Are Chickens Considered Kosher?
Although you can’t consider all chickens kosher, most commercial chickens are considered kosher because of how butchers kill these birds. For a chicken to be a kosher chicken, a specially trained
Jewish butcher, also popularly known as a shochet, has to butcher each chicken in a flock through the kosher slaughtering process. This process entails using special slaughtering tools and methods.
What Makes Chickens Kosher?
All chickens are potential kosher chickens. However, what makes a chicken either kosher or non-kosher, depends on how the farmer raises the bird and how they slaughter it. A butcher’s method of slaughtering chickens, specifically commercial chickens, can make a chicken bear the kosher label.
Trained experts must inspect the chicken meat for possible signs of disease for the chicken to qualify as a kosher chicken. Kosher butchers usually slaughter chickens following a method that meets the Jewish dietary laws.
Once the butcher cuts a chicken’s neck, they inspect the chicken’s internal organs. Inspection is crucial in helping butchers determine whether the chickens they are butchering have any diseases that would otherwise make a chicken die naturally within one year.
How Are Kosher Chickens Raised?
Your chickens can be either non-kosher or kosher, depending on how you raise the birds. Here is how you can raise kosher chickens.
– Get a Credible Chick Supplier
Start with identifying a credible chicken supplier who will sell you suitable kosher chicks. A credible chicken supplier will sell you chicks that aren’t carrying diseases like coccidiosis and Marek’s disease.
These diseases can make your chicken fail to qualify as kosher chickens, since kosher chickens shouldn’t have a history of diseases. Consult with a certified avian vet before purchasing your kosher chicks.
Most avian vets know several credible chick suppliers, and thus they can recommend a suitable supplier to you.
– Rear the Chickens in a Human and Healthy Way
Every prospective chicken keeper should raise their kosher chickens humanly and healthily. Their chickens should live in good sanitary conditions. Chickens owners also need to allow their birds to free-range.
Besides raising chickens humanely and healthily, chicken owners shouldn’t sell their chickens for slaughtering if the birds have physical abnormalities since kosher butchers won’t consider such chickens to be kosher chickens.
– Have a Tangible Long-term Nutrition Plan
Strong chicks grow into healthy kosher chickens. To raise your kosher chickens, you must follow a strict feeding program while raising your birds. Start feeding your baby chicks with a balanced starter grower feed right from day one.
As the chicks grow to mature chickens, you can introduce a high percentage of protein diet before switching to a complete feed containing around 20% protein as the chicks transition from juveniles into adult chickens.
Overall, kosher chickens should have an organic diet to ensure their meat doesn’t have chemicals that will disqualify them from being kosher birds.
– Focus on Sanitation
The sanitation standards where you raise your chickens can make the birds kosher or non-kosher chickens. Every chicken owner should raise their chickens in a clean environment for their birds to be considered kosher chickens.
Sanitation is vital while raising your kosher chickens since young chickens are vulnerable to health risks that can prevent the birds from being kosher chickens when they reach their maturity.
Disinfect the chicken coop as you raise your kosher chickens. Use a safe disinfectant to disinfect your coop to ensure your chickens are safe for slaughtering.
How are Kosher Chickens Butchered?
Kosher butchers don’t slaughter kosher chickens the usual way. They usually follow a precise slaughtering method while butchering. Here is what goes on when butchers are butchering kosher chickens.
– The Shechita Method
Butchers follow the shechita method while butchering kosher chickens. This slaughtering method entails severing a kosher chicken’s esophagus and trachea using a specialized sharp razor.
The razor comes with a perfectly smooth blade, which causes instantaneous death without the bird experiencing pain. Only certified kosher slaughters can slaughter kosher chickens using the shechita method for kosher consumption.
A certified inspector inspects the kosher chicken’s internal organs once the kosher butcher slaughters a kosher chicken. The inspector has to check these organs for physiological abnormalities that can disqualify the bird from being a kosher chicken.
In particular, the inspector must inspect the lungs of the kosher chickens to ensure they don’t have any adhesions that indicate that a chicken could be having lung injuries. If the inspector finds an inflammation in the lungs, they must examine the inflammation further to determine whether the chicken has other health problems.
Inspection is crucial while slaughtering kosher chickens since it ensures the slaughtering process adheres to the government requirements. The inspector also removes the lobes of fat and nerves from a kosher chicken to ensure the bird meets the kosher slaughtering requirements.
Kosher butchering entails following unique cutting methods for kosher chickens. Trained kosher butchers perform these cutting procedures to ensure the entire butchering process adheres to the kosher standards.
Koshering is extracting blood from the meat of a kosher chicken. The Jewish tradition, Torah, prohibits the consumption of any kosher chicken with blood, and therefore koshering is a vital process in butchering kosher chickens.
The butcher rinses the meat of the kosher chicken in warm water before extracting blood from the animal.
After butchering and extracting the blood from a kosher chicken, the kosher butcher then soaks the meat in cold salty water. Salting is vital in the kosher butchering process since it allows for the excess water in the kosher chicken to drip off.
The butcher thoroughly salts the meat, covering its entire surface with a layer of salt. Kosher butchers strictly use a coarse salting process. Butchers remove all the internal sections of the chicken before the salting process begins.
Kosher butchers soak and salt each part of the chicken individually. If the kosher butcher slices the chicken, they must soak the surface of the cut for about half an hour before salting it.
Broiling is vital while slaughtering kosher chickens since it helps extract vast amounts of blood from kosher chickens after butchering.
The butcher first washes the meat to remove the blood on the surface of the meat before the broiling process. Moreover, the butcher makes some slits in the meat before broiling the meat.
This is the final stage of slaughtering kosher chickens. After slaughtering the kosher chickens, a kosher butcher with high integrity needs to supervise the kosher chicken to ensure the chickens comply with rabbinic supervision standards.
Ideally, butchers don’t slaughter kosher chickens in homes. Instead, the slaughtering of kosher birds takes place in a kosher slaughterhouse. Therefore, supervision is vital for ensuring the entire process complies with rabbinic butchering standards.
Are All Chicken Breeds Kosher?
Whether organic or hybrid, every chicken breed is a potential kosher chicken. What makes a chicken kosher is how a butcher slaughters the chicken. The bird automatically gets the kosher label if a butcher slaughters a chicken through the kosher process.
Furthermore, if the chicken owner rears the chicken following the kosher process, the bird will become a kosher chicken irrespective of its breed.
Are Organic Chickens Kosher?
Not all organic chickens are kosher chickens. It depends on how a farmer raises and slaughters their chickens. If a farmer raises their organic chickens to adhere to the kosher standards, then the chickens become kosher chickens despite the birds being organic chickens.
Moreover, if a butcher slaughters organic chickens following the kosher slaughtering process, the organic chickens will ultimately get the kosher label. Therefore, organic chickens are potential kosher chickens.
Are Grocery Store Chickens Kosher?
No, grocery store chickens aren’t kosher chickens. First, most of the chickens at the grocery stores don’t meet kosher standards. For example, the way farmers raise these chickens doesn’t comply with kosher standards.
Secondly, those who butcher the chickens at the grocery stores don’t use humane methods for killing chickens when slaughtering the birds. They use methods that make chickens go through severe pain, disqualifying them from being kosher chickens.
Chickens can make excellent kosher meat. Every chicken has the potential to be a kosher chicken. You can keep kosher chickens by ensuring your birds meet all kosher requirements, from rearing to slaughtering the chickens.