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Can't wait to process

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pattgal, May 31, 2010.

  1. pattgal

    pattgal Songster

    Apr 20, 2010
    New Brunswick, Canada
    my cornish X are about 6 weeks now and i keep thinking of how to process them.
    is it easier to bleed than to butcher with an ax.
    My parents are exited to come over and help but I don't want them to end up doing all the dirty work.
    These are my chickens and I don't want them to feel like they are still taking care of me. Because knowing them they would come back to me one day and tell me all about how I got chickens and couldn't even butcher them myself. (they still tease me about bringing my hair dryer on a camping trip like a whole decade ago, they had electricity so why not Right?)
    I bought an ax but Its pretty big for me, Im like 5 feet tall. Small build. would i be better off getting a hatchet or bleed them? I can use my feed bags to help with the bleeding but i have no idea where i would hang them and so on...(and how long to hang them too)
    Seems like an easier set up as far as props go, to use the ax. im just afraid to miss
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Crowing

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    if i was you i would get some killing cones and leave the ax for someone who can use it.
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I also favor the kill cone over an axe. Less mess and fuss from the chicken, and the bystanders as well.

    3 weeks and counting for my birds.

    A traffic cone works well.

    Good for you for taking this one. Take care of your chickens, and make dinner for mom & dad. That way they can tell their friends how you grew a chicken from a day old chick, raised it successfully to maturity, slaughtered it, and then cooked it for them. Cradle to grave.
  4. pattgal

    pattgal Songster

    Apr 20, 2010
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Quote:Wow thanks for the pictures i couldn't picture a cornish X fitting in a traffic cone. but i guess yours did
    I could probably use my old water jugs in the same manner, or would they have too much room in there??
  5. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Traffic cones are wonderful. I use them myself...it's less traumatic for the birds...and myself...they are contained while they bleed out. No flailing about causing a last minute ruckous (sp?) Plus, you know exactly where you're cutting the bird. What I mean is, if you're like me, you may hit your target area on the 3rd try with an ax [​IMG] I cut the artery and let them bleed out....
  6. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    I prefer my axe. It's nice and big. I have tried a hatchet but it seems like the axe does better since it is heavier. If you miss just swing again. It will be fine.
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    IMHO, if your "help" comes with so many strings attatched, I would try & learn on my own. There are some great sources of help, one stickied at the top of this section. Also, check out http://www.HowToButcherAChicken.com and a great YouTube video on skinning & gutting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgo6Qlaff_4

    next week to study and assemble your tools & set-up. You can try using a big plastic jug like a detergent bottle for a cone, or just use duct tape to wrap around the body to hold the wings still. I find most helpful is:
    *a sturdy place to hang the birds while slitting, bleeding & plucking -- something like a fence rail, tree branch, or swing frame
    *a big container for scalding, big enough to duck & agitate the birds up & down -- you can heat the water inside on the stove or outside on a grill
    *a very sharp blade, like a fish filleting knife or a utility knife blade

    I favor slitting the birds' throats, stretch the neck down & bend the head to one side to find the bare spot just behind the jawbone. That way you don't have to saw through feathers. It kills the bird instantly & the carcass bleeds out better.

    After a week of study & preparation, choose 2-3 of the biggest birds and take yourselves for a test drive. Perhaps you could find a Butchering Buddy, someone experienced or not, it's always better with extra helpful hands. Don't worry if you make mistakes, everyone does, and that's how we learn. With each session you'll learn things to make the next ones easier and more efficient.
  8. Mamaperreca

    Mamaperreca Chirping

    May 16, 2010
    We just did our first chicken this weekend. It was so much easier than I thought. We skinned ours and it was super fast. I don't care about eating the skin, so you literally grab the skin around the neck and peel it off, feathers and all. MUCH faster and easier than scalding and plucking.

    You can do it!!
  9. pattgal

    pattgal Songster

    Apr 20, 2010
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Quote:We usually always skinned them too (and by "we" im referring to when we helped our parents process theirs) We will skin most of them and piece them out but ill probably pluck two or three by hand for Christmas and thanksgiving dinners
    I wish we had bought more than just 20 though (more like 50 or 80). 20 chickens probably wont feed a family of four all winter. I was planning on having chicken everything, chicken chilli, chicken stew, chicken stir fry, chicken on the side, chicken burgers, ground up chicken and rice
    we wont be able to do a second batch because the second half of the summer we will be away for two or three different weeks
    I wonder if we shouldn't get some anyway? we'll have to hire someone to feed our egg layers either way, whats another 30 chicks to feed right?

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