Butchering

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chelseajgoss, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

    180
    2
    48
    Sep 18, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I have a rooster than needs to go. I was wanting to take him to a butcher since I've never done it before, so i can watch on the actual killing part. Im a little concerned that i am going to do it wrong. But i cant find a butcher. So i figured i would try the cone method. Is it possible to mess up cutting the neck? Is there a special knife i need to use? Any advice for a first timer would be appreciated!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    It's important to use a very sharp knife. Doesn't necessarily matter what kind (I use a large non serrated one, maybe 1.5 times the size of an average steak knife, for an easy grip and better control) but it has to be really, really sharp. I won't kill a bird with it until it shaves the hair off when I run up my forearm. Some people like to try and aim for the arteries individually but I don't see the point. Easier to botch if you don't know what to look for. I cut everything on the front and sides of the neck. Cut hard and fast. You'll probably have to saw back and forth once or twice, but done quickly this will only take a few seconds. The blood should begin to come out as a stream maybe a few millimeters thick. It's best to get both arteries but one will do. Even restrained in a cone birds tend to fling blood everywhere, so step back four or five feet to avoid getting it on you.
     
  3. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

    180
    2
    48
    Sep 18, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    You are a life saver. How do i get a kinfe that sharp? Do they sell ones sharp enough at like tractor supply or something?
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Some knives come sharpened like that. I purchased a sharpener when I got my first meat birds. I sharpen my knife before I start a batch and every four to five birds thereafter. I got it from a thrift store a few years back and it took me 30 minutes to get it properly sharp the first time. Now if I keep it up regularly it takes 5-10 minutes to resharpen.

    My get up, quarter for scale:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

    180
    2
    48
    Sep 18, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Cool! Thank you so much! Ive sharpend a knife before, just never gotten it that sharp. I will find a knife and bring it to my sister (shes a culinary expert) i bet she can sharpen it for me, or at least show me how to do it the right way.
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,620
    17,755
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You can buy relatively cheap sharpeners - ones that you draw between the stones / ceramic wheels. A quick look on amazon should help. For my culling, i use a cheap, but heavy blade knife - the metal is soft, so sharpens easily (but also blunts quickly) but literally, in a split second, the deed is done (I go for full head off - better done with two people - one to hold, and me, to cut).

    Effective sharpening takes a lot of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you are sorted.

    Good luck
    CT
     
  7. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    611
    80
    144
    May 2, 2012
    you can also use the hatchet method as well, there the sharpness is not as important as when trying to slit the throat.

    I use an old stump in our yard, pound two nails into the stump(or a piece of wood) so that the two nails stickup and form a "V". I take the bird by the legs and wingtips in my left hand while the right hand holds the head and I place the neck in the "V" between the nails. While holding the head/neck down in the V, I then pull slightly on the feet/wings so the neck is now a little stretched and the head is caught on the nails.

    Let go of the head with right hand and pickup the hatchet and one quick swing at the neck and it's done. The only thing is the body will thrash around quite a bit. So after the hatchet swing I quickly remove the bird from the stump and hold it on the ground for the time it take to stop thrashing. Dress the bird and it's done. the first one is the hardest, after that it does get a little easier.
     
  8. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

    180
    2
    48
    Sep 18, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Ive heard that you dont get all the blood out eith the axe. Have you personally had any problems with that? I dont even know how it would affect it if it didnt get all the blood out. Maybe thats just a myth though.
     
  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    It's less effective because the heart stops immediately instead of working to remove the blood from the body, which results in a worse bleed. I don't know that the difference in flavor is obvious but people do say that birds taste better when fully bled. I couldn't speak from personal experience to this as I've never used an ax.
     
  10. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,795
    1,094
    219
    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Hanging up and bleeding out works best for me.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by