Safe to process pullet killed by raccoon?

PatS

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
654
7
141
Northern Califonia
We were awakened in the middle of the night last night by noise and ran out to the coop. By the time we got there, the damage was done and the predator gone, but we are assuming a raccoon. (Tore a window screen out of a window 4' above the ground. Hardware cloth goes up this morning.)

The pullet was dying of a neck wound when we found her and was still warm when we put her in the fridge. Do you think it would be safe to clean her (we are processing other birds this morning) and use her carcass to make stock for canning other chicken meat? Wouldn't simmering her for 12 hours kill and germs the raccoon might have left on her neck? Would not having bled her make the stock nasty?

Please advise. Thanks.
 

PatS

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
654
7
141
Northern Califonia
I'll admit, there is an "ick factor" involved. But I hate to waste her if I can safely use the stock. DH is plucking her now. She had a bite mark on the pope's nose and the neck, both of which I can cut completely off.

Would a virus survive a full day and night of simmering and then pressure canning for an hour plus at 250F? (15 pounds of pressure) It seems like that would kill anything. Additionally, I've read that possums rarely contract rabies when exposed, because they have a relatively high body temperature which indicates to me that rabies would be more than killed by high cooking temps. (Any vets or doctors out there?)

And if the raccoon did have rabies, I question whether he could have made the raid he did on the coop. That was one gymnastic feat s/he accomplished.

We did another head count this morning, and it made off with one, it seems. Darn.

Thank you for all your thoughts, I'll think about it some more.
 
Last edited:

Denninmi

Songster
10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
1,866
27
171
The danger in this situation isn't in the cooked, finished product. As long as the meat is fully cooked in adherence to modern food safety standards (which is an internal temperature of 170 degrees for the thigh and breast meat, I believe, IIRC), all viruses and bacteria will be fully killed.

The danger in this situation is the possibility, albeit extremely remote, that the raccoon carried rabies or another disease that is transmissible to humans during the cleaning of the dead bird. The method of transmission would have to be via body fluids getting into a cut or nick of the person's skin while cleaning the bird. I guess certain diseases in theory could also be inhaled or ingested through microscopic particles, but that's probably even far less likely.

Its a judgment call, really. I think the danger is extremely minimal, kind of like being hit by lightning, but it is possible. However, I also think that proper technique, such as avoiding direct skin contact with body fluids by using latex gloves, carefully disinfecting all surfaces, treating the waste like biohazard material and carefully sealing it up for disposal all would diminish the risk.
 

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