Today's the day- need some "last minute" help/advice!


8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Baker City, Oregon
So, today is Butchering day at our house... We have a crew (my family and a neighbor) coming to help us kill, process and wrap about 20 chickens and a few ducks. But, I have a couple questions- I think we're planning on skinning the chickens (and also the ducks I think...). Then I would like to brine most if not all of them in a saltwater brine for 24hrs. What is the ratio of salt to water to use? Does anyone know how many chicken carcasses will fit in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid? I'm not sure how big the carcasses will be- they are dual purpose birds, so I'm guessing around 3-5 pounds... if we're lucky!
Any other advice you can give a "newbie"? (I have helped process chickens before, however we didn't brine them and its been SEVERAL years....). DH, my dad and my brothers are the killing/skinning/rinsing crew and my mom, my neighbor and I are doing the rest! Oh, yeah- also, we are borrowing a vacuum sealer- if we end up not aging all the chickens in brine, and just want to put them in the fridge, do we wrap them first, or wait till they're done aging? Thanks for all the help!!

ETA: We are not starting till it cools down a bit this afternoon/evening so please post your advice!!
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8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
Waldo County, Maine
Sorry, can't help on the brine equation, but do let the birds relax in the (BIG) fridge or in ice water in coolers for 2-3 days before packaging and freezing. Freezing immediately is no what to do. They need to get past rigor mortis and just generally relax. Anytime past the very general 48-hour mark will be fine. Chicken needs a little time to age like hanging beef or pork, but not for near so long.


My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
Ours always sit in a plain ice water bath for about 24hrs before we package them. I imagine you will only be able to fit around three birds in a 5gal bucket but I could be wrong.

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