First Butcher

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SkyWarrior, May 21, 2010.

  1. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    One of my Cornish Xs had deep red/purple skin and today it was actually in distress from what was most likely heart failure. Rather than see the little guy suffer, we decided to butcher it.

    It had been picked on, so the skin was blue from the anti-picking stuff. I chose to skin it (I've done deer, but not birds) and took the breasts, legs and thighs. The meat was clean; the interior cavity had fluid just like congestive heart failure. The heart was way tiny but the organs looked okay.

    My husband did the deed with a knife and to our surprise the head came off quick. After bleeding, I skinned and dressed out the bird. The pieces are now in the freezer packed in salt water.

    So, I felt kind of sad that I had to take it out early. I would've let it grow for about three more weeks (it was about 5 weeks old), but honestly, I think I did the right thing. I just wish I had more meat from it.

    So, I'm down to 28 poultry: 5 which are Cornish Xs. If the meat tastes really good, I'm thinking of raising another batch when we slaughter the 5.
  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member 8 Years

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    That's great! I really wish that I wasn't so squimish but I just can't break down and do it. [​IMG] I had 2 extra roos that my in laws were gonna take care of when they got older but my hubby found someone that wanted them cause they lost their whole flock and I jumped at the chance to give them away!![​IMG] Maybe one day!! [​IMG]

  3. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Hey Missi!

    You know, it's not as bad as you think. I had to field dress my first deer by myself and honestly, if you look at it as meat and focus on the work (and believe me, it is work) it's not so bad. Chickens, by comparison, are easier mentally because when you look at the meat, it looks like, well, chicken you might buy in a store. It's still work in terms of bending and kneeling. When I butcher my other 5 Cornish x, I'm probably getting a small table and chair so my back doesn't hurt.

    The other possibility is for you to have someone butcher them for you. My husband and I will do our own because we have so few.

    Thanks for the cheers!
  4. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Quote:Thanks for the encouragement! I think I'm ready to butcher 2 of my roos today. This is my first time [​IMG] so wish me luck! Hopefully it goes well as I have 2 more boys that will be ready in about a month.
  5. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Good for you .. I too skinned ny birds beleive me its way quicker then hand plucking... I agree with a table and chair .. I finaly had to take one of my barstools out there as it was killing my back after the first two birds...
  6. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Good luck! Let me know how it goes. The whole thing was anticlimactic for me because I expected worse (remember, I've dressed deer) and got a chicken. [​IMG] One hint, don't look at the head for about a minute afterwards if you use a knife. I sort of got a Marie Antoinette moment there. [​IMG]

    Trust me, after doing my first chick (who needed to be done because of the heart problem), I won't hesitate to do the rest unless I have no time.
  7. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    You made the correct decision. I'm sure you'll enjoy the bird. We had chicken fettucini last night.
  8. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa's done. I need a sharper knife that's for sure! Hubby decided to use one of those long razor blade cutters for the neck cuts and it was harder then we thought. I didn't press hard enough for the first cut, so he grabbed the knife and tried it. Took 3 tries, but he did it. I think we need a heavier sharper knife, so that's my shopping goal this week. I took care of the rest of the process myself. It went ok. I think I'll get better at it with practice. It's a good use for extra roos, but I don't think I'll be ordering meaties anytime soon! [​IMG]
    Thanks again for the encouragement!
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Oh my yes, a table set at the right height will make all the difference. I have one set at about elbow height, just a wide piece of plywood set up on sawhorses. Use bricks or boards to raise/lower your table until it's at a comfortable height for you. You can make one end slightly lower so the water will run off in one direction. I find it easier to stand at my table, you may prefer a chair or a stool.

    Another thing that helps is to have a sturdy place to hang your birds at about shoulder height while you pluck them. That way you can use both hands for plucking and get the job done faster.
  10. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:I guess I have an overabundance of Really Big Scary Knives at my place because the one we used went through without any fuss. I think it helps to have some heft to it -- I was so worried, I thought about using my hand and a half broadsword. [​IMG] [​IMG] The knife my husband used probably had an 8 inch or better blade and was extremely sharp (like cut your fingers off sharp [​IMG] ), so we knew it would go through okay. Otherwise, I'd have taken out my scary-sharp sword and done the deed. (Can you say overkill? [​IMG] )

    Glad to hear you got it done! [​IMG] Get a knife with a good sharp blade and a fair amount of heft and it won't be difficult at all.[​IMG]

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