advise on processing turkey needed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by freshegg, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    greenfield,ma
    OK I need to know
    1) do I have to withhold food (this will be hard because I'm not doing all birds yet)
    2) I plan on using a large orange street type cone is this the best way or is there another way?
    3)should I just machete off the head or cut the throat?
    4) can I cook it immediately ( why do people soak in salt water)?
    5) The birds are only 4 and a half months old they are white heritage what age is full grown?

    I was going to process all in november but I want a turkey dinner now besides they are driving me crazy. They smell real bad when it rains, they keep bucking and barking at my door they want to come in, I step out there and they all crowd me like they've never ate (they have the full feeder out there). The grass is gone now in there 32 x 32 run The 6 eat 50 lbs a week. I wont do turkeys again until I buy a place with fields for them to roam. I am making the plucker that goes on the drill before I process any. Any tips?
     
  2. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    1) do I have to withhold food (this will be hard because I'm not doing all birds yet)
    A: No, but it won't hurt the others if you do withhold for a day. With holding food empties there intestines and crop. A full crop for a turkey is not to bad to deal with but full intestines is a lot more trickier.

    2) I plan on using a large orange street type cone is this the best way or is there another way?
    A: Once you get them in the cone it a lot less messier to use a cone. A turkey is a lot larger so it has a lot more blood to drain. It really helps keep the blood from going every where. Yes there are other way. using a piece of wood and holding the bird down, hanging by the feet with out a cone and just cutting the head.

    3)should I just machete off the head or cut the throat?
    A: I have done both ways, It hard for me to get the right angle to cut the throat. So we finally stated to use a set of tree lopper to remove the heads. Turkey have a lot more blood to drain then a chicken does.


    4) can I cook it immediately ( why do people soak in salt water)?
    A: Yes you could, but with any animal when it dies rigor mortes sets in within a couple of hours. This take 24 to 48 hours to go away. So unless you start the cooking right away. it's best to let the meat rest for a little while.

    Basicly they are letting the meat rest, some use salt water because the fell that the salt breaks down the meat and helps tenderize it, we use plain water with ice, the birds stay around 32 to 38 degrees for about 48 hours.

    5) The birds are only 4 and a half months old they are white heritage what age is full grown?

    A: heritage turkeys takes about 30 weeks to mature, A mature turkey has more fat on it which adds to the taste.

    Well the biggest thing is getting the birds to the cones. Your's should be easier to get to the cones. But unless you have picked one up to carry it, be carefull. There nothing like getting slapped in the face with the wings flapping, or having one of those feet get you.

    If we have to move ours very far, I usually wrap my arm around the wings and grab the feet. With the other hand I have it ready to grab the head so I don't get pecked.

    When scalding, if you do, the turkeys seem to double there weight after being dipped. We didn't weight them it just seems that way.

    Tom
     
  3. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    greenfield,ma
    I was reading about the spot in the top of a chickens mouth that you puncture and give a quarter turn with the knife do turkeys have this too. people say instant death no pain or flopping.
     

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