How much time do you have to process

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by marktoo, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 3 hens to process. I have only processed one bird to date so I'm rather slow. I would really like to kill them all at once but I'm concerned about being able to get them cleaned up & on ice in a reasonable time. I realize temperature plays a major factor here & they should be on ice as quickly as possible. Can anyone give me an outside time limit for a hot summer day? Thanks! I greatly appreciate your advice.
     
  2. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    I had three roos to send to freezer camp and got a cooler of ice and a safety cone from a yard sale and used the safety cone for a killing cone. Nailed upside down to a board and trimmed a few inches to give the bird a chance to drop down deeper into the immobilization cone.
    Kill and pluck one bird at a time putting the plucked carcass immediately into the icewater in the cooler.
    when the three birds are killed and chilled you can bring the cooler indoors and finish processing the birds in the comfort of your kitchen .
    Chilling immediately helps to speed up and simplify the evisceration process. If you denied your birds food for the day prior to butchering an empty crop and stomach helps quite a bit also.
    Done right it really is not a messy process at all. I plucked by hand and used a large bucket of boiling water (carried from the house) so no heat source or outdoor fire was necessary to release the feathers. . Feathers went directly into the trash along with heads and feet. Any more than three and I would have gone for a chicken plucker but for three birds the old fashioned way was the best.
    Good luck with this project.
     
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  3. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, for the response! I did them one at a time, opting to skin instead of plucking. Went fairly well, none too fast though. I doubt I will be getting much faster since I will only be doing this every 3 plus years or so.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    We will be processing soon and are considering skinning as well. I am sure we will pluck some also though. I think it's great that you are processing your birds when they are done laying even though that is not your main focus. To me it takes guts! (pun intended)

    How long does it take to drain them?
    Good info! So is 3 the max birds you would do on a single day as an individual? And can you tell me if I need to get some kind of special packaging? And do you have to let the bird rest before freezing? Also, how long do they stay good in the freezer? Any suggestion for butcher age on Marans?

    I can see why people only want to feed their birds for 8 weeks when it comes to cost, but I wanted something that could supply it's own replacements through breeding. Still deciding on a focus breed. Between BBS Marans or Swedish Flower. I like Ameraucana personalities but I am unsure of their table quality. I also have Salmon Faverolle. I am unsure if I will enjoy raising the feathered feet in the rainy season. Any thought welcome! Sorry for buggin on your thread!
     
  5. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wondered what I would do when it came down to it. Had they not been so mean to the pullet I was trying to add to the flock they would have survived another year. Originally, I was trying to add 2 but1 was a cockerel. I culled him last week! My fault, sexed or not I never should have gotten just 2 chicks. I was tempted to cull the pullet as well & keep the hens for another year but there are some Australorp & Orthington pullets available her age so I decided to go that route. Tough decision as I was rather fond of those girls.

    I dislocated their necks, then cut their juggler, it was over within a couple of minutes.

    No problem I can learn from your questions as well as my own. Good luck & happy processing!
     
  6. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    I have done the production processing as well as the three bird kill I described earlier. We split the chores between outside 2 man team and inside two man team.
    The outside team did the killing and plucking removing heads and feet and dropping the plucked carcass into the chilled water.in the cooler. (Mechanized plucker ).
    The inside team took the cooler into the kitchen where the birds were finished hearts livers and gizzards set aside for consumption later and finished bird placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated for 48 hours before going into the freezer. This two day chill allows the carcass to relax and rigor to completely disappear.
    We the inside team used small very sharp knives and nothing else - no specialty tools like lung scrapers are needed - fingers perform this function perfectly adequately . I do notice the fatigue factor in processing multiple birds nonstop but I chalk this up to age ( I am 68) and health not perfect (Parkinson's disease ) contributed to muscle fatigue and cramping in the fingers. Another contributing factor was the disappearance of my processing partner for a good portion of the morning. We started out splitting the chore and he got called away leaving me with a backup of chilled birds needing final processing.
    I was a volunteer and ended up completing the majority of the birds we butchered. I was compensated in birds which I shared with my folks - they were very pleased with the size and quality of the birds we processed although Dad did say he had eaten enough chicken for a while.
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    That's pretty good. I am only 43.... today in fact is my birthday, and my hands hurt so bad already. I am always honored when I meet someone who works with their challenges. And somehow always feel like I'm around wisdom when someone is more matured than me... my eyes and ears are wide open hanging on to every bit of knowledge I can process and retain! Thank you for sharing.
     

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