Equipment needed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cbascom, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. cbascom

    cbascom In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2012
    Phelan, Calif.
    We will be butchering for the first time soon. Probably first to go will be some older hens, followed by some Cornish x and then by some dual purpose breed cockerels. My question is what equipment do I actually need? We are probably going to use the chop off the head method to kill, but I thought then placing into a kill cone to bleed? Or maybe I could just hang by feet over a bucket?
    What knives do you all find are needed? And what is everyone using for a scalding tank? I am considering a turkey deep fryer....I have a freezer, but I am given to understand that the carcass will need to "rest" for several days, will an ice chest suffice? I just want to be prepared, because not having the right tools make a job miserable! Thank you all for your input.

  2. 1 old hen

    1 old hen In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2013
    I chop off heads and let them flop on the ground. I use a large stock pot to scald then pluck.Then I use rooled newspaper to light and sing. The rest is done with a regular sharpe knife. You split the abdomen and pull out all insides keeping the liver, heart and gizzard,then rinse and freeze or put in refrigerator overnight. If you donot want to let them flop on ground put in trashcan assoon as head is removed. You can make a killing cone out of a old plastic milk jug. just cut off the spout back enouf to let head drop trough then cut off head with sharp knife they will bleed out hanging in the milk jug.
  3. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Sunny So Cal
    You will have a hard time getting a bleeding, thrashing bird into a cone. I would either start in the cone or as 1 Old Hen has suggested, put it in a (clean) trash can to bleed out. Or you can duct tape the wings and feet before you take the head off and just leave the bird on the ground to bleed out. I don't like having blood sprayed all over the place, so prefer the "cone of silence."

    If you want to go totally minimalist, you need a sharp knife.
    [​IMG] Seriously, this is not a high tech process.

    The equipment I use is:

    Galvanized killing cone - large size
    Havalon Piranta Knife with replaceable blades for bleeding and gutting
    Spyderco Police Model folding knife for cutting off heads and feet, and cutting the chicken into parts if that is the way I am doing it
    Nitrile or similar gloves - because when your hands get bloody or greasy, and they will, it is quicker to strip off the old and put on a new pair instead of going to the sink to wash my hands
    Paper towels
    Scalding pot - I use the bottom of my big pressure canner, but a turkey fryer will work great, too
    Zipper lock bags

    I process in my garage because I have close neighbors [​IMG], so I put a trash bin lined with a big trash bag under the cone to catch the blood, and I throw all the waste into the bag. You will probably want a container for the guts and feathers.

    I don't soak the carcasses in ice water, but if you want to chill them that way, you will need a big clean container that can hold ice and water. I put the birds into my spare refrigerator immediately after rinsing and bagging. If I recall correctly, the guidelines are to have a 3 to 4 pound bird chilled to 39 degrees or lower within 4 hours and mine have always met that chill time. If I did more than 3 or 4 birds at a time, I would have to ice them because too many birds would overwhelm the refrigerator.

    Running water close by to rinse carcasses and for clean up is best, but if that is not practical, you can wait to rinse all the carcasses at once.
  4. 1 old hen

    1 old hen In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2013
    My mistake, using the milk jug you put the chicken in first then take the head off with the knife. I think there is a site on the internet maybe u tube, or on this site that shows the milk jug. The milk jug is nailed to a post. Apology for my confusion as I do not use the jug.

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