EJB, I have to admit I did not expect anyone from BYC to show up at my camp day, I was impressed thy did and despite Coffee's sons worry about people meeting people they met on the internet, no one was murdered, raped or assaulted!
I have been thinking and come up with some ideas to make it run smoother and faster next year.
The main problem we had was regulating temp and time for scalding the birds.
I want to find some kind of submersible thermometer we can read easily or remotely from the scalding area.
Other things we are thinking of is getting the exact number of whole birds we need. I think we could save time if we do the whole roasters first.
Then turn the heat up a tad or dunk a tad longer to loosen the feathers on the legs and wings a little more.
We found out most people taking birds wanted them cut up. We talked about it and think we could run them over the plucker or into the whizbang if I get it done then part the birds out without gutting them.
Taking the legs, wings and breast fillets, then doing a quick entry into the cavity to get the gizzard, liver and heart. If someone wants the backs we could finish the cleaning of them, if not they go into a bag to be frozen for chicken snacks.
If we had enough people there we could vacuum pack them at the same time we process them,
We may need a second scalding station, scalding and the plucker was our "clogging point".
One other change I would like to get is to get others to freeze 5 gallon pails of ice, I will start earlier if I have freezer space to save it in. My freezer in the shed took a dump on me and that limited my ice. We had enough but I want more. We used a stock tank with ice and water, more ice would have been nice, even though we did good.
I am thinking of a small order in March (35 birds) and a large order the end of June or first of July. This depends on whether I want to tie myself down for the entire summer again.
I will be ordering roosters next time, The hens made nice sized birds, but I love the huge ones. The hens have nice sized quarters on them, far better than the ones in the store, but I want larger.
The breast are larger than expected on the hens, but not rooster sized, I think we will get 4 servings from each bird of breast meat. Over all I think they are well worth the $7.50 we paid for each bird.
I am open to other ideas too.
I am putting an ad on craigslist today or tomorrow selling a hooded zippered sweat shirt jacket thing I got from the Camp Day event. As I understand it it was worn by a Garrison Keillor listening motorcycle thug. That should make it more valuable.