1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

What Do You Do With The Internal Organs After Processing?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jeepgirl13, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. jeepgirl13

    jeepgirl13 Songster

    Mar 13, 2013
    I have read about using various parts of the internal organs for soups/stocks or just plain eating, (gizzards, livers, hearts, etc.), but what do you do with the other stuff like the intestines, lungs, and other parts?

    Can I feed them back to my layers?

    Should I cook them first?

    Are there any parts I should not use for anything?

    I'm processing my first bird this weekend and would like to not have anything wasted that I could have used.

  2. Owingsia

    Owingsia In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2012
    Saluda VA
    I use most for my fruit trees. I did a hole and thats were it all goes, into the ground. Excluding hearts and livers. Often times I have a small fire going and I will put the hearts into butter sauce and after all is said and done I cook them up and eat them.

    The dog loves chicken feet. He is very well behaved with live hens but hangs out during processing day for a nice liver or heart if he can get one from me. He will eat the feet up too.
  3. Pine Roost

    Pine Roost Chirping

    Aug 16, 2012
    South Carolina
    If you boil them first to cook, could you feed the innards back to the chickens? Seems to me that would be an easy source of good protein...
  4. jeepgirl13

    jeepgirl13 Songster

    Mar 13, 2013
    This is what I was wondering as well. I don't have any fruit trees in my yard to bury them next to either. I guess if you can't feed them back to the chickens, or compost them, they would make mighty fine cat fish bait. :) And I love cat fishing.
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I do not feed the intestines back to them because that is where all the bacteria hangs out so there seems to be an element of risk there if you feed that. I would use the liver, heart, neck, gizzard, feet and backs myself (mainly for stock) because I like to eat them as do my pets. I have heard of others feeding the rest of the innards back to their chickens and honestly when it's processing day my hens will hang out right at the fence and watch while I process the ones I've selected. What I do is bury it in my compost pile. Within about 48 hours it's pretty much broken down and because it's buried and not on top there is no odor to it. The blood usually goes right on my garden since it's usually set up for winter by the time I'm processing so I can pour the blood right on top of the garden before I do my final tilling for the winter. Blood meal is a wonderful supplement that gardeners can pay a ton for but it is basically dried blood matter that is then bagged and sold. Why buy it if I get it for free.
  6. LilRedRoo

    LilRedRoo Chirping

    Oct 19, 2013
    Bremond, Texas
    We us the hearts, and occasionally the gizzards, but the rest goes to the "back" where wildlife recycles it. That works fine if you've got the space, but you wouldn't want critters coming in too close to your house or coop looking for a meal.
  7. SavageDestiny

    SavageDestiny Songster

    Jan 11, 2014
    Bend, OR
    The dogs get all the innards around here. :)

  8. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I processed 25 birds a few weeks ago and had a full five gallon bucket of organs feet and heads when done, I dumped the bucket into the back woods. I went to check the next morning and not even a sign or drop of blood left. I wouldn't recommend doing this if your coop is not predator proof, mine is built like fort knox so I don't worry about the coons or foxes trying to come back for more.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I use all I can for broth, but I don’t eat the stuff you are talking about, feathers intestines, and such. I’ve even been known to save some hackle and saddle feathers for people that make jewelry. If you scald the feet you can peel the skin off and twist out the toenails, but that can get a little tricky. If you get it right the skin comes off pretty easily but if you overcook it, the skin tears and is a pain to get off. The feet go into the broth.

    I keep two buckets available when butchering. In one, I toss things the chickens can eat, mainly fat and bits of other tissue. Exactly what depends on how many I’m butchering and how many I have to eat it. I don’t like having that stuff laying around to attract things that eat chickens. I’ll empty the gizzard and crop in that bucket and cut the crop into a few pieces for them to eat. Lungs usually go in there too.

    I open some of the intestines to see if they are carrying worms but usually the intestines don’t go in that bucket. I don’t see anything wrong with it. They are all carrying the same bacteria, that’s part of flock immunity. It’s usually more of a how many chickens to eat it thing.

    I do various things with the feathers, heads, intestines and other stuff. I have buried it in my compost but that depends on what stage my compost is in. It takes more than a couple of days to break down but if you bury it deep things probably won’t find it and dig it up. I do have a cover to put over mine.

    In the fall when I do most of my butchering, I bury it in the garden. Other times of the year I bury it in my orchard. I had something dig it up once, dog, coyote, maybe something else, so now when I bury it I cover it with wire weighted down with some pavers to stop things from digging it up.

    A time-honored rural tradition is to carry it off for the vultures, coyotes, and maggots but you have to have the right place for that to work.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by