Butchered my turkeys today...

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by TMNfarm, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. TMNfarm

    TMNfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't like it... [​IMG]

    It was my first experience with turkeys, and I have only done 2 batches of chickens before. I found it much harder and more violent than the chickens.

    I was warned that their necks are much thicker than chickens so not to just try to cut them like we did the chickens. I decided we would shoot them with the 22. My BIL was helping me, somewhat against his will. I only have the two turkeys and they would follow us around like dogs. I tried not to get attatched, but it was really hard not to. I took 2 shots with my 22 pistol and missed both times, so I handed it to my BIL and he missed as well. He switched to the 22 rifle and hit the first one right in the middle of the head. She flopped to the ground, did somersaults and landed on her back, flapping her wings wildly for what seemed like forever... The second one he hit, but the bullet must have entered her mouth and blew out her neck on the other side. It didn't look on one side like she had been hit, but there was blood coming from her mouth and she started choking on her own blood. When she turned around, there was a hole in her neck with her tongue hanging out of it. She was very much alive and concious and she ran to her favorite spot, which was next to the dog kennel. We had to try to move her away and then held her down so my BIL could shoot her again in the back of the head... Not a good experience at all!! My BIL said he is going to have nightmares!

    There must be another way! Anyone have any advice for me if I decide to try turkeys again??
     
  2. serama hen

    serama hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BUTCHERS KNIFE SLICE IT RIGHT OFF POOR THING MUSTVE SUFFERED IT SOUND TERRIBLE BUT COULDNT BE HELPED
     
  3. emptynesterMom

    emptynesterMom Out Of The Brooder

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    So sorry you had such a bad time:( I use a large killing cone and a very sharp knife. I cut the carotid artery just like you would with a chicken. I do have my son help me catch them and place them in the cone because of their size but other wise very similar to a chicken IMO. The first time I processed, I had read about pithing and dry plucking, What a disaster that was, very similar to your experience. Please don't give up, I'm sure your birds had a much better life than the commercial birds and next time you will have a much better outcome.
    Cheryl
    Cheryl
     
  4. serama hen

    serama hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    TRUE THAT[​IMG]
     
  5. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I process my turkeys the same way I do chickens, except that I need help hanging them, upside down, so I use the tractor or the tract-hoe to lift them. They are lifted by a piece of rope that ties their legs together to about 4' high. This makes the blood run to their heads. After they are calm, and dazed from hanging, I cut the arteries with a very sharp knife and get out of the way fast, so as not to get in the way when their wings start flopping. They do this after they are DEAD, and was designed to do this, by God, so they will bleed out correctly to be good for food. The first bird I ever harvested was a rooster and the hardest. It took me a long time, sitting with the knife in my hand and the bird hanging from a tree limb. Since I am not a vegetarian, I realize if I don't harvest my own birds, I would have to buy them, that were raised in inhumane conditions or not eat meat, as not to partake of the cruel ways commercially raised animals are cared for. By raising my own meat, I can control the manner in which my food is raised. Don't give up! Don't complicate things, do the simple thing, humanely! You will get the hang of it.[​IMG]
     
  6. krazykat0373

    krazykat0373 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  7. bcboy

    bcboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. Jenny1

    Jenny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How interesting... I had never considered that the wing flapping and stuff would be to help them bleed out... very cool.
     
  9. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yea, our first turkey processing was a disaster too. our dog ripped the skin off it's neck so it was standing there bleeding and in shock. so i held it on a tree stump and DH grabbed the ax and swung but it wasn't sharp enough so he had to go grab a knife, then we threw it under a tub and it flopped around for quite awhile. then we had the water too hot so when DH stuck it in the water and the skin fell off. well we cleaned it up and put it in the fridge for a couple of days and cooked it up, but it was tough and i didn't like it or eat much. DH loved i, made turkey this and that and it was gone pretty quick. well, since then we learned about the killing cone and heating the plucking water to from 140 to 150 degrees and soaking it in a brine for 3 or 4 days in the fridge before cooking it. so all should be good come thanksgiving. :)
     
  10. TMNfarm

    TMNfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My BIL is going to build me a turkey size cone so we can do them like we did the chickens. We are going to cook and eat the largest one (20# dressed weight) tomorrow for an early family Christmas ( my in laws leave for Arizona on Monday). I butchered on Wednesday and it has been in the fridge since then. I didn't soak it in brine, though... How do you make a brine and would 1 day be enough?
     

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