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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by manybirds, Jul 19, 2011.
What are your butchering methods? Please share whatever and advice on how to do it.
There are some good resources here:
Honestly, its not rocket science. Its actually quite simple. Kill it, cut the head off and hang upside down to bleed. I then skinned mine, because we don't use the skin and that is far, far quicker than plucking. Then, I carefully cut around the vent and made a slit to the end of the keel bone. Then reach in, carefully pull out the insides, being sure to NOT sever the gall bladder (bile makes things taste bitter), clean it out really well inside and out, put in ice water with salt. From there, no different than doing a chicken from the store, and you can cut up any way you like.
I keep the link below as a reference for when my butcher is not available. If is very well done but not for the faint of heart.
I used this link this morning.https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-process-a-chicken-at-home
I had 3 roosters at 20 weeks old. As I was sizing them up I kept telling myself,"these birds are all skin and bone. I know Buff Orps and Australorps aren't cornishX, But I thought a dual purpose bird should be better than this. I took the meanest of the 3 to the little station I had built last night. Nice little working table, my scalding pot within reach, and behind me was the rope to hang them by there feet and a trash can lined with a black plastic bag. This rooster is so mean, he bit off half of the crown on one of the other roosters. He would constantly attack me, so I wasn't very shy about dispatching this particular rooster. When I reached to grab him he bit me and drew blood. Can't really blame him in this instance. I hung him by the feet over the plastic lined can. I used a razor knife and slit his throat. I got the jugular right away. I lowered him into the can to bleed out. No muss no fuss. When he started flapping a bit, I knew he was dead. I waited for the commotion to stop. I grabbed him by the feet and immersed his body in water that was heated to around 160. When a wing feather pulled out with the weight of the bird I put him on the table and started plucking. This was easy. Feathers just peeled off. I followed the rest of the instructions on the above link took the bird in the house, washed him in cold water the plunged him in a sink of ice water. I did the other 2 the same way. Easy, easy, easy. The last bird I felt sorry for. I thought, but didn't get the jugular on the first swipe of the blade. I lowered him into the can, but I didn't get the kicking after they expire. I raised him out and he was alert. I took a look in the incision and saw the intact jugular. I took care of that as quick as I could. Lesson learned. One of the birds had a lump of some sort on the skin of the breast. I removed it. It looked like a possible contusion from a battle with the other roosters, so his breast skin got cut apart. But besides that, they all look very good with a meatier breast than I thought. 2 Are being roasted tonight for dinner.
Six weeks from today I have 9 RIR Roosters that will be ready. The only change that I'm going to make is I'm going to use propane deep fryer kit to heat the water. I used a wood fire this time. It worked just fine for 3 birds, but any more id have ran out of fire and would have to stop to build the fire up again. And I can use the propane flame to burn off the little hairs.
Did it. Experience it. Wasn't hard, just time comsuming, BF did the killing and I did the rest. Not a fan. Found a processor and it's well worth the 1.85 a bird.
Bought a kill cone stand,plucker,and table.built a scalded. Have done three batches of 35 birds each. It is time consuming,but I figure if I'm going to raise them I'm going to get the entire experience.okay it's because I live in connectiicut and can't find a processor. With that said I'd prefer to handle the entire project myself. Just my two cents.
My DW and I are trying to become more self sufficient in these uncertain time. We ask our selves, what if we didn't have this or cant get a hold of that, or there is no one around to help with this. That's why we prefer to do everything on our own on our little mini ranch. We are now talking about a calf and raising it for our own beef. This is one thing I don't know if I could do by myself. I can process deer and goats, but a 1000+lb. animal I'm not sure. I would love to try it but I would need to get some equipment.
These 3 birds were completely processed and wrapped in less than 1 and a half hours. Im thinking it was about 25 min. per bird and I'll only get quicker in time. If I can get down to 15 min per bird I don't think I'll need a plucker.
If I had all the equipment you have I would do it myself too. But its me and the BF, and I'm the scalder, plucker, viserator. and bagger. I'll stick with the processor.