When do I slaughter my turkey?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kevin916, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. kevin916

    kevin916 New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Nov 17, 2014
    Hello, I have a Tom we raised with the intent to eat for Thanksgiving dinner. Does a Turkey need to rest or age before cooking? How many days before cooking should I slaughter the bird?

    Thanks
     
  2. Haida

    Haida Chillin' With My Peeps

    140
    6
    73
    Sep 12, 2013
    Western NY
    I let the bird rest a few days after slaughter, usually 4-5 days. So this Sunday, we're slaughtering our three birds for us and friends. They'll be nice and fresh for Thanksgiving day... and no need to unthaw! After processing, we put them into an oven bag, put the oven bag on a cookie sheet (in case it leaks) and put the whole thing in the fridge.

    Then when you're ready to cook, just pull it out, wash it off and do whatever you're planning.

    PS: I think the minimum you need to let the bird rest is 2 days? That's what we go by when we butcher anything.

    Happy Turkey Day!!!
     
  3. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    7,945
    621
    361
    Mar 3, 2012
    I usually have our Thanksgiving turkeys processed on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This year not thinking we scheduled it different and they are being done on the Mon prior to T-Day.

    3-4 days is probably a good amount of time to let them rest before cooking.
     
  4. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    446
    15
    104
    Feb 2, 2013
    I killed and ate one in the same day and it was delicious.
     
  5. JonathanL23

    JonathanL23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    9
    66
    Nov 20, 2014
    I don't think there's rule. People kill and eat partrage the same day. Turkey I don't think is any different.
     
  6. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    7,945
    621
    361
    Mar 3, 2012
    Of course you can eat the meat the same day it is processed,it will taste good but will be tough. Meat needs to go through rigor, rigor sets in very soon after death and causes the meat to be very stiff and tough. It takes 2-3 days for rigor to pass. You can tell if meat is ready by moving the leg, if it moves freely with ease it is ready, of it still feels stiff or tough to pull away from the body rigor has not fully passed and needs a little more time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    13
    88
    May 3, 2014
    well, now I'm worried. I processed my 10 turkeys on Saturday...I put them in the freezer Saturday night and pulled them out at 3 pm today, I sold 7 to friends....I told them to let them thaw in the fridge. I thought that 6 days was too long to leave the turkey's fresh, and worried so I froze them till they could all pick them up today.

    are these turkeys going to finish rigor???? or will they be tough???
     
  8. JonathanL23

    JonathanL23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    9
    66
    Nov 20, 2014
    Nah they will be fine. Don't worry.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    7,945
    621
    361
    Mar 3, 2012
    Everything is a learning process, so now you know lol. SIx days is definitely not too long to leave a fresh turkey in the refrigerator. There is no reason to freeze them if you are processing them the weekend prior. That said I am not sure how this process will go, Im not sure they will go through the rigor process while thawing out or not as I have never done it that way. I suspect it should be fine. I hope some one else will have experienced advice on this.

    Try the turkeys for 2014 thread, a lot of turkey owners frequent that thread you should get some answers there.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/838701/turkey-talk-for-2014/4190#post_14389117

    this thread is a great place also
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...hrough-the-emotions-please/4930#post_14389058
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,711
    532
    408
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I often process and eat the same day. But as a rule the birds that get to sit for a few days are very tender. To get a fresh bird tender, I slow cook for a long time, just being careful about drying out.

    Happy Turkey Day to all.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by