Slaughtering and butchering hiccups- help!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dirtylittlefly, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2012
    Vancouver, WA
    Had my second chicken slaughtering experience this morning, although this time I was doing it myself. I got frustrated with pulling out all the feathers so I decided part way through to just take the skin off. It was surprisingly more diifficult to remove the skin than store bought chickens. Well now I have tiny feather fluffs all over the meat- I really don't want to tweeze it all off. Chicken is soaking in a cooler of ice now. Is it ok to eat? Total processing time was about an hour.

    He's about 19 weeks old cockerel, a French Black Copper Marans. Our first run with this was a 12 week old Barred rock who was fairly tough, cooked for about an hour on the BBQ. Planning on noodle soup for this guy. I've heard rooster meat is just tough and stringy, no matter how young you kill them. Testosterone poisoning I guess?

    Thanks in advance- I appreciate all the wisdom you can give a newbie like me!
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    He's ok to eat. But let it "rest" in the fridge for about 3 days first. They all get rigor mortis and this gives it a chance to pass and the muscles to relax again. Then cook them long and slow. Most crock pot a rooster. I have and they are delicious, and not that stringy at all.
  3. Peep_Show

    Peep_Show Crowing

    Mar 14, 2010
    Corrales, NM
    Are you just pulling out the feathers to remove the feathers? If you use the hot water scalding method, the feathers just rub off in big handfuls.

    It's probably listed elsewhere on the BYC, but you get two really big pots (like soup pots or canning kettles...although when I have REALLY big birds, like oversized turkey, I've used plastic storage bins...but not on the stove, just filled it with very hot water). In one pot heat the water on the stove. It doesn't have to be boiling, but it has to be definitely warmer than hot water tap water. Fill the other one with cold or iced water. Take your newly slaughtered bird, grab it by the feet and plunge it into the hot water and swish it around for no more than 30 seconds. Then immediately plunge it into the cold water. Take it out and just rub against the grain of the feathers and they'll come out in big gobs. The hot water opens the feather pores and the cold water prevents the skin from cooking.

    When I've done it, I do it outside and rub the feathers onto newspapers which then are rolled up and tossed. The water (once cooled) gets tossed into the garden.

    And, yes, after you've done the entrailing (gut removal) and whatnot, let the carcass rest for a few days in the fridge...otherwise your meat will be tough. I've found that most chickens fit nicely into 1-gal bags. I use a vacuum cleaner hose to suck out all the air. It looks really nice!
  4. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2012
    Vancouver, WA
    Yeah, I used water heated to 150 degrees. Last time we did 140 degrees and it worked like a charm. I think my issue this time was that he was a larger bird, and my pot wasn't big enough. Less water+bigger bird= faster cool down. I really had to put muscle into pulling out the wing feathers. Also, last time we had 3 people pulling them out. I was just tired of leaning over.

    Thanks for the tip to let it rest- last time we really wanted to taste FRESH chicken and threw it straight on the BBQ. Kinda stringy. Also, it was a rooster we hand raised and was the friendliest of the bunch, that is, until he started being protective of his ladies. As he was sold as a pre-sexed female, we allowed ourselves to get attached. If anything he tasted more like guilt and tears. Lol- these things take time to get used to. I've done the deed- it sucked, but it's getting easier and I'm not about to stop eating meat.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Do I understand? The bird has been skinned, but some of the down floated over and stuck to the surface of the meat?

    If it will not wipe off, I'd either use a propane blowtorch and singe it off, or else I'd cook over a hot fire with the barbecue and that should burn the fluff off.

    But no, it won't harm you to eat it. It will add some fiber to your diet.
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    The feathers harm nothing :)

    Let him sit in the fridge for a few days (honestly, you can easily go a week). Muscle structure goes through a LOT of changes post slaughter, and the first day is pretty harsh for food use - can be done, but as you found, it's pretty meh. There will be little difference between an hour and a day post slaughter, and a lot of difference with three days. A week can make it slightly better, but isn't needed.

    The only other option I'm aware of is to cook before rigor sets in - which is about 1/2 hour or less after the bird dies. Not much time...

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