First Time Processing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by AngelaClassAct, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. AngelaClassAct

    AngelaClassAct Out Of The Brooder

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    I got hooked up with a local CSA that offers chicken as a part of their operation. They raise batches of 125 +/- in May-October. When I picked up my beef share I asked about them offering classes on processing, they offered me hands on instruction, so I took them up on it. On Wednesday I helped them process 125 birds. I wasn't a part of the slaughter, scald, or plucking (they had a plucker). I did everything after that. I think I could figure out the slaughter process with a few attempts before I was comfortable. In any event, the next day one of our 4 week old meaties just keeled over and died when we approached the pen. I think it was part stress from all the crazy coyotes the night before. So...I decided to process it, thankfully I had just had my lessons, and knew exactly what to do. I've read all the posts, but I'm a hands on and do it myself kind of girl before I can really get a grasp on how to do something. So...I processed one of my own on Thursday and we'll have it for dinner either tomorrow or Sunday. I'm psyched!

    Also, since I don't have the facilities here to process our birds, the farm I worked at is going to trade me my time, in exchange for letting us process our birds at their facility. THIS is a huge help to us. I'm also going to help a lady I met on Wednesday process her birds this Sunday. After all this processing time in the next month I'll be able to teach others how to do it!!

    I feel like a real chicken farmer...all except for the kill process is not something I've had to do yet. [​IMG]

    GO ME!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Sounds like you worked out a good deal.

    What kind of facilities do you think you need? Although we just bought some fancier processing equipment I think about all of the times I've done birds in the backyard with little or nothing. Last fall I just hung them from the handle of a push mower and bled them out. I then scalded them in a pot of water on the barbecue grill on our back deck and plucked them into a paper bag. I finished at the kitchen counter/sink.
     
  3. ThePigeonKid

    ThePigeonKid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good job! Keep up the good work! [​IMG]
     
  4. AngelaClassAct

    AngelaClassAct Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess facilities is a big word! [​IMG] There's the question of what to do with the waste, we can't compost it and the dump won't take it. We have quite a few, and really do not want to process in the house after they are plucked. We don't have a plucker, and after trying to do that by hand, I'm all set. I really don't think we'd need much...a board to hang kill cones on, buckets to catch most of the blood, some kind of table to finish processing, cutting boards, a tub for ice/water to chill them when we're done, some sharp knives, a big pot for scalding. I think it will just be easier to do it at their place until we get up to speed with our set up. They would gladly let us take all the equipment home (plucker and scalder), but....ours are ready to process within days of theirs, so...doing it there seems to be the best option for me. [​IMG]

    Quote:
     
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Undoubtedly. It sounds like you have a good thing going there. It's always good to get to know others who are interested in the same.

    Sometimes we make it sound like hand plucking is a big chore and I think some newcomers here get the idea that doing it by hand is some sort of horrible task that should be avoided. It's not that big of a deal. It can be time consuming if there are a number of birds, but it still only takes a few minutes per bird.

    That's kind of strange that your dump won't take the offal. Do they ban kitchen scraps also?
     
  6. AngelaClassAct

    AngelaClassAct Out Of The Brooder

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    They operate under the assumption that if you can recycle it or compost it, it shouldn't go in the dump. I'm sure lots of people put in kitchen scraps, but if you're caught, you could be fined. I think it will be hard to pass of the offal (as you said!) for 20 birds in one run.

    I dunno if we'll indefinitely be able to process with them, but at least for now we can do that, and I can just work in exchange for use of the equipment. I think their plan is to expand to processing 150 birds per batch, so this will give them a good estimate on how much time it will take a crew to do that. But...I am really thankful for the hook-up!

    You're right...the plucking sounds worse than it is. Its really not that bad if you scald ahead of time! [​IMG]

    Quote:Undoubtedly. It sounds like you have a good thing going there. It's always good to get to know others who are interested in the same.

    Sometimes we make it sound like hand plucking is a big chore and I think some newcomers here get the idea that doing it by hand is some sort of horrible task that should be avoided. It's not that big of a deal. It can be time consuming if there are a number of birds, but it still only takes a few minutes per bird.

    That's kind of strange that your dump won't take the offal. Do they ban kitchen scraps also?
     
  7. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice job! Sounds like you have the support and the know how - how cool is that??? [​IMG]
     

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