A few questions re: processing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by watchdogps, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Ok, we are prepping to do this...I have a few questions I havent been able to find answers to.
    - do we HAVE to scald? Just realized I dont have anything big enough to use.

    - how long do we have to eviscerate them before things get icky?

    I was hoping we could just kill them all, then process assembly line style. Dont know if that will work if the guts get sour real fast. I will be doing probably at least ten, maybe 15 birds.
    This batch will be going to the dogs, as they are all mature roosters, so things dont have to be perfect. For example, I wont bother aging them in the fridge, the dogs wont care if they are tough.
  2. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Franklinton, NC
    I personally never scald. I hate the smell and find it much easier to just skin then.

    I wouldn't wait that long to start working on the gut work. There is a great video of an assembly line family....I will dig it up for you. It also shows a great way to skin them.

    ETA: This might sound gross but I have found the guts come out a lot better when the bird is still "fresh and warm". Good Luck!!!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  3. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    If you don't scald, then the feathers will be HARD to pull out. It will greatly increase the amount of time it takes to pluck them. If you just lack a pot to do the scalding in, consider your kitchen sink. Using several pots to heat up the water and pouring it in the sink where you dunk the birds is how I processed my first batch.

    On the other hand, you could skin the birds instead of plucking the feathers. That does not require scalding.

    On the processing time, you do have enough time to kill all the birds and then set up your processing line. I find the intestines are definately breaking down after a night in the fridge, but I haven't had any problem if I get to them some time in the same day.

    Here's a thought - many people have questions about how long to let a chicken rest in the fridge. You may want to save one of these birds out and store it in your refrigerator, and take it out each day and handle it. You will notice some definate differences over a few days, and then you may feel you have enough personal information about fridge resting to make an informed decision about ones you will use for human consumption later.

    Hope that helps!
  4. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    If your gonna feed them to the dogs just skin them, but if your wanting to pluck them to learn how for the next batch then see if you can borrow a turkey fryer (bought mine at Walmart for $35.00). Scald at 140-150F for about 30 - 45 seconds swishing up and down dunking in and out. Then pluck with plucker or by hand, then clean, wash, and chill in icey brine.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  5. happyhens120

    happyhens120 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    Central PA
    Quote:Do you use a tool like that in your avatar photo to pluck them or do you pluck yours by hand?
  6. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    I use my plucker shown in my avator. I sell them on ebay, or email me if interested. The nice thing about my plucker is that it works, and you can get a scalder for 35.00 at walmart and a 1/2" drill for the plucker and be processing for around $100 instead of spending $600-$700 for a tub plucker just to do 15-20 birds at a time 2 or 3 times a year.
  7. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    Sometimes your State Department of Agriculture will rent out the processing equipment. Ours does... costs $20 per day or $35 per weekend. The equipment can process up to 100-200 birds per day.
  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Scalding is about a must. Plucking scalded birds van be laborious. Never having tried, it, I couldn't imagine how hard it would would be to pluck an unscalded chicken.

    First time?

    I'd suggest doing just two or three from live-to-dressed first, just to get the hang of it. From there, you can do larger batches. Just be sure to have lots of cold water around. Scald, pluck, into cold water until you eviscerate them, then the gutting, and back into fresh cold water (not the same as the first) to hold them for the last cleaning up (pinning and clearing out lungs or anything else that may have been left in the cavity).

    A CLEAN trash barrel will do for keeping them cool between steps. In my case, I'm somehow blessed/burdened with a lot of plastic coolers that serve quite well. They good a good scrubbing with a brush and then a sponge with a detergent and bleach mixture both before an after use.
  9. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    Quote:why would somebody throw 10-15 home raised birds to the dogs [​IMG] ? at least boil them first and make a good stuck and after that feed them to your dogs. i wouldn't do it tho, i couldn't waste so much good quality meat.
  10. TammyP

    TammyP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    SW Wisconsin
    Have you ever thought of canning the old birds into a chicken soup? That's what I did with my old roos....

    Scalding makes things much easier. We used a turkey deep fryer base with a new metal trash can on top filled with water... worked very well.


    Then you just dip them:

    The feathers come off quite nicely this way


    As for how long to keep their innards in.....well if you are doing assembly line.....they'd be about 1/2 hour - 1 hour in before you take them out.... it's not like a deer that you must get them out immediately after the kill...

    (don't worry, no pic on that...lol)

    We also did our first turkey on the same day and I was worried it would be harder because of what I heard....but it wasn't any different at all.

    The whole process went smoother than I thought and I'm actually anticipating the next time.


    We bought everything needed to do a drum plucker but anything less than 10-15 at a crack, IMO, is easy to do by hand and less expensive. The more you do, the better you get at it.

    As for your roos....I'd say give them a try with canning them.... the flavor is good with the older birds and a firmer texture in the soup won't be noticed as much as if you fried it up southern style. [​IMG]

    Another option I was thinking was to make ground chicken (if you have a meat grinder)... might make a meal in a pinch someday. Ground chicken tacos...chili...meatloaf....etc..etc.. Ground beef is a firmer texture anyhow and anything that you normally would use ground beef in, well ground chicken roos might just work nicely.

    Not sure I'd want all that work put into raising the roos...well, you know... to go to the dogs without you taking a piece of the spoil. If ya know what I mean. [​IMG]



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