Butchering Meat Chickens...resting the meat

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lilmissy

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I posted this question on backyardchickens. But when I look up the other posts and the answers I am getting I am totally confused. We have raised meat chickens 4 or 5 times now and not once did we let the meat rest. Now it seems you really should do this And we just didnt know any better. Does anyone else rest their meat? How?
 

Peanut

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On resting meat... @lilmissy Exactly what do you mean by resting the meat? This is from memory... but most meats we processed as a kid... we'd always put the chickens, squirrels etc in a tub of very salty water.. Several hours might pass as we killed, plucked 30 or 40 birds at a time. Is this what you're referring to? Or some kind of time limit? Over night etc?

I just quick read several internet articles... seems resting is all about allowing rigor to pass before you finish processing the meat... Usually done in cold salty water overnight...
 
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Supervisor42

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On resting meat... @lilmissy Exactly what do you mean by resting the meat? This is from memory... but most meats we processed as a kid... we'd always put the chickens, squirrels etc in a tub of very salty water.. Several hours might pass as we killed, plucked 30 or 40 birds at a time. Is this what you're referring to? Or some kind of time limit? Over night etc?
I think she is referring to the equivalent of 'aging' a beef carcass after slaughter.
We found out how important that is.
Without it, taste is very different, especially ones that were not 'fed-out' on grain.
Some of the wild game we harvested definitely needed to be aged!
'Free-range' chickens, (ones not fed grain daily) probably need that.
 

Cnsper

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We plucked, gutted and got the bird in cold water as soon as possible. No salt just a slow stream of water from the hose into the galvanized tub. It was a rubber hose too.

After the birds were cooled, 4 to 6 hours, into the freezer they went.
 

BadgerLandHunter

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I posted this question on backyardchickens. But when I look up the other posts and the answers I am getting I am totally confused. We have raised meat chickens 4 or 5 times now and not once did we let the meat rest. Now it seems you really should do this And we just didnt know any better. Does anyone else rest their meat? How?
My dad growing up would raise and butcher chickens for us. We never did we would butcher, mom pluck, dad and I gut then a quick diluted bleach bath and cold water soak for 30ish mins before freezer.

I think you are talking about aging the bird which sounds like a good idea. I now do it with my rabbits and wild game I harvest.

How you do it is put it in a refrigerator for 2-3 days where it is below 40 degrees but above freezing. It's nice if you have a spare fridge so it's less of a pain with watching for cross contamination. In that time the carcass will go through the stages of rigor mortise and be limp and extra tender when you cook it. If you butcher it and freeze it in rigor it will be a bit more tough since the muscles are constricted as it freezes.
However I have read you can supposedly freeze it and the thaw and age it later for 3ish days.
Our family would butcher 23+ chickens at once so we never messed with aging and it was still delicious no one complained but if you have the space, time, and drive aging will give you the best result.
However it is no way required.
 
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lilmissy

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What I meant is, I have read that people butcher, let sit in ice cause if you put them straight into a Fridge it would raise the temp of the fridge and the meat could spoil. Then people say salt brine, no brine, ice, ice for two days ice for a few hours until temp raises in bird then in fridge! It had me confused and worried. Then the one guy just told me I was putting way to much thought into it, lol. If the leg moves freely with the bird moving with it it is ready to be frozen.
i will check out your chicken plucker you made Cascadian. We said about doing our own but the lady who does the butchering charges $1.50-1.75 per bird. So its worth it for us Right now to let her do it.
 

Peanut

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If you have a lot of birds to process a chicken plucker is the way to go... My neighbor has one. I donate a bird or two and we use his machine... Last time I purchased a lot of straight run chicks I ended up with about 12+ roosters... The plucker will run that many in about 1/2 an hour or so.

Plucker (2).jpgPlucker (5).jpg
 

Terri9630

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We plucked, gutted and got the bird in cold water as soon as possible. No salt just a slow stream of water from the hose into the galvanized tub. It was a rubber hose too.

After the birds were cooled, 4 to 6 hours, into the freezer they went.
That's how we do it. Depending on how many birds, how hot and tired I am then we may leave them in I've over night.
 

Terri9630

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If you have a lot of birds to process a chicken plucker is the way to go... My neighbor has one. I donate a bird or two and we use his machine... Last time I purchased a lot of straight run chicks I ended up with about 12+ roosters... The plucker will run that many in about 1/2 an hour or so.

View attachment 47106View attachment 47107
I love my chicken plucker! It was $800 but its so worth it!
 

Amish Heart

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We clean ours up, wrap, and throw in the fridge for a day, but I've heard people say to not freeze them until 2 or 3 days in the fridge because the meat will get tough. Don't know if that's true or not. Grandma used to kill, butcher, and cook a Sunday meal all in the same day.
 

Cnsper

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If you heat the water to only 155 degrees, there is no need for a plucker. The feathers come right out.

The first year I learned about this, three adults and 3 kids had 150 chickens plucked, gutted and cooling in 4 hours.

Yeah you read that right. To gut them we split them down the back, opened them up and cleaned the insides out. So much faster that way.

Us kids were so happy to learn this method because we did not have to spend hours pulling pin feathers.
 

backlash

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I don't see a problem with resting them. It might help and it wouldn't hurt as long as you keep the bird at a safe temperature.
I can still smell those wet chicken feathers. Grandma would roll up a newspaper and lite it to burn off the little feathers. She had a mean rooster that attacked everyone. It got her one morning. She grabbed it, broke his neck and we had him for dinner that night .
 

BadgerLandHunter

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What I meant is, I have read that people butcher, let sit in ice cause if you put them straight into a Fridge it would raise the temp of the fridge and the meat could spoil. Then people say salt brine, no brine, ice, ice for two days ice for a few hours until temp raises in bird then in fridge! It had me confused and worried. Then the one guy just told me I was putting way to much thought into it, lol. If the leg moves freely with the bird moving with it it is ready to be frozen.
i will check out your chicken plucker you made Cascadian. We said about doing our own but the lady who does the butchering charges $1.50-1.75 per bird. So its worth it for us Right now to let her do it.
Yes no matter what you need to cool them down before freezing them to help drop the temp before the freezer.

Cooling them for several days is not because of body temp but aging it.
I think you are mixing the two things.

You should always cool the bird after processing (cold running water or packing it with ice) but the only reason to not freeze it in a day (unless you get tired and take a break) is to age the bird which helps with taste and tenderness.

Aging is optional......cooling the bird down some before tossing in standard freezer is not. (Walk in professional freezer is obviously different)

As far as the price my dad found a guy that will butcher, pluck, gut, and soak the chickens in running cold water for $2 a bird. My dad is sick of the work involved and would rather not have to kill them himself for such a reasonable price.
All other people gave him a high price per chicken to do it.
 

SheepDog

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Gut and skin. I don't eat the skins anyway and there is always some fat stuck to the meat. Resting it, whether birds or venison, is necessary for tender meat. Aging, allowing rot to set in, is helpful in tenderizing more and if not aged too long can improve flavor. If you let it age just a bit too long you have decent stew meat but any longer and you have garbage.
 

Supervisor42

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. She had a mean rooster that attacked everyone. It got her one morning. She grabbed it, broke his neck and we had him for dinner that night .
Sometimes the sweetest meat is like that. Nothing sweeter than revenge.
We had a mean cow that plowed the ground with my skinny butt more than a few times.
As long as she was producing calves, mom protected her.
When she finally went barren, we boys were fighting over who would get the honor of shooting her.
Wasn't me, but I sure wanted to.machine-gun.gif
She will live on forever.
She earned her name early on: "Savage-Five".

Sorry for the sidetrack, but some things you just never forget.
...I need only look down at the scar on my wrist today to remember her.
Now back to chickens!:green man:
 

Amish Heart

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Two bucks a bird is a good price, BadgerLandHunter. I'd have someone do it for that. A non Amish cousin here made a killing with selling meat birds this year. She butchered, cleaned, and had her oldest daughter food saver them at work (she works at a small processing place). Sold them for $3 a lb. She had 100 birds, 6 to 10 lbs a piece.
 

BadgerLandHunter

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Two bucks a bird is a good price, BadgerLandHunter. I'd have someone do it for that. A non Amish cousin here made a killing with selling meat birds this year. She butchered, cleaned, and had her oldest daughter food saver them at work (she works at a small processing place). Sold them for $3 a lb. She had 100 birds, 6 to 10 lbs a piece.
Yeah that's what my dad thought. We didn't typically sell them but if my dads co-worker wanted one or a close family friend wanted one we would sell it to offset feed cost. Last time he did that was maybe 4 years ago and he did it for $3.50 a pound I think. People wouldn't even blink at that price. They would do it for a healthier option vs store bought. It worked out well but that was back when we butchered them all ourselves so we didn't have to figure the 2 dollar butcher fee.
 

Meerkat

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Can'thelp with this ,being an ex city slicker with a city slicker mother all our hens have names and unless I get hungry are safe from the pan. Now if I get hungry I also get mean so they will have a bad day,Hubby can kill,clean and prepare anything so if need be we are ready.
 

SheepDog

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As long as a chicken is producing eggs she is relatively safe from the pan. The plan is simple, nobody gets a free ride.
 

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