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Is it safe to eat a chicken killed by an animal?

Marian Albu

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1
Last night an animal killed 4 of my chickens and the alpha rooster is badly wounded.
I was wandering if there is any problem to eat the murdered chickens.
Thanks in advance.
Jeanine Gurley

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1393
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
I will not eat an animal that has been killed by another animal.

I probably do not have a good understanding of how disease is transmitted but I am concerned about rabies, distemper and what ever other bugs or viruses that could be transmitted by saliva or blood.

1. my projects
Gerald Griffin

Joined: Mar 22, 2012
Posts: 5
I think the greatest danger would be in processing the dead chickens. This most likely would be the avenue of disease transmittal. If it could be safely processed then thourougly cooking could make it safe to eat. BUT, I would not try this this unless I was in a situation where I had not eat in a while and had very few options of procurring something else to eat.
Matu Collins

Joined: Feb 24, 2011
Posts: 1801
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
I am not an expert, but I have harvested chickens before, and this question brings to mind the idea of draining the blood. If the chickens are already dead, how do you drain the blood? I was taught to do this when butchering, but I don't know how necessary it is.

I have been faced with the question of whether to eat killed chickens before and I have always decided not to. I agree that cooking would render it safe, but I also would have to be pretty hungry to try.
Gerald Griffin

Joined: Mar 22, 2012
Posts: 5
Soaking meat in salt water is a method of removing blood. I always soak wild game in salt water, followed by rinsing well, before storing or cooking.
Matu Collins

Joined: Feb 24, 2011
Posts: 1801
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
How long do you soak the meat, and what is the salt ratio?
Dale Hodgins

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 5494
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
As a child, I cooked up several ground hogs and rabbits that were either killed completely by our dog or that we killed together. I used burning straw to force groundhogs from their burrows and Peggy would kill them, usually with a vigorous shaking after grabbing the neck or head. She liked slow cooked ground hog and had no problem handing it over to me for processing. I killed two with my fire hardened wooden spear. Peggy sometimes showed up at the door with a dead rabbit. She didn't chew on these kills so I cooked them up.

Other members of the family were put off by this. I was put off by low grade food that my mom made which included freezer burnt and rancid meats. My hunting and gathering was borne of self preservation and protest. I knew about rabies and other diseases and always cooked everything well but I didn't wear gloves or take other precautions during processing. I haven't butchered a mamal since I was 13 when we moved to the city. That will soon change.

On a few occasions , dad pronounced our supper as slop or swill. Several fights broke out over his comments on food quality and cooking skill. When he called a casserole a "hogs breakfast" the fight went on for hours. One pot cooking only works if all of the ingredients are fit to eat.

Dale's picks - These are some of my favorite threads. Greed - http://www.permies.com/t/10736/md/unbridled-greed-ambition-compatible-permaculture My garden - http://www.permies.com/t/27910/projects/Dale-Day-Garden ethics - http://www.permies.com/t/11534/permaculture/frustration-ethics Good wood bad wood http://www.permies.com/t/12206/hugelkultur/Hugelkultur-Good-wood-Bad-wood Alder - http://www.permies.com/t/10609/plants/Alder-nitrogen-fixation-native-tree Bees - http://www.permies.com/t/10917/bees/time-replace-European-honey-bee Pulling nails - http://www.permies.com/t/10249/natural-building/Removing-nails-recycled-wood-techniques
Tyler Ludens

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5732
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
I think eating an animal caught by your domestic dog is significantly different than eating a chicken killed by an unknown varmint..... I would eat (and have eaten) an animal killed by my dog (our present dog doesn't kill things) but I would not eat an animal killed by an unknown varmint.

Idle dreamer

Gerald Griffin

Joined: Mar 22, 2012
Posts: 5
As for soaking game meat in salt water, I suggest using 1/2 tsp to 1qt of water for about 4 hours, then rinse well. You should completely cover whatever you are soaking in the salt water solution. If I am soaking a male deer, I will add apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to the salt water solution. The amount of vinegar I add is about 1/4 tsp per qt of water. This helps with the "gamey" taste.
Walter Jeffries

Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 1027
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3

Maybe but do you want to risk it?

Also since it wasn't properly bled or chilled it may not taste all that good.

My dogs on the other hand have iron constitutions. They have to eat too. Something like this goes to them.


-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:

subject: Is it safe to eat a chicken killed by an animal?