1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

First butchering

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bubra007, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. RGreenfamily

    RGreenfamily Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    24
    May 19, 2015
    We were also surprised at how little the birds were after our first time. Now, years later, we are doing cornish x and I am hopeful that we will not be disappointed. It seems like a lot of work an feed for a 2 lb bird-- but it still was better than the grocery store. Good job getting it done!
     
  2. kristi83

    kristi83 New Egg

    4
    0
    8
    Mar 10, 2016
     
  3. kristi83

    kristi83 New Egg

    4
    0
    8
    Mar 10, 2016
    Thank you :)
     
  4. bubra007

    bubra007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    16
    133
    May 5, 2009
    Best rooster and dumplings ever!! Even the kids and hubby enjoyed. One of my son's stopped eating early though and "lost his appetite" after my other son asked me if I remembered to remove the chickens butt before cooking.....kids...lol!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,450
    3,458
    528
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bubra007

    bubra007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    16
    133
    May 5, 2009
    Just killed and processed 4 more roosters. Took me 4 hours and I am tired out!! I think the first time I was running on adrenaline...I feel it now. Too much bending over, I need a better processing area.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,668
    511
    318
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Is your water hot enough? I use a turkey fryer but any fuel source like coleman stove or even put a pot of water on your grill to keep temp. 155F works for me. With a heat source your water isn't cooling down on you between birds. Plucking is like wall paper removal. Never start the work until it's ready. If you peel and scrap wallpaper before the water dissolves the old paste your just working harder and damaging the substrate. Same with bird feathers. If you start plucking before all the feathers are ready your working harder, longer and tearing the skin. Just keep junking. Dunk and swish, dunk and swish and repeat. Do it as many times as it takes until the largest feathers pull without effort (tail or wing feather). Then and only then do you pluck and can get full hand fulls at a time. Takes about 6 minutes to pluck a bird clean.

    The key to butchering is a very sharp knife. Try an exacto knife. Very sharp and makes for quick work. Set up, kill, pluck, butcher and cleanup of one bird is about an hour. But it only add 20 minutes to job with every additional bird. That's one person. I'm not fast by any means but takes an hour one bird, 1.5 for two and 1.75-2 hours max for three. I keep it to 3 or 4 birds max. Without a helper it's mind numbing and about all I can handle.
     
  8. bubra007

    bubra007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    16
    133
    May 5, 2009
    You are right...that is one problem I ran into. My pot for scalding is not big enough. When I took the water outside after the birds were ready, it cooled off too fast.

    The first bird I did went well. I didn't even pluck him....just skinned him, but I felt like feathers coming into contact with the meat wasn't a good idea for cleanliness reasons. That's when I started the water on the stove top for plucking first, then skinning later. I killed the second roo, the water wasn't yet ready, so I killed a third, and thought why let the last one wait so took care of #4. Brought the water outside, dunked the chicken but at that point rigor mortis had set in and I couldn't fit the rigid bird in the pot all the way! I plucked where the feathers came off nicely. I did experience ripped skin from my very first butchering, and didn't want that to happen, so only plucked the feathers ready to come out. I did the other two roos the same way. Half plucked because their bodies wouldn't fit all the way in the pot.

    You are also right about the knife not being sharp enough. I used a brand new knife with what I thought was a very very sharp edge, but it dulled fast. I even used my sharpening stone to no avail. Where can I get an exacto? Craft store?

    I would also LOVE a tall table to do the work on, instead of sitting/leaning over a railroad cable with a cutting board on top! I was a sight. And the 2 inches above my waistband on my back is sunburned!! Lol.
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,668
    511
    318
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I know what you mean about the table. Last time I used a kids fold out picnic table because the full size was farther away, in barn storage and it's heavy. Getting too old for half bent over working. My back was shot for the rest of the day.

    I picked up an exacto with a extra blades in the same package right at Walmart. I now use it for many things so really only need to change the blade when butchering as I've dulled it opening things, sharpening work shop pencils...you name it. It's short but still will do everything except chop off the neck. For the hocks just cut center all the way around the joint then quick pop backward and it opens up to reveal the tendons that you cut and the leg in off. Quick work. It's so sharp it fillets. The crop comes out by filleting around it. The membrane peels right back with little strokes of the exacto then grab the crop and pull. Clean out the entire neck area first then when you cut around anus to get hand in you can grab and pull so most all comes right out including the esophagus us you cleaned around the neck/crop first. Then it's a quick grab of testies and whatever is left.
     
  10. RipsRoost

    RipsRoost Just Hatched

    7
    1
    16
    Mar 25, 2016
    Florida
    I'm curious to see how it will go for my first butchering job. I used to be a hunting guide, my ex and I had our own business, and I got pretty quick at cleaning deer and elk, etc. Kansas whitetail from hoof to cooler took about 30-40 minutes. I used to clean pheasant too but that wasn't plucking, that was just debreasting for the most part. So I am extremely curious how this will turn out. My ranger chicks arrive April 11th so June will be interesting!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by