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how do you pith a chicken

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chickabator, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. chickabator

    chickabator Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    ky
    I have 8 cobbs that need to be processed how do you pith them? We are trying to find easier ways to dispatch our extra roos and our cobbs. I have a white leghorn we are going to process and we want to try the pithing on him. can someone tell me how to do this and if we do it do we still need to dunk in hot water to pluck?
     
  2. BushHog936

    BushHog936 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2009
    East Texas
    (off topic)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  3. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I'm not positive, but I would assume you would just take a sharp blade through the roof of this mouth, into his brain (just like a frog). I personally wouldn't want to try without someone good showing me how!!
     
  4. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    I use a gallon milk jug for a killing cone... Cut the bottom off the jug and cut out around the mouth of the jug. Hang it bottom up. I hold my chickens upside down while I'm taking them to the "cone"...I hold their head straight down from their body. They kind of faint. I insert them in the jug, drawing their head and neck down through the hole. When I cup their head in my hand, usually they close their eyes and more or less faint. Then I use the awl to pierce the brain, through the back of the mouth. If I get it right, they ARE easier to drypick than birds killed other ways. If you're gonna scald them, it doesn't really matter which kill method you use. After I kill their brain, I cut their throat and bleed them into a receptacle while they are still in the cone. Then I finish taking the head off, and pull them out of the cone and drain the last of the blood over the bucket.

    Good luck with yours. oh, yeah...if you let them, they would still kick and flog -- I keep them in the cone until their body tremors all are over.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    This is a pretty good thread on pithing -- see page 3. I would prefer to do it this way but am hesitant to try it without having watched someone do it who knows what he is doing. Makes plucking much easier and bleeds them the best, I understand.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=90607
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Farmin'chick, are you saying you can pluck them easily without scalding if you get the pithing just right?
     
  7. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Yep. I can't abide wet chicken feathers -- it sets of my asthma...so I dry pick. I've done 20 birds so far this season, and have just about got it right. Occasionally I hit one where the feathers won't pull, and so I skin them. But all in all, I can tell by the way the chicken reacts when he's pierced if I've got it right. He just shudders and goes limp. When I take the head off he'll start the secondary neuro system kicking and (flopping, but he's confined to the cone) which lasts about 1 minute. I hold the neck down, but not too tightly, or it will stop the blood drain. Then, after soaking in the fridge overnight in a ziploc with salted water, the meat is beautiful and blood free. We split ours up the breast only, then turn them over and do the "chiropractor press" to break the ribs at the backbone -- this allows us to pack small birds in a gallon bag -- for CX's you'd probably need a 2 gal bag-- for the freezer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Wow, Farminchick, really good info, thanks so much.

    We have a bunch of extra dual purpose roos (by design) and have never done anything like Cornish X or colored rangers, but we are hatching babies with broodies. Currently, we have processed about 20 and have another 8 or 10 to go. Plucking is the big bugaboo around here. I help my son and family process, and they eat the birds. They could handle an occasional skinned bird for sure. It will be great for the economical situation here if we can pluck this easily!

    So fat they have been tender and delish with just a few hours in brine, and resting. The next batch will be at 21 weeks, I figure.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2009
  9. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Give it a try! I use it first because they are pretty out of it before the kill stroke -- no flopping anxious birds to put adrenaline in the meat, AND more humane in my opinion-- and second because of the plucking.

    Best success.
     

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