Butchering supply suggestions please?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cluckey, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband and I decided to do meat birds this year and having never done it I'd love some advice on tools, equipment, etc.. that you need. I know the "Cone" has been suggested but dont know anything about processing equipment. I've seen kits on various websites. Are these the best way to go? Any good ones? Ones to stay away from? Any help on this so I can be prepared before they come in April! (I know i'm way early on this but just want to be prepared) Thanks!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Being prepared is always good [​IMG]

    I don't use anything really special in my set up.

    I use a milk jug and baling twine for a killing cone.

    Small bucket lined with trash bags.

    My knives are my regular kitchen knives. To me, the best knife is the one you're familiar and comfortable with.

    My large enamel canning pot to heat water on the stove. Candy thermometer to check temp.

    Cooler chest to scald the birds. I don't have a propane burner or similar to hold a large amount of water at temp, so I heat the water and pour it in the cooler.

    Another piece of baling twine to tie to the birds' legs while scalding, so I can pull them out again. Learned that one the hard way [​IMG]

    Plastic table. Clorox wipes or spray bottle with dilute bleach. clean dishtowels. large bowl or other container for holding parts to be kept.


    I really think that's about it. I'd love to have a mechanical plucker, but for now I'm hand plucking. Other than that, not much I'd change.
     
  3. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This makes the process sound so much simpler than what I've created in my mind of what is needed! Good tip about the twine around their legs when scalding them! I wouldn't have thought about that either!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yeah, not my finer moment [​IMG]

    If you're using a pot to scald them, you don't really need the twine. Most folks just hold them by the legs and dunk and swish in the pot. Since I use the cooler chest, we submerge the entire bird, put the lid on and I have a boy agitate the cooler to get the water to penetrate all those fluffy feathers. Sometimes the bird gets flipped over, and trying to fish that firs one out without getting scalded myself was interesting.

    I'm a big fan of keeping things simple. I did have some pics of my set up....https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037276/chicken-math-subtraction-or-my-first-solo-processing.
     
  5. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Thanks for the link! That is so good to see someone else doing this process! I was thinking of getting one of these to help with the boiling water:
     
  6. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll want a very sharp knife. I envy anyone with that sharp of a kitchen knife. I was hesitant when recommended to use exacto knife. Didn't think it was large enough. Work perfectly and if it does start to dull is a quick change over to fresh blade. The trick on leg hocks is to cut all the way around the center of joint then snap it back. The hock will be disconnected and only need another cut of tendons. Cutting around the crop is like filleting. It just works well and super sharp makes for quick work. I use a hatchet for the neck.

    I've a turkey fryer so use that to heat and hold water temp. Coleman stoves would work too. Was a pain back in the day bringing out hot water constantly to get temp back up to 155F for plucking. If you've more than two birds to butcher you'll be traveling back and forth with boiling water. The mass of bird and feathers cools the water quick. Dunk, swish, dunk, swish about then check a tail or wing feather. All others will pluck easy to keep dunking and swishing until a large wing or tail feather pulls without any effort. Then you can pluck the entire bird in a few minutes.

    Picnic table and cutting board. Garden hose and buckets to put waste, pots or cooler to store butchered birds. Get a system going and it goes quick. Takes an hour to process one bird but all that set up then clean up is the same for 20 birds. Only takes 10 minutes every extra bird from the first.
     
  8. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An exacto blade huh? They are very sharp so that makes sense. This might be a dumb question but what do you do with all the leftovers and blood? Is it legal to throw it away in your garbage can? Obviously if you had pigs or something they could eat it up. I worry that the blood smell would attract coyotes or coons or something. Our farm is surrounded by woods and corn fields. We have lots of wildlife roaming around.
     
  9. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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