Processed our first cornish x have questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by katkat92, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. katkat92

    katkat92 In the Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2009
    Oregon
    Was actually easier than I thought it would be. We set up our area outside with an old sink, propane burner and table. The first took the longest as we paid attention to what came out so we could identify things better. It took me a few minutes to figure out the crop, but once we got it then processing went smoothly.

    My questions:

    Does it really matter if we take the head clean off when killing? Is it best to leave on and just sever the vein? Seemed easiest to kill them by snipping off the entire thing.

    One of the birds dressed out with a slightly pinkish cast. All were scalded the same, what does the pinkness of the skin mean?

    We processed the birds, then left them to rest 24 hours in a cooler. Is this necessary? What is the correct way to process 10 birds if you do not have space in the fridge to rest them? Can you freeze the same day you butcher?

    I call my cornish x birds fatties, compared to my orps and brahmas they are godzilla birds. Those birds were so disgusting we couldn't wait to butcher the fatties. They were 7weeks old, and quite hefty. We have a flock of 22 birds and a turkey with a large barn and very large yard for them. Our compost pile is at the far end of the yard and it provides hours of entertainment as the chickens scratch for treats and turn my compost pile for me. Not once did the fatties ever venture outside with the other regular chickens. In fact, I don't think they went more than ten feet from the food dish! I'm going to do it again though, the end result is way worth the effort.

    Thanks in advance for all the info!
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

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    Feb 1, 2009
    Lexington, KY
    Does it really matter if we take the head clean off when killing? Is it best to leave on and just sever the vein? Seemed easiest to kill them by snipping off the entire thing.

    I like to take the head off completely, mostly because it seems to be more humane (to me). I use the cervical dislocation method because that's what I feel is the most humane, but the head will often pull off completely... not for the squeamish. [​IMG]

    One of the birds dressed out with a slightly pinkish cast. All were scalded the same, what does the pinkness of the skin mean?

    No idea [​IMG]

    We processed the birds, then left them to rest 24 hours in a cooler. Is this necessary? What is the correct way to process 10 birds if you do not have space in the fridge to rest them? Can you freeze the same day you butcher?

    I like to let them rest. This allows them to go through rigor mortis, and the meat tends to be more tender. I personally rest mine in a cooler filled with ice water and salt (brine), this adds to their tenderness even more. You can freeze the same day you butcher, and many do with decent results. I prefer to let them rest, but to each their own.
     
  3. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    We didn't rest ours; they went straight to freezer. Brine them and cook them gently, and you should be fine.
    I cook mine in a covered roasting pan so they steam themselves. After a couple of hours, they fall off the bone.
    Do brine them before cooking though. Makes for much better meat.
     
  4. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Sounds like everything went well for you- I wouldn't worry about any of the questions you had. Whether to remove the head or just cut a vein is a choice- as with most things here, people have their way of doing it, and will tell you why it's right, but it works either way. Personally, I like to cut the vein and let them bleed out, because I don't get blood everywhere like with chopping the head off, and I think I get a better bleedout, but it probably doesn't make much of a difference either way.

    I'm not sure about the pinkness, but I wouldn't worry about it. It may not have gotten as good a bleedout as the rest, it may have been in the scalder slightly longer, or not as long- who knows. It shouldn't be a problem either way though.

    I like to keep my birds on salted ice water for 24 hours, then shrink bag them, leaving them in the fridge for another 24 before freezing. The important thing is that you let them rest before cooking them. You generally don't want to cook them the same day they're killed. I have no idea what impact freezing has if rigor mortis is still set, but a lot of people freeze the same day they kill, so it should be fine. If you don't have a fridge, you have to get them cool somehow! I fill a 50 gallon barrel with ice water and throw them in it- keeps them cool quite nicely.
     
  5. purelypoultry

    purelypoultry Songster

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    Aug 2, 2008
    Fremont, Wisconsin
    Was the skin pink? Some genotypes for chickens produce pink skin.

    We rest ours in 55 gallon barrel filled with water and ice for about 12 hours before freezing. We cover the barel with a towel.

    We cut the entire head off. It is entirely up to personal preference.
     
  6. katkat92

    katkat92 In the Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2009
    Oregon
    Thank you for the info [​IMG]
     

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