First butcher date set

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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It was pretty gruesome. It was the 4th chicken I was doing and I wasn't paying attention to where my left hand was. Just sharpened the knife too, took 5 stitches. I wear gloves now. Never tried using clippers but sounds like it would work if they where sharp. It sucks when you make a cut that's not deep enough and have to do it again :(
Yes, I have worries about this happening. Just want it clean
 

RoosterML

Crowing
Nov 5, 2018
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I would prefer to use a heavy duty box cutter. Some peoples sharpening skills leave a lot to be desired. You should not be doing a saw motion with the knife. One firm slice. If you need to “saw with the knife it’s not sharp. They also make a pocket type knife with replacement edges.
With all that said I don’t do it that way. I use a meat cleaver and stump method. Meat cleaver to me is better than an axe.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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We successfully butchered 10 cockerels. We ended up combining the hatchet and cone, I attached a cone to a cedar fence board and would put the bird in the cone, lay it horizontally on the chopping block, husband would chop the head, and then I would tip it back upright for the bird to drain. We did this because my husband was most comfortable using the hatchet, but we wanted them restrained and able to bleed out upside down. Overall it worked pretty good. After they stopped moving, we would move elsewhere them to hang upside down, so the next bird could go in the cone.

Our plucker we rented was a turkey plucker, so it didn’t do a great job and we had to hand pluck a lot which took a bit of extra time.

Lastly it was a little disappointing how small the dressed carcasses were, we culled at 16 weeks for tenderness, but I think next time I would wait longer for them to get bigger.
 

RoosterML

Crowing
Nov 5, 2018
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We successfully butchered 10 cockerels. We ended up combining the hatchet and cone, I attached a cone to a cedar fence board and would put the bird in the cone, lay it horizontally on the chopping block, husband would chop the head, and then I would tip it back upright for the bird to drain. We did this because my husband was most comfortable using the hatchet, but we wanted them restrained and able to bleed out upside down. Overall it worked pretty good. After they stopped moving, we would move elsewhere them to hang upside down, so the next bird could go in the cone.

Our plucker we rented was a turkey plucker, so it didn’t do a great job and we had to hand pluck a lot which took a bit of extra time.

Lastly it was a little disappointing how small the dressed carcasses were, we culled at 16 weeks for tenderness, but I think next time I would wait longer for them to get bigger.
Just remember “when they crow they are ready to go” regardless of age well for tenderness anyways.
Glad you had success in your first go. Nothing wrong about your method of dispatch. Non meatbird carcasses will always be on the smaller side.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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Western Washington
Just remember “when they crow they are ready to go” regardless of age well for tenderness anyways.
Glad you had success in your first go. Nothing wrong about your method of dispatch. Non meatbird carcasses will always be on the smaller side.
Yeah, I think I might be ready to try a larger bird. As it was my hand was the only one small enough to get inside them so we could only gut one at a time which also slowed us down.
 

RoosterML

Crowing
Nov 5, 2018
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Tolland County Connecticut, USA
Yeah, I think I might be ready to try a larger bird. As it was my hand was the only one small enough to get inside them so we could only gut one at a time which also slowed us down.
Keep in mind that I think most including myself only process the extra corkerels from birds that we hatched looking for more hens. For meatbirds I really enjoy the red royals from Moyers. 5lbs dressed in 9 weeks
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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Western Washington
Keep in mind that I think most including myself only process the extra corkerels from birds that we hatched looking for more hens. For meatbirds I really enjoy the red royals from Moyers. 5lbs dressed in 9 weeks
Good tip. These cockerels were the extra roosters from 2 batches of broody hen hatches. Some free range hens had hidden their nests. I’m fairly new to chickens so I wasn’t planning on trying butchering chickens until much later. It was good experience though.
 

aart

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Lastly it was a little disappointing how small the dressed carcasses were, we culled at 16 weeks for tenderness, but I think next time I would wait longer for them to get bigger.
Rest em up for a few days(essential!) and put one on the grill.
Not much meat, but more tender and that crispy skin...mmmmm.
Letting them grow out won't get them much bigger.
I like them gone by 14-16 weeks.
Kudos!
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
775
2,039
181
Western Washington
Rest em up for a few days(essential!) and put one on the grill.
Not much meat, but more tender and that crispy skin...mmmmm.
Letting them grow out won't get them much bigger.
I like them gone by 14-16 weeks.
Kudos!
Good cooking tip. My dogs are looking forward to chicken hearts and livers too.
 
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