1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Best place to get processing supplies???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChicknThief, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. ChicknThief

    ChicknThief Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Is there a good website/etc where I could buy all of the supplies I need? Where did you guys gets yours?
     
  2. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,790
    13
    163
    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    What supplies are you looking for? A plucker? Killing cone? Tools like lung scraper, etc?

    For a killing cone, I use an orange traffic cone with the tip cut off, a very sharp knife (for the killing part), another set of knives to cut up the chicken, a chopping type knife to cut the head off, although shears would work.....I don't use a scraper, I have smallish hands that fit well inside and I just do it with my fingers...and for a pinning knife I use a butter knife.

    BUT - if you're looking for a more professional setup, I understand. lol.

    Here's a great site that was shared in another thread, that carries shrink bags. They also carry a ton of processing equipment.
     
  3. ChicknThief

    ChicknThief Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2008
    Nor Cal
    No that's actually perfect! Haha

    Were did you get the traffic cone? I have been looking at killing cones online and they seem RIDICULOUSLY pricey to me.

    I have meat shears, but I don't think my knife set is up to par. I think I will have to buy some. That looks like a great site!

    As for the lung scraper, How hard is it to just get the lungs out with your hands? Are they attached to the body cavity or something?

    I am also looking for a cheapish 50 qt pot I can use for scalding. The cheapest one I found so far is 64$ [​IMG]
     
  4. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,790
    13
    163
    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    I bought a canning pot for scalding like this one . When I plucked, I only did two chickens at a time. I didn't use a heating element, but boiled a pot of water (that I use for pasta) on the stove and carried it outside to the canning pot. At that point, the water was too hot, so I added some tap water to bring it down. I was able to do two chickens, one at a time, out of that one pot for the scalding without having to boil more water. If you're doing more than two at a time, I could see this being a pain.

    We had the traffic cone on the farm - I'm not sure where it came from. It was a big cone, though. I've read of people on here using old feed bags with the edge cut off, too. I know tractor supply sells cones, but I believe the largest is a 12". I just did a quick search and it looks like Uline's got them pretty cheap.

    The lungs were pretty easy for me to pick out with my fingers. They're up a little higher and on the ribcage. I didn't really have much trouble. I've also seen BYC'ers using those hand held melon ball makers. One side usually has the smaller spiky looking thing. Have you seen this thread from the stickies in this section? It's very graphic, but an awesome tutorial on processing your own chickens.
     
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    25
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    We have a more permanent setup since we do hundreds of birds each month. I think the most important things are a table that is at a comfortable height, sharp knives, cones that are the right size for the birds you are doing (we use metal cones when we do the cutting and then move them to traffic cones to continue to drain while others are put in the metal cones), and a scalpel for cutting throats if that is the method you choose. We got some decent knives from a kitchen supply store (along with a good quality electric sharpener), metal cones from the company that made our plucker (EZ Plucker), and our feed store orders scalpels for us. We built a whizbang scalder, and it works really well, but we are looking to purchase a more automated one given the number of birds we do at a time. We get our bags from Uline.

    I've never had an issue getting lungs out without a scraper. When we do really small birds for a restaurant (only 2lbs dressed), it's a little harder to get the lungs since the cavity is so small, but in the big birds, they are very easy to get.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  6. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,162
    236
    226
    Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I look in my workshop, the trash and my kitchen.... [​IMG] I produce bleach jug killing cones, big ol' pruner to cut off heads and feet, and my Rada knife collection. To scald, I've used a copper apple butter kettle and a bag of charcoal, but would probably invest in a turkey fryer if the money was right.
     
  8. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    524
    6
    111
    Aug 11, 2011
    Far West Phoenix
    Turkey fryers are starting to show up at my local walmart for around $35 now that thanksgiving is over-- handy since they have a thermometer RIGHT there on the unit. I've got a set of simple stock pots set aside in case I need them for scalding (but no thermometer...), but our first duck was done dry, and our next few are going to be skinned. Invest in some good knives-- we got a gerber fixed blade knife with a rubber grip for <$20. Electric sharpeners kill knives. Professional sharpeners use this: Spyderco triangular sharpmaker. A nice box of rubber gloves (medical type, not dishwashing type) go a long way towards the "icky factor".

    We do ducks, and the hatchet method is we feel the best kill, but I believe that bleach bottles nailed to a tree make a perfectly adequate killing cone on the cheap.
     
  9. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    28
    111
    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    In regards to the killing cone instructions from post#6, the instructions are right on target. We made one significant change though and that was to use scrap pieces of linoleum flooring, and securing the edges to a strip of 1/2 inch plywood cut 2" X24" long with a hole in the top for attachment to a post.
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    128
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Here are photos of my set-up, you can click on them to make them larger:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you can't legitimately find a discarded cone somewhere you can buy one at Home Depot. I made the other cones from a bleach jug and a cut-up nursery pot. You can also wrap duct-tape around the birds' bodies to hold their wings in place and not use a cone at all.

    My tools are a sharp filet knife (WalMart fishing supply aisle) a sharp paring knife (Sam's Club) and a sharp pair of kitchen scissors (Joyce Chen). For scalding I use that yellow plastic 5-gallon bucket you see in the photo, and boil the water on the stovetop in other big metal pots. The water need not stay at a constant 150 degrees, just be up to that temp when you're dunking birds.

    I hope this deal works out well for you & your new CL poultry pal.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by