utilizing whole chicken at slaughter? rec reading?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by 2overeasy, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    I was wondering if there were resources available - a book, or something - that would teach me how to use every part of the chicken so that none goes to waste. In my quest for more sustainable living (just read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma) I'm trying to limit how much I discard when I process a chicken. My chickens are giving me the ultimate gift, and it seems almost insulting to waste any part of that gift! ;-)
    Any suggestions?
  2. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    eat what you like, give what you want to the dog and cats, boil the bones and feet for stock, and bury the guts and feathers for the lawn, Nothing left now, you rock. [​IMG]
  3. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Hey, I'm thinking the same thoughts as you these days. So, I've been looking at how much we can eat of the insides, for example besides liver/heart/gizzard, I just ate the spleen, which was actually very tiny. Tasted strong, like liver. But okay to eat. A dish of spleens might be nice to try. Also, you can include the head in your stock pot, as long as it's been de-feathered. I used the head, as well as feet & bones for a super rich stock. I also melt down the fat, and freeze it for use in other dishes (it's sort of like butter).

    I fed all the discardable raw guts (except the gall bladder) to the birds. They went crazy for them. As long as your slaughtered bird(s) are healthy, there's no reason not to feed to your existing flock, if you have them. Otherwise, there are people who eat fermented parts, like intestines. But I haven't tried yet. [​IMG] Other cultures, other cuisines, if you know what I mean. But no one says those folks aren't healthy, and maybe healthier than we are. I may try it sometime.

    Besides the edible parts, you can wash the feathers with a tiny bit of baby shampoo and dry them for use in projects.

    Otherwise our soils desperately need blood, bones, fat, feathers, and anything else that would be tossed into the trash. After you've extracted everything you can for your food and feeding your livestock or pets, etc... bury deep the rest in your garden and don't throw anything away. IMO, that's the best way to honor the life that was given.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I don't know of any books out there, but even the parts that we can't, won't or, don't eat is always used as fertilizer in the garden. So nothing really goes to waste. The intestines can not be used for anything else, without major risk to health. But by feeding the earth we create a super place for growing usable food.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I can't get a link to work, but look here for booker81's meat bird thread, her sig links to her blog where she has a nice step by step, including which innards are what, and how to prep them, etc.
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010

    About the only things I don't use are the feathers, heads (because I don't pluck the teeny feathers, and I have an aversion to eating brain), intestines and gonads. There really isn't much waste.
  7. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    booker your blog on how to process a chicken is fantastic! dont suppose anyone knows one for processing ducks ?
  8. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    copied from another post of mine, but other than talking about ducks... it fits very well into here...

    there isn't enough meat to worry about on a small or wild duck. It's like eating guinea-- usually not worth the extra effort.

    the dogs have to eat too, and I wonder what's cheaper to buy< chicken bones or dog food?

    Do you realize, that if you throw out the wings and legs off a duck, and the back meat-- that's like maybe 1/2 cup of boneless meat--- that would take you close to an hour to work on getting off. Just toss it, and go in the house and have a little fun getting off in that extra hour of spare time...
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  9. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Wow - who needs a book?! ;-) This is very helpful. One thing I don't understand: I have never heard of burying "parts" to enrich soil. How does this help?
    Thanks to everyone, and I will look at booker's blog later today.
    We processed 2 on Sunday and it seemed we threw away so much. I hated that, but I don't think I could bring myself to eat brain, spleen, etc. And I certainly couldn't throw their sweet little heads into boiling water. I should have fed parts to dogs - I don't know why it didn't occur to me because I know the value of "raw feeding." I don't b/c I have 5 and couldn't afford it.
    However, enriching the soil sounds alot like burying, and that's what we do to honor our other pets who die. So I like that. I just don't know why...
    Thanks to all!
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Quote:You ever read about John Smith and the pilgrims learning to bury fish to feed the cornfields? Fat isn't good for the soil but nearly everything else is food for the soil. Think compost, chicken poo.. etc. Yes, they do mean burying the stuff by saying enrich the soil with it. Soil is not an inert object made of sand. It needs organic matter to enrich it so plants grow better.

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