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Getting ReadyKilling the BirdThe naked FowlEvisceration: 1Evisceration: 2Evisceration: 3Afterwards


If promptly chilled, freshly dressed poultry can be organized up come a week in the refrigerator. If friend do arrangement to keep it that long, though, do not keep it tightly covering in plastic. Instead, collection it on a plate and also loosely cover with wax record or freezer paper.

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I dry the carcass inside and also out prior to freezing. To package, I have actually used loose plastic bags (double-bagging if the plastic is thin), freezer record (again, twin wrapping), zip-seal freezer bags, and shrink wrapping. That is the order of mine preference too (from least to many desirable). Whatever method you use, expel all the air friend can. And also make sure the wrapping is thick sufficient to prevent loss that water vapor from within the parcel (through osmosis) to the drier wait of the freezer. These 2 precautions will avoid or delay freezer burn.

When using either a loosened or a zip-seal freezer bag, I use a drinking straw to suck the waiting from inside the package, climate seal tightly through twist-ties or the zip seal. If using freezer paper, ns wrap as tightly as I can.

The finest package for permanent freezing is shrink wrapped. In the past few years, home vacuum warm sealers have become widely obtainable where kitchen appliances room sold. Lock come v a selection of features and also prices, however need not be expensive. I have actually used one for several years now—the resulting packages keep far better and longer than those I create using any kind of other method.

The biggest limit through a house vacuum sealer is size. The manufacturers seem not to have anticipated that the homesteader might want to shrink-wrap an entire goose, a roasting chicken, or a turkey. For those, use among the various other methods.

Cut or leaving whole?

Our usual practice is to freeze almost all our dressed poultry whole, then cut as preferred after thawing. It may be that the meat keeps far better in bigger pieces. What is particular is that—if girlfriend cut prior to freezing—you develop pointed end of sheared bone which can puncture wrapping. Once freezing reduced pieces v exposed point out of bone, i take treatment to tuck the jagged point out inside various other cuts v a smooth exterior. It is occasionally vital to fold a item of freezer file several thicknesses to pad one exposed point.

A major exception come the leave-whole preference is the processing of duck carcasses. Countless cooks have discovered how difficult it is to chef a whole duck satisfactorily: either the breast overcooks while wait for the legs and also thighs to chef through; or the breast is au point, when the legs and also thighs space under-done. Our solution is to cut up the carcass, and also use the components in separate preparations.

I usage my thin, quick blade come fillet the breast off the breast bone in two portions. I use my heavier, stiffer tongue to reduced off the wings, thighs, and also legs. The continuing to be bony earlier is saved for the share pot. The breast fillets are scheduled for meals because that the lord and also lady of the manor (that’s us!) and also are cook like little steaks. Because that us, that most often way pan-grilling “hot and also quick” in the fat that renders from the skin as grilling begins. Duck chest is finest served rare. The “bits and also pieces” (wings, legs, and thighs) room passed on to the peasants (that’s us, too!), and are typically braised, with onions and also red cabbage, periodically with apple together well. After together a meal, us sigh with satisfaction and muse, “Hmmmm, wonder what the well-off folks are eating tonight!”

Processing “The Goodies”

Stock parts

Feet (you did conserve the feet, right?), heads, necks, and the skin from approximately the neck can be conserved for the share pot. Dry thoroughly and also freeze in appropriate size packages.

If you cut up a carcass, the bonier parts such together the earlier can also be reserved for the share pot. In addition, we always freeze the bony dead body from roasted fowl until prepared to do stock.


You don’t choose liver? Forget that! This is your chance to appreciate genuine livers, not the pale yellow-brown, tired looking livers your mom may have actually bought at the supermarket. Livers from your poultry are an ext likely to it is in dark red, plump, and glistening—signs of healthy livers. Saute some onions, then saute new livers “hot and also quick” in the exact same pan, deglazing the pan with a little wine or sherry. Do not cook beyond “rare.” Delicious! (Freeze extra livers in small packets for later on use.)

The hearts and gizzards can additionally be sauteed and included to soups, sauces, or stir-fries. (Or they deserve to be added to the share parts.)

Processing the gizzard is complicated by that structure. The is a fixed of skinny muscle around an inner pouch through a difficult lining, containing bits of stone the bird supplies to grind that is feed. You can reduced through the muscle to disclose the outer surface that the pouch, then peel the muscle ago with her fingers, leaving a butterfly-shaped cleaned gizzard. It have the right to be tricky peeling off the muscle without splitting open the pouch. Sometimes it helps to chill the gizzards a small before peeling them.

Another alternative is come brace the gizzard versus a cutting board, and slice turn off bite-size pieces, maintaining the blade’s edge far from the inner pouch and leaving the intact.


Remember your Pets

Remember your Pets

Actually, in ~ our house, all the necks, hearts, and also gizzards are reserved for our dog Nyssa. Prior to dogs began eating the dry crunchy ingredient they ate life meat, right? and also bones. For this reason we determined several years earlier that Nyssa can only benefit from raw meat and bone together a substantial part of her everyday diet. I cut the hearts, gizzards, and also lungs, and freeze in mini-packets. I additionally freeze the necks, covering individually in plastic wrap. Every day Nyssa it s okay one or the other, s to room temperature. She loves them!

Yes, I understand you’ve to be cautioned never ever to feeding chicken bones to dogs. That’s great advice, with referral to long bones (thigh bones, drumstick bones), cooking bones, and bones native commercial chicken usually (which are poorly mineralized, softer than homestead chicken bones, and apt to break into long danger splinters). Raw chunky neck bones have actually never to be the slightest trouble for Nyssa. Chewing castle helps store her this clean and healthy; and also they space unmatched because that promoting good bowel function.

We provided to market our cat the exact same raw tidbits, but she didn’t seem much interested. She to be a great hunter who on regular basis ate she kills, therefore I mean she considered our offerings a poor second best. I’ve read, however, that cats that relished such raw tidbits.


You will finish your slaughter day through a pile of wet feathers and also a bucket or two of entrails. I throw the feather onto the deep litter in the poultry house. The birds will certainly eat some of them (feathers are nearly pure protein), when the remainder get hidden in the litter, where they quickly break down.

The entrails have the right to be composted or buried. If girlfriend compost, take treatment to develop a heap which heats increase rapidly and also does not come to be an attractant to dogs and other curiosity seekers.

I have actually at times put the entrails out in the sheet of our woods, together an offering to friends—Fox, Raccoon, Possum—who live in the neighborhood and who need to eat as well. It"s my means of honoring ours kinship, and also saying “Thank you” the we are able to coexist peacefully while my flocks remain (mostly) intact.

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Another alternative I’ve been utilizing the past couple of year is handling the entrails in the maggot breeding buckets to generate high-protein live food because that the chooks.

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