Butchered in the bathtub this morning!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by weaveagarden, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. weaveagarden

    weaveagarden Songster

    Jul 4, 2009
    Hoquiam, Wa
    OK. I finally got up the nerve to attempt my first butcher. A few have been crowing, and even though they re much too small to make a good meal, I know the neighbor who has been harrassing me with calls to police and code enforcement will be looking for anything to report.

    So, at 6:30 this AM, I decided to just do one to see if I could do it. I didn't want a huge mess, so I decided to just climb in to the tub and sit on the edge. It was actually a good idea. I had handheld showerhead to wash everything down with in the end.

    I won't give too many details, but here is my what would I do different next time list:

    Strip - no sense in getting blood on my clothes if nobody is around to see me.

    Buy a killing cone. I made a make shift out of some PVC mesh and it worked well, except that I had a hard time getting the neck down far enough to do the deed.

    Your knife can never be sharp enough. I sharpened my knife before, but I think that a fillet knife may work better than the paring knife I used. A thinner point is needed to get in deep enough to reach the vessel quickly and easily.

    Don't forget to bring a garbage can and a basin to throw the innard and offal into.

    Very Hot water from the tap (if you have your water heater set fairly high) will work to lossen up the feathers for plucking.... But you may need to respray after a few minutes of plucking.

    So, one down and 1 each day until the crowing stops.

    I have found that if I don't work myself up about it, I am not really that upset about it. Once the head was removed, and some of the feathers gone, it quit being a dead bird, and started becoming food in my mind.

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Congrats! We all had to start somewhere!

    Once you get practice, you won't be getting blood all over yourself. I can do a half dozen birds and maybe get one drop on my shoe. A killing cone, or even just an old towel to wrap them in works wonders to control flapping.

    For defeathering, a bucket of 140F water works wonders. Most water heaters are just below that, so add a pot of boiling water and measure it with a meat thermometer.

    And you're right, a sharp knife is essential. Avoid cutting through feathers since that dulls things quick.

    Let the little guy rest for a few days in the fridge and enjoy some fresh food!
  3. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Quote:LOL, I just did mine yesterday and Friday. I did my first 3. I had some of the same experiences you did. Sharper tools, better cone, don't get emotional. Yup those were on my list too. My first one I couldn't stop apologizing to it. In trying to be gentle and kind I probably made it worse for the poor animal, the other two went much better! I especially agree with you on the last part. Once the head was off I just looked at it as chicken dinner in funny packaging.
    Congrats on your first! I don't know about stripping down though. I tried to use a makeshift apron out of a some garbage bags and grocery bags but it all just got in the way. The last two I didn't even end up using an apron and it didn't matter.
    Okay, again CONGRATS, GOOD JOB!!!
  4. ixnay

    ixnay In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Bridgton, Maine
    While I have yet to have meaties (next year, probably), I will likely have a roo or two who need to go to freezer camp. Here's a thought re: sharp knives:

    I am the world's worst knife sharpener. Just don't have the touch, or the patience. What I AM is a veterinarian, and as such I use scalpel blades in my work. Now, these babies are not only sharp, they are cheap (you may have to look around). For something like slicing a jugular vein, a scalpel blade can be held in the fingers without a handle. For the rest of butchering, a scalpel handle for the blade would be better, or probably a knife. It may be that your friendly local veterinarian would have spare handles and be willing to order blades for you.

    Looking forward to comments.

  5. Beau coop

    Beau coop Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Quote:Do you think the public can buy scapels at a surgical sipply store, or do you have to be MD?
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Not that it matters, but did you do all that to a chicken or the neighbor who has been harrassing you with calls to police and code enforcement?
  7. ixnay

    ixnay In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Bridgton, Maine
    Quote:Do you think the public can buy scapels at a surgical sipply store, or do you have to be MD?

    I don't think you need a license (MD/DVM) for scalpel blades. It's just that the cheap/disposable ones would probably be more expensive if you don't have a minimum order - that's why I suggest asking your veterinarian.

  8. Chicken Rustler

    Chicken Rustler Grabs em n runs

    How about "EXACTO KNIFE". There are a wide variety of handles and blade styles. Blades are cheap and you can get them at Wal-Mart and most hobby/craft stores.
  9. Fluffy-Butt-Farms

    Fluffy-Butt-Farms Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Central Florida
    LOL Joe.

    I have a few old neighbors that called code enforcement and the police on me....maybe I should have treated them like a meat bird. lol

    Thanks for the laugh.

  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Quote:I am sure exacto knife would work, so would box cutting knife LOL!

    I thought about butchering a few birds in the bathtub, now that's an idea to do both things at one time, butchering birds and sterilizing and wash down the tub! No more excuses about putting that cleaning the tub off LOL! [​IMG] Do it once a month!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by