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How to prevent bruising when processing?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We raise BBWs and each year our Toms dress out at 50 - 60 lbs.  We have tried a few different methods of processing but have found no real way of preventing bruising on the wings.  They don't fit in our 100lb feed bags so we don't have that as an option to keep them contained.  We hang the birds by their feet, necks stretched and remove the head in one swipe.  We would like to be as humane as possible.

 

Our females dress out at 40+ and last year they tore the feedbag open when thrashing about.  This year our hens are about the same size and they are being sold.  I'm particularly keen on making sure their wings are not bruised.  

 

Any ideas on how to prevent bruising?

RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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post #2 of 4

IMO, a killing cone is the best way to prevent the thrashing and bruising. For birds that big, commercial cones are very pricey. You could make your own out of sheet metal and rivets.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

We used duct tape.  We hugged them and kept them calm and a second person hooked their feet with rope and duct taped their wings.  We tied the rope to the bucket on our tractor and still hugging them, held them up until the bucket was up in the air and we could lower them until they were upside down.  My husband stretched their neck and removed the head with one swipe.  Both toms and one female ended up breaking the duct tape but only after about 10 seconds.  None of the birds ended up bruised at all.  We were very pleased with the results and not putting a bag over their head was great - they remained calm right through the end.

 

I'm always super concerned about how we process. I want these birds treated humanely and with respect.  I think we achieved that.

RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
Reply
RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
Reply
post #4 of 4
We just did our BBW tom yesterday. He weighed in at 43.6 pounds after the feathers, head & feet. Don't know why I weighed him then, I could have weighed him alive or I guess I can still weigh him now that he's been cleaned and gutted. Anywho, this is my first year doing a bird this big and my usual feed bag method was not an option. I did something similar to Lelilamom's duct tape method except I used rope. I wrapped the rope around him about 3 times before tying it and he still managed to break loose and bruise a bit sad.png. Guess I will be trying the duct tape method next time. Or perhaps a automotive ratchet strap will work?
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