Do turkeys go limp when hung upside down?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Buster52, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geronimo Oklahoma
    This is a turkey butchering question...

    I will be processing my experimental birds in the next couple of weeks. Two big BBW toms and 3 hens. When I butcher chickens (the few that I have butchered so far) I have chopped rather than slit. This is made much easier because they become relaxed and almost limp when I hold them upside down, making it easy to position the head between the two nails on the chopping block. I can then slowly stretch the neck and do the deed.

    So, is this how it works with turkeys? Do they relax and go limp when hung upside down the same way chickens do? I'm trying to picture holding a 30 pound tom still enough to do the chopping if they don't.

    Does anyone here chop their turkeys when they butcher?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Yes we do the chopping method here. It does take both of us - one to hold and one to chop. Turkeys are heavy and will move around after you chop. On the really big ones we put them into a feed bag and cut a hole in one of the corners and pull their neck thru the opening. I would try to find someone else to help you with the turkeys.
    Any other questions let me know, we have done lots and lots of them.
    We eat turkey year around here. Grilled turkey breast, Turkey burritos, and Turkey casseroles. You get the picture.....[​IMG]
    Sharon
     
  3. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I tried that recently when we clipped their wings. The short answer is, not really.

    Some of the bigger birdies did, once they realized that they were not going to get away. We had a couple fighters though, that apparently had great abs and decided to curl up and bite my hands while I held their feet.

    They sorta curl those long necks backwards so their heads are right-side-up again and give you the stink-eye, flap a bit, even when they calm down.
     
  4. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Out in the Boonies
    My dad told me that when they did their turkeys as kids, you'd have to hold on TIGHT to their legs after doing the deed or they would flop all over and bruise the flesh up.

    He made great gestures when explaining this. [​IMG]
     
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    This is what I do, a chock chain around the knees of the bird then hang upside down, make sure the hook you use is a strong one and will not come out, slit the jugular and back away fast, got hit in the nose with a wing once. 30 sec later start plucking, I dry pluck, they do flap around but it helps to drain the blood, I've never had brusing unless my hook is lose and the turk falls off.
     
  6. Poupoulles

    Poupoulles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mayberry (really!)
    this is great. I was going to ask almost this exact question since I am going to "do" a few of ours this weekend. I once pulled one off the roof by its ankles and held it upside down whiel i walked back to the hutch. And it hung there calm, and then curled up and bit me, then hung calm, then flew upright in my hand and generally made a nuisance of itself. So I returned to my prefered football hold under the arm. This makes them very calm. But wouldnt work for butchery! I will try and hang it in a sack like described above. (Maybe an old pillowcase...)
     
  7. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    every time I've tried restraint I get bruising and/or broken bones
    I've done turks for over 4 years and did 14 in 2 days last fall
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  8. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Thanks for all the help, y'all. We will be butchering next weekend, using something to secure the feet together and suspending them from a rack made for processing deer and such. I won't be able to chop, but will still decapitate.

    And Sharon, we, too, plan to eat turkey year round, so I expect I'm going to be getting a lot of good experience.

    I'll let everyone know how it goes. Thanks again.
     

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