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Drop off in chicken quality?

NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
edited 5:39AM in EggHead Forum
Has anyone else noticed a drop off in the quality of whole chickens recently?

I smoked a pair of chickens yesterday. One had broken ribs and the foot broken off.

DSC_0032resized-3.jpg

The other was missing half a wing entirely.

DSC_0038resized.jpg

I have consistently bought Tyson young chickens over the years and lately I have seen a lot of this lately. I know I'm just going to spatchcock them and cook them anyway, but it just seems like quality control isn't what it used to be. Maybe I've just been unlucky?

On edit: PS I'm doing a giveaway of Peace, Love, and Barbecue on my facebook page. Giving it away Monday night. http://www.facebook.com/NibbleMeThis2
Knoxville, TN
Nibble Me This

Comments

  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Definitely a Tennessee thing.
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Chris: Haven't seen that here! I always look for bruising in the package which indicates the bird was injured while still alive or very early in the slaughter process while blood was still flowing. If no bruising is apparent, it's a result of rough handling after processing. What are the other common factors here...same retailer? Call Tyson to express your observations and concerns.
  • milesofsmilesmilesofsmiles Posts: 1,366
    Philsgrill, Tyson is in Ark. The # 3 chicken producer in the world, behind China #1 and Brazil #2. :) :) :) Ronnie.
  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 1,305
    **** fighters have to be eaten, just like everybody else. You may have enjoyed a prize fighter, that is until he lost.

    John - SLC, UT

     Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg, Smokin-It #3, Blackstones

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,652
    I try to stick with Grade A birds. They cost a little more per pound but I find less problems with the birds. Need to look for the little USDA "A" label on the packaging.

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    Guess I need to move then :laugh:
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    Good point, it does seem to be after the fact damage as there is no blood pooling in the affected areas.

    Also good point about the retailer, we almost always get the twin pack from Sam's.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    Now given that I am in East Tennessee where that kind of thing goes on (recent bust in past few months), that is extra funny! :laugh:
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,202
    Could all the tragedy in AR and surrounding areas have anything to do with the quality? They did loose millions of birds.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    That's why I love this forum. I didn't realize they had USDA grades for chickens!

    I'll definitely be on the look out from now on, thanks for the pointer.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    I don't think that's it. I've been seeing this for about the past two months.

    I'm thinking tjv and Little Chef both may be on to something.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Chris: I can 99.999999% guarantee that you are getting Grade A chickens at Sams. Grade B&C don't generally even make it to retail...they are processed into canned soups, etc, then even into cat/dog food, etc. I can't help but think it's the way they are being stocked. Those 'twin packs' are packaged in a way that makes it easy to 'sling them' around. And as discussed previously, if there's no bruising, it likely happened after the processing facility.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,652
    LC, you might check with your connections as I'd like to know for sure but I think inspection and grading are two different deals. Inspection is mandatory and grading is voluntary with poultry. I have a couple grocery stores around me that do not carry graded birds on occasion, my local Kroger being one.

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    tjv: You are correct, inspection and grading are two different deals. Beef, pork & poultry are required to be inspected. But no meat, including beef, is required to be graded. (Some game does not require inpection at all.) Inspections are covered by our tax dollars, grading is not, and instead paid by the processing facility. Tough to be a reputable beef or poultry dealer, without paying the extra $$$ to promote/confirm your quality and grading. Here is a link for you, which helps it make more sense.

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/inspection_&_grading/index.asp

    I suppose my statement was a bit ambiguous, but the main point being....If he is buying a brand name Tyson chicken, from a retailer as large as Sams...I am 99.99999% positive it is graded...and Grade A. And yes, grading is optional. Hope this helps!
  • Had a broken leg on another brand of "all natural" whole chicken, too :unsure:

    Love to eat meat, not torture the creatures :sick:
  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    All processing plants are under pressure and paid for performance. BPM (Birds per minute) is the standard measure. Broken bones just happen in the process. Many time breaks are hard to detect until you get home because the skin will hide such flaws. But with birds being processed at more than two per second breakage happens.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    but if it is missing a wing, that happens prior to packaging, no? and aren't they packaged at the processor?

    just wundering :unsure:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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