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  1. wsmoak

    2016 Turkeys in Georgia

    We usually do meat chickens (Freedom Rangers) but this year we decided to do turkeys. I got the assortment from Murray McMurray. Any guesses on what the brown ones are? -Wendy
  2. wsmoak

    First time Butchering

    This will probably help: http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-properly-scald-chicken-my-never.html I set the temperature to 150F, realizing that because I spray the birds while they are in the killing cones, I will be lowering the temp a bit when I dunk the wet birds...
  3. wsmoak

    Cornish X vs Freedom Ranger feed conversion

    Well... you don't need to feed a Freedom Ranger to 12 weeks -- I know this because due to various things happening (or not happening, like the plucker not being finished!) I just did. They were enormous and had way too much fat. They're supposed to be ready from 9-11 weeks, and that's been my...
  4. wsmoak

    Feeding Meat Birds 18% layer mash

    If you are buying direct from the mill, do they not have a higher protein broiler feed available? Surely the layer feed is not their only product... You might also want to ask them what their minimum order is for a custom mix. If it's half a ton and you're raising 50 at a time, that could...
  5. wsmoak

    DIY Electric Scalder with NO cutting or wiring needed

    Yeah... there are lots of things I can do myself, but electrical wiring is a) not something I already know how to do, and b) not something I'm terribly interested in learning. Not that I *couldn't* figure it out by reading the instructions and watching YouTube videos... but there are only so...
  6. wsmoak

    My Whizbang Inspired Scalder (but for much cheaper)

    Matt, welcome to BYC! You've commented on an old thread from 2010, and I don't think the user 'atd' is still around. (In fact, the post above looks like his only one.) Just didn't want you to think everyone was ignoring you, but you many not get a response on that query. You might try...
  7. wsmoak

    DIY Electric Scalder with NO cutting or wiring needed

    Like just about everyone else, I started out heating water on a propane camp stove and stopping before every scald to get the temperature right before dunking the birds. I also tried an electric heating element, but with no thermostat it had the same problem of fiddling with the temperature...
  8. wsmoak

    creative ways to utilize the "whole" bird.

    Livers and hearts get cooked and diced as a treat for the cats. Also another little red organ -- there's only one so perhaps it's the spleen? Backs and necks go to make stock -- but I typically freeze whole birds, then roast them and make stock from the carcass. I tried burying the heads...
  9. wsmoak

    first time butchering question.

    If you rinsed it well, don't worry about the bile. It happens occasionally, and I sure don't throw away a whole chicken because of it! Next time you need to do one quickly, don't bother to eviscerate it. Just split the skin up the breast (I use kitchen shears) and slice off the boneless...
  10. wsmoak

    Who's built a homemade electric scalder?

    I think you have just solved my problem. I already have a bucket heater that will heat a decent quantity of water -- but it has no thermostat and has to be babysat just like the propane burner method. ETC Supply not only has the part you mentioned, but for $15 extra they will pre-wire it...
  11. wsmoak

    Processed my first bird

    Congrats on processing your first! Did you withhold food before you processed? Without food in it, the crop can be hard to locate. If it's empty, though, there's no reason to worry about it. I generally take their food away when I do night check (around 9pm) if I'm going to process in the...
  12. wsmoak

    how long do you leave your meat fresh before freezing it?

    I leave them in the fridge (or in a cooler with ice water if I'm out of space) for about 3 days -- until rigor mortis passes and they become floppy again. Then I shrink-bag them and put them in the freezer. I would give your friend the ones that were frozen on Monday, just to be safe...
  13. wsmoak

    What are the rules on selling some of my meat birds? "Georgia"

    Here is some information published by Georgia Organics, which is trying to promote on-farm processing: http://georgiaorganics.org/advocacy/pastured-poultry Here is a small farm near me that offers pastured chicken processed on the farm. Perhaps they can answer some questions about how they...
  14. wsmoak

    Raising Meat birds on alternative feeds (ie CHEEP-ly)

    (Somewhat off the thread topic, but since I just looked it up to make one I thought I'd link to this thread on constructing a killing cone: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/389035/how-to-build-a-killing-cone . I've also seen people use the orange vinyl traffic cones, with the top cut off...
  15. wsmoak

    Nasty Scald Water

    Resurrecting an old thread... I am also struggling with this. After just two birds the water is nasty. :( They are on grass, but it's not so thick that they can't find dirt scratching around. Not to mention the manure, even though I move the tractor twice a day. Do you just figure, well...
  16. wsmoak

    Plucking-machine or by hand??

    A table-top plucker is good to start with, but if you are going to keep doing this long term, you will eventually want a tub-style plucker. We did our first birds by hand, which got old very quickly! Then we upgraded to a table-top plucker powered by a drill. (Large diameter PVC pipe with...
  17. wsmoak

    Who's built a homemade electric scalder?

    MontanaMeatBird, can you post a picture? And give links to the exact parts you used? This is my next project, and $75 sounds *much* better than the $1400 Featherman wants for a scalder! Putting it on a hand truck is great -- I just saw that on a blog post using a water heater. While I will...
  18. wsmoak

    Scalding Pot size??

    I was just processing this morning (using my new Whizbang Plucker; see other thread!) so I went and measured my scalding pot. It is an Outdoor Gourmet brand, and measures 11.25" tall and 12.75" across. Someone else can do the math and figure out how many quarts that is. ;) I'm able to dunk...
  19. wsmoak

    A new Whizbang Plucker is born!

    It's finally [almost] finished! I ordered the kit back when I ordered this batch of Freedom Ranger chicks... and then the box sat there. Those chicks are now 11 weeks old and _really_ need to be in my freezer! My barrel is not the same shape as the one in the instruction book, so it took...
  20. wsmoak

    First time hatching eggs

    Once upon a time I bought all the stuff to make a cabinet incubator... and never got around to it. So when a neighbor posted a Genesis 1588 for sale, I figured it was a sign. :) I collected 7 eggs yesterday and they're sitting in a cooler at 55F and 61% humidity. It's pouring rain today...
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