When will his legs stop being so stiff?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by shaft0463, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. shaft0463

    shaft0463 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    We butchered our first turkey tonight, and all went well. Got him plucked and gutted, into a bath of cool water, then onto ice a couple hours later. He's now in the fridge.

    But he's still stiff as a board. Luckily he wasn't too terribly big, or he wouldn't have fit in the fridge with his legs all stretched out.

    When will he relax? If he doesn't relax, he won't fit in my oven.

    I am new to all of this, and hubby hasn't done poultry before. Just pigs and deer, so the meat is removed from the carcass. He's never had to worry about fitting the danged thing into a fridge or oven [​IMG]
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Friday, maybe Saturday. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    How old was it. I had that same problem with my first chicken kill it happened when it was left to bleed out to long.
  4. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    He should relax in a day or two. If he's not ready by Thursday, you can always bind his legs. I wouldn't worry about it until Wednesday night. [​IMG] My Thanksgiving turkey was eaten alive by a neighbor's dog, so we had to buy. I was heartbroken. She was about 40 pounds when it happened and I ended up having to buy one. I've got to wait til next year to try "real" turkey. Hope it turns out wonderful!!

  5. shaft0463

    shaft0463 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    He was 6 months old, not terribly large. It did take us a while to pluck and gut him, because FIL was teaching me how to do it.

    If his legs don't relax, will he be tough? If he's not ready in time, I would rather go buy one and let him sit until he's ready than eat him when he's tough [​IMG]
  6. MovieFanz

    MovieFanz Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2010
    I don't like putting them in ice water. I think that makes them stiffen up to much. I cool them down slowly with running cold water.
  7. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    My guess is it's rigormortis, and time will lessen the effects. I age my chickens in the fridge for a day before freezing or cooking, so I believe it would take longer for a turkey. Large livestock carcasses hang for days in a cold room.

    Hope you have a tasty bird for Thanksgiving!

  8. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    My first birds did that, too. I'll bet he relaxes a bit in time for dinner. Ours did relax enough to fit in the roasting pan.

    With us, the problem was we held him by the legs through the whole process of plucking, and rigor set in. Now we set the bird in the sink and pluck, trying to keep the legs close to how we want them to look later.

    Have a delicious Thanksgiving... and who cares it the legs stick up a little? It will add to how memorable the occasion is!
  9. shaft0463

    shaft0463 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    We did hang him until he was plucked and gutted, then put him in a cooler with cold water. The ice only lasted about 5 minutes before it melted (crushed, didn't buy enough).

    I don't care if his legs stick up. More worried about toughness and fitting him in the oven!
  10. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Quote:Rigor mortis will pass in 24-48 hours including large livestock. The reason beef is hung in a walk in cooler to age is to improve tenderness and flavor as the aging starts to break down the tissues while the fat marbling gives the meat flavor. Corn fed feedlot beef cattle are normally hung for 9 days at the local butchers ( sold at the super markets). If you are buying a half or whole beef or butchering your own corn fed beef, one has to request the butcher to extend the hanging of the carcass up to 16-18 days at a higher fee, but well worth it to achieve full tenderness and flavor ( think at the high end restaurants). Some friends and I would raise a corn fed Angus beef and butcher it. Then hang it for 18 days at a butcher shop in town. Then we custom cut it up at my place as I own a Hobart 3 phase commercial band saw and meat grinder. The organic grass fed only beef will require to be hung 21+ days to achieve similar tissue break down while the flavor intensity depends on the amount of fat marbling.

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