Chilling before evisceration

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by wholehearted, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are getting ready to process our second batch of Freedom Rangers. We've been trying to figure out how we can improve our process from last time to make things go faster and smoother. Seemed like we never got into a good rhythm last time and it took us all day to do 26 chickens. While I didn't think that was horrible for our first time, we have fifty to do this time and would love to see it go faster.

    Our crew consists of myself, husband, 15 yo son, 12yo son, and 11yo daughter. We have a Featherman plucker. Last time, I did all the killing, 12yo and 11yo did scalding and plucking with some oversight from me as needed, dh did main evisceration with older ds separating and cleaning organs after removal. I finished things up with a final quality control check and putting the chickens in chill tank.

    What we found was that evisceration took longest and we would get a backlog of chickens sitting too long and/or I would have to stop my other jobs and help at the evisceration station. So we're wondering if things might go smoother if we just planned on having a temporary chill tank between the plucking and evisceration station to hold birds while they await evisceration. Perhaps this would help free me to kill more birds at once and then spend more dedicated time at the evisceration station as well. Is there any problem/drawback to temporarily chilling the birds with the guts still in?

    Any other insight or ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We always keep a tub with cold water/ice on the gutting table just for what your talking about. It starts to cool them and prevents the skin from drying out while waiting to be gutted. As you know, there is no way 1 person gutting can keep up with the rest of the process, especially when you're scalding/plucking 3-4 at a time. If my DW gets too far behind, I will help her get caught up, then resume my killing, scalding, plucking duties. You should feel fortunate you have so much help. My wife and I do it by ourselves. We have the process streamlined as much as it can be, and we average about 2 minutes per bird now. You will find the more times you do it, the quicker it will get to a certain point, then it is what it is.
     
  3. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is helpful to me as well - thank you for posting and for the response bigred. I was thinking the same thing wow are you lucky for all that help - DH and I worked as a team and we spent 3 1/2 hours to process 12 birds.
     
  4. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chilling the birds prior to gutting will only make the carcass stiffer therefore slowing down the gutting process. I would add another person ( yourself ) to the gutting table to help with that task to pick up that bottleneck. Once the bird is gutted, then chill it. Have fun!
     
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have yet to see a bird that has stiffened to the point that it slows down the process.
     
  6. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, if chilling makes it worse then I must be one very lucky duck and goose hunter! Try handling a limit of birds in zero degree weather...the easiest part is gutting, and the waterfowl stay cold inside but dont freeze. Chilling after plucking is fine!
     
  7. toby1959

    toby1959 Out Of The Brooder

    There are only two of us. One collects and kills while the other scalds and picks. All go into the ice after that. Then we both start on the gutting and cutting. 25 birds takes about 3 hours. Not as good as the 2 minute team but we have and old plucker that only does one bird at a time.
     
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm sure that is the difference. When you can scald and pluck 3-4 birds in 90 seconds, it really cuts down on the total time.
     
  9. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2011
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    Thanks for the encouragement! I am glad to know that our plan should work just fine. I'm inspired and impressed by all of you doing this with just one or two people-and doing it a lot faster than us too!! And here I was wishing I had a few more adults to help out. Counting my blessings now to have several willing helpers in this process! I know we will get faster as we gain more experience.
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    We've done 150 birds in the past month in batches of 30. The first time it took about 3 hours. The last time we had it down to 1.5 hours with 3-4 people.

    We have the birds crated up right next to the equipment. I load four at a time in the cones and do the bleeding out while another person does the scalding, runs the plucker, and puts the plucked birds in a drum of water to wait for evisceration. One or two people will start eviscerating the plucked birds while we are killing and plucking. We can have all 30 birds plucked in a little over a half an hour. Once we are done killing and plucking, we join the others in eviscerating and get it done fairly quickly. We have one person taking off the heads and feet and maybe loosening up the crop while the rest are doing the innards. As the birds are eviscerated we put them into a second drum of water to wait on bagging. Once the birds are all processed we use shrink bags to bag them and put them straight into the freezer.

    I use 55 gallon blue drums with the tops cut off for chill tanks. I got two from the local brewery for $2 each. I don't use ice to chill them. Our well water runs 50-55 F so I just run well water over the carcasses to chill them.
     

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