When is it not cost or labor effective to butcher?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dudefromtampa, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. dudefromtampa

    dudefromtampa Out Of The Brooder

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    First of all, it blows my mind how many people actually raise chickens as pets, and then they try to make me feel like a murderer for just discussing butchering them.

    Ok, I got that off my chest (sort of)...

    I recently rescued 30 chickens from a family member that couldn't properly take care of them. This number doubled my existing flock. The majority are just now coming into "puberty" (not sure of the proper word to use with chickens. The chickens I now have are French Maran, Orpington (gold laced and black), Arcanas, and Silkies. Obviously I can't keep a bunch of roosters, although I'd like to keep one French Maran rooster as well as one Silke Rooster along with one Arcana Rooster. So this leaves me with having to trim my flock of 4 - 6 silkie roosters. Silkies are so small, I'm debating whether or not to waste my time butchering them. I think it'll be as much meat as maybe your run of the mill squirrel. If and when TSHTF - all meat will be invaluable. But right now, I am contemplating whether or not this is worth my time. I guess I should add that I'm a rookie butcher but do feel confident enough in doing so.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. vbob99

    vbob99 Out Of The Brooder

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    then its a perfect time to practice, and wasting is never good. young and small makes for perfect frying or even a "cornish" baking bird. especially with that many i would butcher. we tend to invite friends/family over for lunch and chicken killin, make sure you eat first or your friends might loose there appetite :)
     
  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although I am on the pet side of chicken keeping, I understand other points of view. If you are going to thin the flock, Imho, I think it is more ethical to harvest the meat. Silkies would make a nice lunch or maybe a special treat for your dog or cat. Ultimately, you have domain over your flock, do what you feel is right for you. Alternatively, you could post "free to good home" in the correct forum on this site. As always, your choice.[​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You can eat any chicken regardless of age or sex. Cooking methods would need to vary to suit age and sex, but it can be done. People eat quail. Silkies are a little bigger than that. Silkie meat will be dark. In China that is considered a delicacy. I’ve seen photos of chicken farms in China of pure Silkies. They were probably bigger than bantam though.

    I don’t know what your time and effort is worth to you. You can advertise them on Craigslist if you are in the US or whatever social network is available where you are and maybe just give them away for free. You can butcher them to the point where you just use them for broth, though the broth might be pretty dark. You can feed them raw to your dogs. Cooking is what makes the bones splinter and a danger to dogs. You can kill them and put them in your compost. It’s a personal decision that you have to make.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, some pet keepers have a hard time understanding why some folks would want to eat their chickens. I've found it helpful to sometimes upfront say in some threads that I am a livestock keeper of chickens, not a pet owner, though we do care for our chickens. I love the chickens, but not in the same way as I love my dog. They may or may not understand the difference, but at least they've been given warning of where I come from. It's also useful that if you're going to post graphic pictures of butchering, to mention it in the title of your thread.

    DON'T WASTE YOUR SILKIES! Yes, they are small, but the meat was truly something special. In China, they are considered good medicine for supporting long life. I butchered I think 3 or 4 silkies roos last fall and we just ate the first one. It's got a rich, deep flavor, much deeper than any other chicken I've eaten (of course CX has pretty much no flavor, IMO). Don't think of a silkie as a filling your belly in terms of quantity, but in terms of rich/deep nutrition, at least according to the Chinese. I can see where they get that idea, YMMV.

    A tip for butchering your Silkies, or any other small bird...don't bother with the wing tips. And just skin them. You could even remove the wings altogether, though I did keep on the first little bit of wing because I didn't want to waste any meat. But the wing tip is rather useless in terms of meat and a waste of effort trying to get the skin off of it.

    I should also add that I found our 20-week old Silkie roos had prolific pin feathers, hence part of the reason to skin them. But a SUPER DUPER sharp knife was not the best tool for me to slice the neck. I could never get the knife in-between all the pin feathers and thus ended up with lots of sawing back and forth (with said very sharp knife), cutting through the pin feathers and it seemed duly unwarranted trauma to the chicken. That led me to using a cone-pointed pellet from a pellet gun aimed at the back of the head, which led to instant "lights out" and then I chopped the head off. It seemed more humane to me. With other breeds of roos, I didn't have the sawing/pinfeather problem, but I soon switched to the pellet/axe method since it seemed more humane all around. I'm sure a .22 would work just as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  6. dudefromtampa

    dudefromtampa Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks vbob.... valuable intel! :)
     
  7. dudefromtampa

    dudefromtampa Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you JPB. I appreciate your input. I've received more advice on this than I expected.
     
  8. dudefromtampa

    dudefromtampa Out Of The Brooder

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    Good to know. I had never heard that sex of the chicken had anything to do with the taste.

    My Silkies are bantam.

    I've advertised them on Craigslist in the past with luck. I put these that I have now on CL a week ago and have only received one bite. Some guy that is making this transaction more work than it needs to be.

    My only experience in butchering was a couple years ago when my (then 90 yrd) old father in law gave me instruction on butchering. We butchered three old hens I had - and it seemed to take half a morning to do so. When I questioned whether small silkies would be worth my time, I was thinking about how long it might take me if I had to butcher six or eight small silkie roosters. It might take me a whole day to do that by myself. In essence...would the amount of meat received - justify this time?

    But now, after reading the replies I've gotten here, I've decided to go ahead with the butchering and forget CL. Besides, I could use the training. And you made a good point about the dog. We have a little Bichon that loves chicken.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  9. dudefromtampa

    dudefromtampa Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you pdirt. Great advice. Fantastic advice actually. Especially in regards to the butchering. I would never had thought to use a .22 on a chicken but that sure beats slitting the throat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  10. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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