Harvesting Meat Poultry
Note: Blue Star Ranch sells LIVE chickens ONLY. We do not process chickens to sell or for public consumption)
There may be some point in your owning of chickens that you may want to eat a few extra roosters for Sunday supper, or you may want to have your own sustainable "poultry processing" system in place to make your own food.
What ever your reasons you need to know some basic facts about processing chickens.
Do NOT kill and eat sick chickens!
Any chicken can be killed for food some breeds are better tasting and have more meat than others
Processing only a few chickens is a LOT of work. Most people set up a time to process a good sized freezer full all at once.
Have all of your supplies ready and in one place the night before processing chickens
Two days before processing separate chickens to be processed, feed them a light ration of food
The day before processing DO NOT FEED chickens but give them water of course
Plan event with several friends/family for help (you will need extra hands)
Older "egged out" hens make good soup hens and are best for eating in soups, stews and dumplings..mmmmmm good soup!
If you have roosters, its best to eat these FIRST and keep your hens for laying eggs.
Tender young chicken is best, usually under 4/6 months of age. Older roosters will be stringy and should be used more for soup or stew.
The "Cornish Cross" (big fat special meat breed) provides LOTS of delicious white meat but it can be harder to raise and the SMELL of these chickens is overwhelming. If you can't stand the smelly pen, try other breeds such as the plain White Plymouth Rock or a Black or Red Broiler. These chickens are not as fast as some breeds to get to the table, but they are just as tasty and easier to raise overall.
If you have more questions on processing chickens, call us for a phone consultation. 281-627-8009