First Processing...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Gifa, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did it. Living in the city, raising meat birds are permitted, but under the age of 16 weeks. Roosters are not permitted. This was an accidental Silver Laced Wyandotte Rooster. He hadn't crowed by the time he was 16 weeks, so we let him grow until he did. That was yesterday morning. He made it to 18 weeks.

    So, we brought him in and withheld food for 24 hours. My husband and I processed him together a little over 2 hours ago.

    I watched a ton of online video tutorials and read through a bunch of photo tutorials. I don't believe I made any mistakes. Overall it was a calm and quiet process. I remained focused and calm also, as did my husband.


    What I will do differently next time:

    A little water in the bottom of the bleed bucket before bleeding.
    A little longer in the scald (155 degree water)

    The bucket just took a little bit of soaking to rinse clean, and I just had to dunk in the scald a couple of times to get all of the feathers to loosen up.

    Not as much blood as I expected, not as smelly as I expected either, in fact, not very smelly at all.

    A nice 3 lbs 2 oz fryer.

    Good experience, overall.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congratulations on a job well done!
    It looks like you did a good job on him.

    One suggestion I have read is to put wood shavings or saw dust in the bottom of the bucket to absorb the blood. I have never tried it, but I think it would work well knowing how fast sawdust absorbs water.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Your bird looks great. Next year when we've many to cull we'll be scalding and plucking too.

    We recently did up a few 26 week cockerels. Before axing we put a lanyard around the feet. Used the kids swing set, wraped the swings to side, threw the lanyard over top and had our garbage can with bag in it underneath. After axing hrld in garbage can as another pulls the cord tight and ties off. Walked away until they bled out. Afterward same garbage can with bag was used to hold all other remains. For us only doing three birds we took wings and legs at hocks off then deskinned feathers and all. The backs made an awe inspiring stock after the birds rested in fridge for a day and later that week the breasts and legs were taken out of the ziplock bags in fridge to make the best chicken and sausage gumbo the kids ever had. Though it was their first gumbo ever the dish was still scrumptious. Three backs yeilded 12 cups of a mother sauce quality stock- unbelievably good. Only needed to add a box of broth and box of stock for the double gumbo batch. Laughed at the water consistency stock from the store; 3 cups of amber water for $2.70 compared to the beautiful sauce starter quality stock we made for free.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Even easier than putting stuff in the bottom of the bucket is to just line it was a trash bag, then all unwanted bits go right in and all is just bagged ready to go with the trash. You could also bleed into a bowl of lightly salted water, let it coagulate, and cook it for a soup/veggie dish.
  5. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, He's had a day to rest, and now he's "resting" in a 300 degree oven. Going low and slow on this guy.

    Both my husband and I do wish we could have kept him around a few more weeks; but the ordinance is, what the ordinance is. He was already 2 weeks over the meat bird provision of the ordinance. But I interpret the spirit of the ordinance to be mainly around the noise disturbance issue with roosters. In fact, I was the one pushing to just get it over with, he was dilly dallying around and trying to convince me to wait until the weekend. In my mind, he'd already been off of food for a day, he was crowing... waiting just wasn't an option.

    After this rooster had bled out, I used a pair of poultry shears to cut the head all of the way off. Something about scalding his head seemed wrong to me... I dunno... And as I was carrying the head over to the trash can where we would be plucking into, my husband... holding the rooster said, "Well, that was not fun." And I just looked over to him and said, "Well, I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be... In fact, I'd be a little worried about you if you thought it was." That was the extent of our "omg, I can't believe what we just did" banter.

    I was happy to have the plucking done, too. He was a lot less deceased animal like, and a lot more of what I am accustomed to handling once the feathers were gone.

    My husband has figured we'd need to raise in the neighborhood of 50-60 birds a year to have enough to feed ourselves. I'm pretty sure we could do all of the processing and whatnot, given how this one went, and we have a big freezer to do 15-20 at a time... just not sure about how/where we'd raise them until harvest time. We're only on a quarter acre lot.

    One thing I didn't think about until today as I was preparing him for slow roasting... I feel like I have a reasonable understanding of the overall health of my other birds, inside and out. I didn't see any signs of infection or parasites or anything gnarly. His lungs were bright pink, and his heart and liver looked pretty healthy. So, I'm pretty sure my hens, which he was raised up along side for these 18 weeks, are as healthy as he was.

    Also, my flock seems a little happier/more peaceful without him around... more docile. The other two SLWs (hens) were getting a little big for their britches with their big SLW Rooster around. Now that he's out of there, my Easter Eggers aren't being bullied as much. Specifically the one who is obviously lowest in the pecking order. They're all quieter too.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps


    Uhm... delicious.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Look at those thighs! [​IMG]
  8. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know, right?

    This was the first time I've ever eaten a dual purpose breed chicken. I've only ever had the Cornish Cross out of the store or from our local farmer's market. The difference in flavor and texture between the store-bought and Farmer's Market CC's was remarkable enough, I was not prepared for the difference in taste of my DP rooster, specifically on the dark meat. The length of those drumsticks compared to what I am used to seeing on the CCs was remarkable as well, crazy long.

    Flavor-wise, I'd have to say that the dark meat was somewhere between turkey and chicken, and pretty lean. The white meat was tender and juicy and much like the white meat on the CC's I get from the farmer's market, though there was just not as much of it on my bird.

    I'm really glad I started mixing the higher protein game/show bird in the feeder for his last 10 weeks... I really think he'd have been a lot smaller if I hadn't.

    As an omnivore, raising, harvesting and processing my own chicken was a good and important experience for me. I learned a lot. A lot about myself and a lot about the process too.
  9. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2011
    Congratz. He looks delicious!!!

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