finishing my turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rmelvin23, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. rmelvin23

    rmelvin23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Well, I tried to find somewhere to get my turkeys done. No deal. So my husband and a friend will be attempting. I have a few questions. What should I feed them to finish them off? Do I withhold food a day before slaughter? Is butchering a turkey like a chicken only bigger? Thanks. I am praying that after 8 months of dealing with the turkeys, my husband does not mess them up. They are my guests of honor.
     
  2. rmelvin23

    rmelvin23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Will noone have pity on me? I need help! Thanksgiving will be at my house because of my turkeys, so we have to get it right. THanks.
     
  3. whenchickensdream

    whenchickensdream Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    I'm having the same problem with my 3 lovely large turkeys. I have tried reading as much as I could on here about how to do it. They are so large that if you are plucking them you need something to hold them while dunking them in scalding hot water. I hadn't thought about that. It's not bad holding a chicken but a 30 pound turkey is another matter. I don't have a lot of knowledge on processing a turkey so really can't help you too much. Mine will be done right before Thanksgiving.

    Good luck. Joy
     
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    Yep, just like a chicken only bigger. It actually makes the gutting thing easier because you have more space to work in. There was a thread not too long ago on handling the big ones. I will post link if I can find it. Basically you set up your scalder where you can lower the turkey into it with a rope. I'll be back.
     
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  6. rmelvin23

    rmelvin23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2009
    thanks.
     
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    We have used many different methods with large turkeys. a large killing cone is by far the easiest.

    In that thread they use an A frame and rope to hang the turkeys to bleed out and pluck.
    We use a Cherry picker, which you can rent in most towns at toll rental places at Auto parts stores. It has a hydrological cylinder and is just pumped up or turn a value to let down. That will save you from having to make something now on short notice.

    Tom
     
  8. MikeG

    MikeG Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Roanoke, Va
    No expert here at all. Butchered my first one last week. I too looked all over for information on how to, feeding to finish, etc... My hen finished at 23lbs.

    We finished with a 25% corn to pellet the last several weeks. I didn't seperate or put it on fast for last 24hrs as some suggest-mostly because she was with two others. The only drawback becides feces is the gizzard was full. Just need to anticipate that if you plan on eating it.

    I employed my Father-in-law(FIL) and didn't do anything elaborate...no additional expenses. I brought her out of the pen, layed her down on the earth. My FIL held her head over a log and decapitated her with a hatchet.

    From there, she bled out for a minute and I carried her over to the hot batch. Temp was 150 F. Sloshed her around for 45 seconds or so. I was told that when the skin on the legs/ankles slough off with a bit of friction, they're ready. That's the method we employed and the feathers came off SOOOOO easy.

    Afterwards, cut a hole around the anus and pull out all the goodies. Rinse & clease the cavity. Try not to puncture intestines or any entrails.


    Rinsed her off and then put her in a cooler with 20lbs of ice and covered her with water. We dumped 1.5 cups of kosher salt granules and left her over night. The salt water pulled the blood out and left us with a beautiful succulent bird in the am.

    Its really easy.
     
  9. fgdiii

    fgdiii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2009
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    How did you cook it?
     
  10. rmelvin23

    rmelvin23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Well, now I am getting excited. We will do the deed on Monday. I want to freeze the bird for alittle while. I heard that freezing the birds kills any parasites in the animal. And if we mess up, I do not want to have to try to buy a turkey at the store at the last minute. I have faith in myself, but good thing that my husband will be doing the actual killing.
     

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