Butchered our 1st meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by zekii, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. zekii

    zekii Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
    11
    131
    Nov 1, 2010
    New Hampsha
    It went pretty smoothly for our 1st butchering, we used the slit the jugular method, and held the birds in
    homemade cones made of milk juggs. Juggs weren't quit big enough for some of the birds so we had to cut down the sides to fit them in, next
    time we will buy or make some propper sized killing cones.

    We used the dunk in hot water defeathering method it worked well, no fancy plucker here, maybe someday.
    Found many good videos online to guide us in the proper method of cleaning the chickens. After removing the viseral we soaked them in a cold water
    bath with frozen soda bottles to keep the water cold ... the weather being so hot we thought this to be very important to avoid spoilage before we
    bagged the birds.

    We lost 2 birds the day before we butchered, on the worst day of the heat wave here ... it reached 102 degrees.

    Any reccomendations on keeping meat birds cool during hot weather spells ?

    I think next time we'll definitely avoid having to butcher birds this time of year, way too hot for the birds, and the butchering process.

    [​IMG]


    Zekii
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  2. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    347
    29
    138
    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    I freeze zip lock bags of water and drop then in an ice chest with salty brine water to keep them in until ready to bag for fridge. Let sit in fridge 48 hrs. before using or freezing. Very satisfying to see them in the freezer and on the table, kinda makes you feel self reliant.
     
  3. zekii

    zekii Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
    11
    131
    Nov 1, 2010
    New Hampsha
    Salting the water is a good idea, we'll do that next time ... this was definitely a learning experience, we'll be doing it again
    but probably not this time of year... way too hot !!!

    Looking at turkeys next year, and maybe some other type of meat chicken other than Xrocks ..

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Honestly, I did mine in the weekend before the 100 degree stuff hit here, and I'm glad. They had issues at 82 degrees, panting and puffing. They never would have made 100.

    Really, upon reflection and after this experience, I've come to the conclusion that the BEST way to deal with this is simply the timing. Either start them early, like April, so they finish before the worst of the heat hits, or late in August, so they finish in the cooler fall weather. My plan is to get a batch of 50 for the week of August 22nd. They can handle more heat, and even need some heat, when very small. Generally here, its really unusual for us to see heat over about 80 after September 15th. It has happened, a few years ago we hit 94/95 the first couple of days in October, but that was very, very unusual.

    Short term, though, all I can think of is shade, cool water, fans, perhaps a mist system of some kind.
     
  5. zekii

    zekii Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
    11
    131
    Nov 1, 2010
    New Hampsha
    Agree on the timeing , either earlier in the spring or later in the fall.
    We had shade for them, but in hind-site we could have misted them and used fans, also a shallow water dish , but still they were suffering in the heat. And the butchering procees had to be done early in the morning otherwise we would have suffered, and risk the chance of spoilage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by