues can be addressed & overcome, if you're motivated to continue processing your own chickens. I find that I learn something new each time I process that makes the next session go even easier & faster.
  7. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yeah, it stinks. That's why I don't have an appetite for chicken for a while afterwards. Even after a shower I can still smell it on me. It's gone after the next day or so. When you finally put that chicken in your oven and have that glorious smell in your house while it's roasting, you'll forget all about the yucky part. You can't buy a chicken in a grocery store that good!


  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I don't like the smell, either. It seems to cling for about a day. I think the smell molecules get up your nose and cling there. I can smell it on my hands for hours. Rubbing on stainless steel helps. You can actually buy stainless steel "soap" but the kitchen sink works, too.

    If you put a drop or two of real vanilla extract right under your nose just before you start, it helps a lot.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I've never really noticed any smell. We did 150 last month in batches of 30 and I really didn't notice any smell, but then again we keep a few thousand hens here so maybe I am just used to feathers and manure. We processed out in the open air, in the driveway and most of my helpers who aren't so used to such things didn't have any complaints.

    We boiled down 60 hens, deboned them and canned the meat. After two days of a strong chicken soup smell and chicken grease on everything I wasn't ready to eat any chicken, but the processing wasn't bad at all.
  10. farmer9989

    farmer9989 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2011
    alba texas
    Well if there is a next time try eather a little soap or vinegar and little wax in the water and not so hot , dip them in cood water after the scald.

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