First butcher of big bbw turkeys!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by zowieyellowflame, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today we butchered our first big turkeys. (we did 1 a few weeks ago due to leg problems but he was small)
    I had a bright idea of washing them in cool water before scalding them because I wanted them to be cleaner. NOT A GOOD IDEA! The feathers all seized up and it was much more difficult to pluck. We did this for the first two and then for the third we skipped that step and went straight to scald in 150 degree water for 1 minute. That was much, much easier!
    One question I do have though.... we dont have a killing cone so my husband ties them to a tree, does a cut on both sides of the neck and then holds it on a steep bank to bleed out. This has worked fine for small roosters but the big turkeys were a struggle. Once it started flapping it was all he could do to keep a hold of it. In all 3 kills, a wing got broken from its own flapping. So i am wondering what is a better way to kill a turkey without a killing cone? (i dont want to buy one, we dont keep many birds) When a bird flaps, this is nerves right? He is long gone or unconcious at this point, right?
     
  2. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a woven feed sack with a corner cut off for teh head to come through (cut a small hole as the bags tend to rip open further). When the bird is alive just slip the sack over its head and pull the head through. THen you can hold onto them easier after cutting the head off/cutting the artery. You can just change sacks when they get too bloody or the hole gets too big.
     
  3. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
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    THAT is a GREAT idea (the frugal recycler woman that I am...loves it)
     
  4. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That is a great idea!
     
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Finding something to hang it from so it's free standing is also good in a pinch such as a tree limb or something and he can flapp and bleed out without injuring anything. I clean off the birds before scalding also to keep the smell down and keep the scalding water cleaner longer, never had any feather issues when doing this though. Yes these big turkey's can be a handfull if not properly restrained, the feed sack is a good idea as you can tie his leg's together along with the bag and hang the together.
     
  6. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I just hang them by one leg, slit the throat and walk away! They only flap a few seconds if you do it well! Use a sharp knife.
     
  7. 1Rooster

    1Rooster Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:our neighbor uses a gallon milk jug and cuts it down to use as a cone
     
  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    our neighbor uses a gallon milk jug and cuts it down to use as a cone

    Surprised that a turkey would fit in a gallon milk jug...

    We processed 6 yesterday hanging them from an old swing set, all bled out well with a sharp knife, not one flinched or gave more than a few seconds of flapping. They were 12 weeks almost to the day and the 3 hens finnished between 15 and 17lb dressed the toms 20-25 lb. Would have been no fitting them in a milk jug as the toms were filling up a large metal trash can scalder pretty well.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  9. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    So... I kinda have personal issue with bleeding out, cutting the neck while they're still alive, cause it causes pain in my opinion....

    I just shoot mine in the back of the head with the 22 and then cut their necks. But thats just me. A gun is an option if your turkey is too big. Mine was way too big for me to be lifting and struggling with to hang up while alive (he was 40# dressed, way too big I know).
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried the feed sack idea last year... when it's around 8F outside, the feed sacks don't cooperate.

    40 lb dressed? [​IMG] The only one I had come close to that was a year and a half old!
     

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