First time butchering...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Harvest Mint, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Harvest Mint

    Harvest Mint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slaughtered my first chicken and then my second. Never done that before. I have seen some body do it and I watched a bunch of YouTube videos. It was very messy and I think I made a few mistakes. I tried to dry pluck which I now see was not a good idea. But they still cooked up fine.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Congrats on your first birds. I could not imagine the time it would take to dry pluck. I giggle whenever I see period piece films and people dry plucking in a kitchen. As if they didn't have means to heat water to scald. In the woods it makes sense as you wouldn't have a pot for the water but in a kitchen?

    I use a turkey fryer to get the pot of water hot. You could just as east put a pot of water on the grill. 155 F is a good temp to scald. The trick is to keep dipping the bird until the feathers are loose. Don't hold bird in rather dip swish and pull out, check a tail feather then repeat. Do it until a tail or primary wing feather pulls without effort. Once that happens you can pluck the bird completely clean in two minutes.
     
  3. Harvest Mint

    Harvest Mint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so gonna do that next time. I got some fry pan chicks that should be ready by May. Give me plenty of time to look for a stock pot. I got a little table top grill that would probably do pretty good.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    congrats! the first are always the hardest, after that you adjust and it's not such a huge deal. I did two roosters yesterday morning, took me a little over an hour and I was able to get on with my day.

    I agree scalding is the way to go, or if you don't want to pluck you can skin the bird. I like the skin, so I pluck. Plus, I'm saving feathers for a pillow.....
     
  5. Harvest Mint

    Harvest Mint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I tried to pluck and then just ripped off some skin so just said to myself' "Guess I am skinning them now". One went in the crockpot the other went in the freezer. Totally gonna boil next time.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    that's what we did the first time. Honey tried to dry pluck and it quickly turned into skinning. Hey, whatever works, right?

    did your direct-to-crock bird come out okay? I've done a few that I pressure cooked right away, but most of my older birds I let rest a few days before cooking.
     
  7. Harvest Mint

    Harvest Mint Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2016
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    Turned out delicious. Was one of the smaller cornish rock hens we had. Was about 9 weeks old. Fixed it just like a turkey but cooked it in the crockpot instead of the oven. They are young so I didn't think much about letting them rest.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Good for you! [​IMG]

    You'll get better with time.

    I am too wimpy.... [​IMG] But my 17 year old daughter processed chickens for us for the first time recently. We did takes turn to see if we could make the cut, and there was some sawing. [​IMG]

    We already planned to skins the chickens and that was what she did. First time took maybe 2 hours per bird. Second time maybe 1 hour per bird, despite the 10 minute video we were watching! [​IMG] They made it look easy. I suspect it will go faster in the future. My daughter did a great job and I am very proud of her!
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Good for her!

    Speed will come, with confidence.

    Sounds like you need to sharpen your knife, if there was sawing involved. Should be one swift, nice deep cut.
     
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    We had many different knives to try with sharpeners on hand. But realizing how tough it was to get through the skin and still trying to figure out how deep to go without over doing it.... I'm sure with practice the confidence will come as well. Live skin didn't seem to cut anything like what we have gotten at the market before. And she commented that the one that was about 32 weeks old was a lot harder to work with than the 16 week old one.

    I may even take her shopping for a knife.... if it would make a difference. But I think it might just still be gaining technique..... and probably the confidence to make the cut deeply enough as well. Thankfully we didn't have any horror scenes play out.
     

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