MANAGING AND BUTCHERING MEAT POULTRY
Raising chicken for meat is a demanding but potentially rewarding business. The catch is you have to do everything the right way. The secret is to learn and put in practice, good poultry management. With these tips, you can ensure that your broilers do well – and make you some money.
All chicks below 3 weeks old have to stay in a heated area which should also be enclosed. They need a constant supply of water and food. Their living area has to be cleaned daily, that is if they live in an enclosed area. Avoid overcrowding because it can make the poultry stressed and make it harder for you to clean the coop. Never mix the chicken with other animals in the same coop or allow rodents to live near your broilers! They are bad news. They spread diseases. Establish the cause of any death that occurs and ensure that any dead bird is removed from the coop immediately. If the coop was being used before, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly before your broilers move in. Make sure that chicken are not exposed to cold winds at night. Older birds should be able to roost off the ground.
- Where to Buy Chicks
Always buy chicks from a company that enjoys a reputation for good quality birds that are vaccinated and healthy, not to mention of the right genetic stock. You can never have good broilers without quality chicks. Before admitting chicks into your coop, ensure that they are free of lice and mites. Try to restrict wild birds from nesting around the chicken coop – they harbor lice and mites.
- Feeding and Watering your Brood
Young chicks need nutritious food and clean water every day to remain healthy until they are ready. The feed should not have been purchased more than three months before hand and should not have any stale smell. Freshly processed grains are best. Medication is better given in water than in food. Never give poultry feed to other animals.
Monitor the quality of water to keep flock safe from disease. If possible, use water from the public water suppliers. Avoid well water unless it is tested regularly for nitrates and coliform bacteria. Avoid unclear water, and sanitize feeding equipment before admitting new chicks. Water has to be changed daily and refilled where necessary, especially when it is hot.
- Butchering the Chicken
Before butchering can begin, all work surfaces, utensils, and tools must be cleaned thoroughly and sanitized. A stainless steel worktop is best because it does not rust or corrode and it is easy to clean.
Feed should have been withdrawn the evening before to make sure that the chicken is slaughtered without any feed in the digestive system. Whatever is edible within the coop must be removed – and this includes old litter.
The working surface ought to be parted into a killing area, a picking and gutting area, a rinsing area, and a chilling area. There should be no connection between the first two areas and the second two areas since the second two areas require a high level of cleanliness.
Use sharp utensils for processing to make for a much neater, easier, and quicker job. After washing and gutting, chill the carcass immediately. It should be at 40u°F within an hour after the slaughter.
Do not kill any more birds than you are able to scald, pluck and gut in less than half an hour.
When the carcass is at 40°F temperature, cool it down to 33°F (or thereby) to cause rigor mortis which will make the meat tender. You can do this by putting the carcasses in an insulated cooler with ice for about 6 hours.
Once butchering is over, sanitize the utensils, table tops, cutting boards and everything else used. After washing to remove dirt, use a mixture of one tablespoon of household bleach and one gallon of clean water to sanitize the equipment. Use the solution to rinse utensils and to wipe surfaces.
- Delivery and Storing Meat
Each broiler should be stored in its own bag so that it freezes and thaws more easily. Finally, dispose of all the waste, preferably using the municipal collection system. Avoid discharging water to ponds, streams or ground surface because the water will be full of organic matter and bacteria.
Other Africa Poultry Information
- Profitable Chicken Farming Business
- Successful Poultry Coop Building
- Build an Affordable Long Lasting Chicken Coop
- Successful Egg Hatching for Baby Chicks
- Successful Chicken Egg Laying Strategies
- Successful Chicken Feeding
- How to Raise Chickens Stress Free
- Raising Chickens for Meat
- Successful Chicken Disease Management
- Chicken Resources