I've got a small flock of old chickens I need to slaughter and I was wondering is there a easier way to get the feathers off with out skinning em? I got new chicks ready to go in there place! I really appreciate any tips y'all
Post by mdtreehugger on Jun 19, 2017 7:17:31 GMT -5
First I would ask myself how I was intending on cooking these birds. Old birds I usually stew or crockpot so I just skin them. Basically if your cooking them wet you dont need the skin. If your dry cooking them then the skin becomes important. The easiest way to pluck them is to scald them first. I like my scald water to between 135 and 140 degrees. Dunk a chicken or two in for maybe 10 seconds, keep swirling them around during this time. Pull the out for a few seconds, then repeat until there primary flight feathers pull easily. You want to loosen the feathers without cooking the skin. Slightly cooked skin tears very easily. A good squirt of dish soap in the water will also help. Hopefully Farmertrappe will chime in on this, he is the expert chicken plucker here.
Post by farmertrappe on Jun 19, 2017 7:36:39 GMT -5
Treehugger has you heading in the right direction. But as she mentioned, old layers are best for stew birds and making stock ect. Don't go to the work and be disappointed with the results and not want to work with meat birds again. There is a world of difference between eating a spent hen or old rooster and a nice plump young meat bird. But those birds do have a use.
Thank u there 2 and 3 year old layers I'm needing to make room for my new layers and I got a 2 year old rooster I didn't want to kill him I love hearing him crow but I'm worried he will kill the young chickens cause he will breed everything all day! There Americana and black sussexs every chicken I've ever killed out was tuff when I cooked do I need to clean em out first? I'm running out of time to get these new ones out of my raising pin and in my chicken yard? I want to do it right thanks for all the info and everyone stay safe we riding out this nasty storm down here pretty wet and windy
Post by farmertrappe on Jun 21, 2017 21:36:08 GMT -5
You want to take the birds off feed for 12 hours or so to clean out their crop before processing. You also want to cool the birds down as soon as possible after processing. Into a ice bath first then a frig or on ice for at least 24 hours before you eat or freeze the birds. You want the tissue to start to break down before eating or freezing to help tenderize up the met.
Ok thank u farmtrapper I appreciate all the good advice and I'll post some pics when I get it done I'm waiting on this slow storm to move out we been getting high winds and rain for three days straight so can't do a hole lot
Post by mdtreehugger on Jun 22, 2017 10:18:32 GMT -5
swamptalkforum.com/thread/30866/old-hens-chicken-stock Check out my post from earlier this spring on what to do with old hens. I already had the pot going with all the vegetation and seasoning in it. Just killed, skinned, gutted, and rinsed the birds and into the pot. Kept it at a simmer all day, then retrieved the carcasses out just before they fell apart. Pulled the meat off and froze it, pressure canned the stock. The meat is tender and flavorful, and I saved a step of chilling and storing the birds for a few days. Slow cooking will be your friend for old hens. I tried roasting an 18 week old rooster once, never again. Anything not bread to be a meat bird gets slow cooked or made into stock now. If your looking for a nice bird for the oven or grill do your self a favor and get some meat type chickens. There are at least 2 recent threads on raising them, with some decent debate on choices. Don't hesitate to ask questions about raising them or processing them. I know between farmer and myself we have put somewhere north of 200 chickens into many freezers this season alone, I've already lost track. Hopefully the storm moves on soon so you can get going on it.