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Bleeding out chicken

Chris Fitt

Joined: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
I posted a similar topic in cooking, so sorry for any redundancy.

So we helped butcher chicken a month ago and one of the chickens wasn't properly bled out.  This is terrible. The person doing the killing put it in the kill cone and never slit its throat.  The chicken died (we hope) and then went in the scalder and the plucker machine.  The next person caught the mistake because the meat looked dark red.  We processed it anyway and were going to use it as bait (for skunk traps).  The chicken has been in the walk in freezer and has been stored properly. 

Does anyone know what would happen if we used this chicken for eating?  Everything I've read on butchery says you need to properly bleed animals.  The main reasons being it looks better, tastes better and lasts longer.  Does it taste bad if you don't or just not as good?  I'm leaning towards "when in doubt throw it out" as opposed to using it even just for stock and ruining it.  But anyone's experience or feed back would be helpful.
Tyler Ludens

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5737
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
I don't personally see a problem with eating it.  It might taste different because of the presence of blood.  There's nothing wrong with eating blood (except some people think it's gross).

Idle dreamer

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17409
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Alexia Allen of Hawthorn Farm is a wilderness skills instructor who also has a small farm in Woodinville, Washington.  I thought she did a really good job of demonstrating a respectful harvest of a chicken.

"I usually like wearing pink when I do my butchering.  It makes me the angel of death.  I have come to this process of killing animals with this sense of being almost a midwife?  Or at least when I teach people about butchering chickens I want to emphasize It's not about being brutal or macho, it's really about 'hey, you kill things and eat them.' That's part of how the world seems to work.  I didn't make up how the world works.  It just seems to be what needs to happen whether it is a chicken or a carrot.  It's just a vertabrate bias that might make a chicken seem different than a carrot."


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Joe Skeletor

Joined: Jan 04, 2010
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
I'm kind of confused how this chicken was killed unless entirely by the scalding and plucking machine. Also, how would it get moved from the killing cone to scalding without somebody noticing that it was a fully functioning chicken? Very large operation or just bad move on sombody's part?

Either way, let me know what blood red chicken meat tastes like. Just curious - joe
Chris Fitt

Joined: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA

I don't know how the chicken died.  The assumption was a heart attack in the kill cone, unlikely.  Or in the scald tank more likely.  It was not a big operation, depending on your definition of big.  We usually killed about 50 birds at a time.  It was definitely a bad move on the person's part.  He wasn't usually part of the operation.  As far as taste, I just made stock with the bird so I didn't directly try the meat.  We fed it to the dogs, which of course didn't care.
Leah DeCapio

Joined: Jan 19, 2013
Posts: 2
I just "saved" some chickens from a local farm that couldn't afford to feed them anymore...I brought my flock home, and within one hour, one of our dogs had a head in its mouth. (I will be putting smaller wire all along the chain-link fencing too...) Anyhow, I was at a complete loss as to what to do. It was my first day with my chickens! I took classes, read, read, read, but the "real deal" is a different thing... Thanks to your videos, photos, and reading posts, I was able to pluck, clean, and butcher the chicken. She is now in brine, and my clay roasting pot is soaking in the sink. I can't tell you how thankful I am to you! Without you, I would have been lost, and it would have been an even more unfair turn for the "rescued" chicken.
subject: Bleeding out chicken