Question about bruising on processed meat birds - how did this happen?


10 Years
Apr 29, 2011
Northwest Indiana
We have a mystery (to us).

We processed 3 meat chickens - 1 rooster (dressed weight 5.5 lbs.) and 2 large hens (dressed weight 7 lbs.) We use cones and a plucker.

The hens were BEAUTIFUL after plucking and dressing - no bruising and cleanly plucked. One went immediatly into the freezer and one stayed in the refrigerator. It's 2 days later and the one in the freezer has purple bruising all over the breast and shoulders. The refrigerated on also has a large purple bruise on the breast.

Why? Can bruising occur after the carcass is dressed and during resting? Any ideas on how to avoid this in the future?

The only thing I can think of is that you did not get a good bleed out, and the blood pooled in those parts of the carcass. Blood is not dangerous, it is just ugly and can have a minerally or metallic flavor. The birds are good to eat.
Yupp, bruising can only happen when there is blood. So something with your cut wasn't quite right. Watch several different youtube videos and see if there is something slightly different you can try for next time ;) I forced my husband to try like 5 different cuts to prove I was right, HA!
Good luck! ;)
Thanks everyone! I think that's it. We even noticed one of them was leaking blood after being plucked. You learn something new every day - like checking the beautiful bird you froze for the 4-h carcass class AFTER it comes out of the freezer to make sure it's still beautiful. Ugh.

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