What to do when disaster strikes?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Avalon1984, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    I know this may sound weird but with the upcoming storm we will have tonight a question popped into my head. We have 3 chicken houses, all surrounded by trees. 2 of them are next to Willow trees that are fairly old. I am alone at the farm during the week so I always try to be prepared for bad scenarios since Murphys law has proven time and time again that bad stuff happens during the week. Anyways, lets say disaster strikes and one of the trees crashes onto the chicken house. I have a little chicken hospital set aside where I could put the survivors, but as far as the injured or dead ones go; is it at all possible to euthanize, bleed and then stick them in the freezer to process at a more convenient time than in the middle of a disaster. I would want to try and save some of the meat if something like that were to happen but I don’t know what the freezing would do to the meat, organs, etc. Also, naturally there would be bruising. I don’t expect anything like that to happen soon but if I could just pick all of your brains to see what you would do, it would help tremendously. Thank you!
     
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2010
    I can appreciate you looking ahead and planning for emergencies. I know everytime DH went out of town for a curling bonspiel that something bad would happen - snowstorm and the snowblower broke down (twice), the septic tank alarm went off because the pump shorted out, the power went out during a snowstorm, ...

    As for the birds, this is what I was always told:

    You need to gut them as soon as possible and do not freeze without gutting. The longer the entrails stay in the body, the more chance there is for something to leak and contaminate the meat. Freezing with the guts in them can cause some of the innards to rupture and contaminate the meat, but also creates alot more mass that needs to be frozen by your freezer, so it will take alot longer to freeze.

    In an emergency situation like you post, I would cut the heads off, bleed out, skin instead of pluck and then gut. Put in a tub of cold water with ice and cover with a board to keep out dirt and such. Keep cool until the emergency has passed and you have some time to deal with them (within a couple of days). But keep adding ice as needed to keep them cool!
    Freeze right away if you need to - but note on package that they are not-rested and will need to be rested when thawed.
     
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Very good advice. [​IMG]
     
  4. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Thank you so much WyoDreamer! I don’t want to come across like somebody with an aluminum foil hat on but the worst things happen at our place at the worst times. Your advice has helped a lot and I hope I never have to go through it but I am glad I have learned that just putting them in the freezer would not be good. Skinning instead of plucking sounds great too, I think I could pull this off. I always have a sharp knife nearby and the chainsaw has a new chain on it at all times, just in case. I can now add this to my disaster preparation plan. [​IMG] Thank you again! [​IMG]
     
  5. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2010
    The chainsaw comment made me smile.
    1. I am from northern WI, so I can relate. In fact, we always take a chainsaw with us even now when we go up into the mountains. It's better safe than sorry.
    2. There are some friends of the family who use an electric chainsaw to quarter their deer. They run vegetable oil instead of the regular bar oil. They quarter the deer so they fit in the ice freezer that they have in the barn. The freezer still has the penguin and the stuff painted on it ... It works great. [​IMG]

    Wishing you the best with the storm. [​IMG]
     
  6. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    I hear you. We live fairly close to civilization but being alone and not having any neighbors to count on I am constantly facing such dilemmas. I have a shotgun in the barn in case I ever need it. I shocked husband once when I told him I’d rather put my horses down myself than have the vet come out. My reason is that if one of my drafts breaks a leg, there is really not much you can to do help them. Their massive weight would not allow the leg to heal unless you put them in a strap for a long period of time which then brings its own problems. I told him if I see that the situation is hopeless, I’d rather do the deed myself than let the animal suffer for a couple of hours until the vet comes out. It just has to do with responsibility as the owner. I hope nothing ever happens to my chickens but if it does I must know what to do right away.

    I am grateful that we have a forum like this to learn. For example, I had to perform emergency crop surgery last Sunday. Had it not been for me scrolling through the topics and knowing what to look for and what to do- I would have had to put the chicken down. But it is my best layer and most favorite chicken in the world so I was able to save her, and she is recovering beautifully. Knowledge is something extremely empowering and it helps me a lot in those lonely moments of crises at the farm to at least know what needs to get done and how.

    The chainsaw to part up deer is interesting. And using vegetable oil instead of chain oil…mhm…must tell hubby about that. [​IMG]
     

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