Diffrences in processing...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by geeky_farmer, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. geeky_farmer

    geeky_farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2011
    So a couple weeks ago I finally processed my 25 old laying hens.

    It was quite a bit of work... I watched a few videos on line (one by Cutler Family Farm was best) and it LOOKED easier. I did skin them rather then pluck them...

    But my question is are meat birds easier to do? Is there a big diffrence? We have 10 Cornish Rocks in a brooder now (a few days old), so in 7 weeks or so I will see for myself. But if I figure each bird before took me 20 minutes, that is only $7.50 an hour, and (while not as bad as I thought) I don't think it is worth $7.50 an hour.

    Hubby and I are thinking of running a few hundred of Freedom Rangers through the farm this summer (we are a small veggie farm) and are likely going to have them processed at a facility who will take them from live bird to vacume packed, labled, weighed, and legal for sale for $2.50 a bird. Plus, if I use them I can do as many as I want, if I process on farm I am limited to 1000 (not that I would want to do more then 1000!)

    How long should a bird take? And are Rocks/Rangers similar in processing?
    Is trying to make your own plucker worth it, or should you buy one? At how many birds does one pay for itself?

  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    CX are a bit easier. They have less feathers, so that takes less time if you are plucking, not skinning. Also, CX are usually much younger, so the skin is not as tough making it quicker than cutting every piece instead of just tearing, and the organs seem easier to remove on the CX. As for is a plucker worth it........In my opinion, absolutely. I built my own Whizbang last year and had about $475 in it. My local processor charges $2/bird, so after we did the 238th bird at home, in my mind it was paid for. We do 600-700 per year, so it has been more than worth it.

    Oh, I forgot how long it should take. The last time we processed, we had 6 people working, and we averaged about 1 min 36 seconds per bird. You can really speed up the process when you can scald/pluck 3 at a time.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    also the younger they are (like cx) the bones are MUCH more flexible, allowing for easier cleaning.
  4. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    I'm in agreement with bigredfeather. Working with my wife and 10-year old we process birds in about 2 minutes. It's no big deal. The layers and roosters I have done were always worse.

    Skinning birds? Haven't even considered it since I got a plucker. Even without a plucker it's not too bad to pluck a CX once you get a good scald.
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:That's about what it takes us when we only have 3 of us (me, my wife, and my 5 year old little lung scaper). I tend to be a little less gun-ho when it's just us.

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