Processing question?

mirandaleecon

Songster
6 Years
Aug 29, 2014
693
53
156
Panama City, FL
This may be a silly question but we are new to processing our chickens; Can you slaughter a chicken and process it the next day?
Reason I'm asking is that our birds are all free range and so the only time we can really catch them is once they have gone to roost. By then it's too late (and we are tired from working all day) to process more than one or so. It would be so much easier for us to kill them at night, put them in the fridge or a cooler till morning, then process them.
Any reason this might not work?
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
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965
316
Placerville, California, USA
I personally would never process more than an hour or two after death, and that's only if for some reason I can't process immediately. If you leave the organs in all night the entire inside of the bird will stay warm, which sounds like a good way to get spoiled meat to me.

Catch them and cage them at night, then slaughter the next day.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
I know folks do that with game birds (pheasants, etc) and they're okay, but the thought skeeves me out. I'm by no means a germophobe, but I'd rather do everything fresh. I agree with Misha, catch them at night and cage or hobble them until you can process them.
 

Hiltonizer

Songster
8 Years
Apr 30, 2011
202
42
146
Central Maine
+1 to what @QueenMisha said.

Best practice is to cage them the night before, not only to keep wrangling to a minimum, but to keep them off feed so they eliminate as much as possible. I've started accumulating used dog crates... behind my barn looks like a kennel.
 

mirandaleecon

Songster
6 Years
Aug 29, 2014
693
53
156
Panama City, FL
Yea, that's kinda what I was thinking but didn't know if that would really have an effect or if I was being overly cautious.
We will just pen them separately at night and deal with them in the morning.
Thank you!
 

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