Withholding food

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, May 12, 2008.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I am planning to start processing my FR roosters Wednesday morning-ish. I know you're supposed to withhold food, not water, but for how long? I usually feed twice a day, morning and evening. If I withhold, it will be from the hens too because they aren't quite ready but I feel bad not giving them any food (all in the same coop).

    Can I still feed tomorrow morning and just not tomorrow night?

    Also, we will be doing 8 roosters (and I'm a first-timer obviously!). My thought was to kill then process, kill then process one at a time but my friend who is coming to town to help doesn't want to see the killing process and wanted to know if I could have that part done before she gets there. I didn't know if that would be a good idea or not.

    Thanks -
     
  2. skennedy

    skennedy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Denham Springs, LA
    Quote:I have always withheld food 24 hours before processing. You could dispatch them all and let them drain, then have your friend help from there.
     
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Great! How long can I leave them hanging/draining without risking a problem?
     
  4. skennedy

    skennedy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Denham Springs, LA
    Quote:As soon as the blood stops draining out I would process. If your friend is in the house, send for her as soon as the last one you dispatch has stopped wiggling. That way they are all lifeless when she sees them.
     
  5. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    That's what we'll do - thank you!!!
     
  6. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Well, tomorrow's the day and while I'm looking forward to it in a sick curiosity sort of way, I am a little sad. I've really enjoyed caring for my 13 Freedom Rangers and watching them grow. I felt very bad tonight feeding my bantams and only giving my FR's water [​IMG] I turned their lights out and put them to bed early.

    Tomorrow will be a busy day because my friend who was planning to help backed out, so it's just me and Dad...the only two who have the nerve to do this. Dad has hunted for years and has processed pheasants but never chickens so at least he has a clue. I sure don't but I've learned alot from this site and hope I can put it to good use.

    I do have a question though - we are planning to keep them whole for roasting. Is the meat good this way or are they better as fryers? I've never really understood the difference but I do love roast chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh my I'm drooling already [​IMG]
     
  7. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Yes,the meat is very good that way.That's how I like them.On a rotisserie is best with alttle poultry seasoning.I like them cooked til they fall apart off the bone.If you cook them in the oven,I think cooking in a bag is the way to go.I love it in the cold winter when it is freezing out and it's cozy inside and the whole house smells of roasted chicken.
    The only drawback to leaving them whole is they take up alot of freezer space.40 birds fills my freezer.This year we are going to have our processor cut many in half and just keep maybe a dozen whole.Either way your going to love the meat. Will
     
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I can't wait to try it. We only got 3 roosters done today (out of 8) and it took til the 3rd one to really get the knack. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be except for the poop. Even though I withheld the food, there was still poop. We pushed on the abdomen like I read on here somewhere and got most of it out and it really wasn't bad but that was the only part that really grossed me out. Most of the feathers pulled right out without even scalding, but we couldn't get the wing or tail feathers without the scald. I was surprised at how easy they all came off but that was the longest part. Everything else was a piece of cake.

    Definitely not something I ever want to do again in mass quantity, but 1 here or there at a time is ok. My hat is definitely off to those of you who process a ton in a day. That's alot of work! I was game to try a 4th but Dad was ready for a nap...

    I did feed the rest of them today because I felt horrible not feeding them and I'll just deal with the mess tomorrow, now that I know what to expect.

    I've got them in coolers with ice; how long should I let them "rest" before I cook one? Would it be bad to eat one today? I am dying to roast it...
     

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