How much time do you have?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lnm03, May 19, 2009.

  1. lnm03

    lnm03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    When butchering chickens, how much time do you have from time of butcher till you have to gut them?

    I am asking because we have 25 chickens were going to process soon. I just wondered if we can butcher then pluck all of them first then gut all of them?

    thank you! [​IMG]
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Hmmm, that's a good question. I think a lot will depend on the outdoor temps, how fast you can complete plucking & gutting, and if you'll be plucking by hand or machine. Also, how many people you will have doing the job together.

    Ideally, you want to get the birds cooling as soon as possible. The shorter the amount of time between the initial slice/chop and the final dunk in the ice water, the less chance there is for the meat to spoil. Yes, there is a window of time you have for working safely, but I don't know what that is exactly.

    If you've got a good crew to do the work, all your tools & equipment set up for maximum efficiency, and you're all good & quick at your tasks, I guess you could do each task with all 25 before going on to the next step. But I think it would make it more difficult -- where would you hang 25 birds to bleed out at once, how would you stack 25 plucked birds while you wait to gut them? The logistics would give me pause.

    I usually do my butchering by myself or with 1 other person, and we do it all by hand. We usually slice & pluck 1 each, then slice the next ones to bleed out while we gut the first ones. Then we pluck those second ones, and then slice the third ones while we gut the second ones. Does that make sense? If we had additional helpers we could get more of an assembly line going.

    Anyway, I think it makes the job go better to keep alternating between tasks, it keeps it from getting too tedious or monotonous.

    I wish you success, whatever you decide to do.
  3. lnm03

    lnm03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    I dont know that we will do all 25 at once most likely just 1/2 one day and 1/2 the next time....It will probabally just be two of us but I wasnt sure even then can we slice and pluck say 4 before we start to gut them? or do we just need to do it all at once.... I dont want to make any one sick!
  4. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd avoid doing it that way for a couple of reasons. First, you want to get them cold as soon as possible. Flies will be all over them in warm temps, and it's better to get everything done before rigor sets in. Also, what if you get several birds killed, then something happens where you have to quit for however long? Once they're dead, you're stuck. At least doing them one at a time gives you flexibility. Have you done it before? If not, it's going to take a LONG time! Haha, before I built a plucker, I was at around an hour per bird! At least do one or two individually and see how it goes first.
  5. lnm03

    lnm03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    We processed 6 birds a couple of months ago. we did them one at a time....We were just wondering about a time frame.
  6. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Persopnally (and I have to do it all my self) I grab 2 birds, kill, skin, gut, rihse and then ice water . Then get 2 more.
    This year I am not going to gut. Seriously! I might waste a litte meat but not that nuch for the time I save I think. I will Kill, skin, cut off thighs and legs and wings and then filet off the breasts. Toss the carcus with guts out. We dont go through that much soup and we like it on the grill so will see how this works.
  7. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    I'm with antlers. I grab two or three - bleed them out, pluck, evicerate, and clean into the ice water then go get a few more. The go to rigor very quickly otherwise and then they are stiff in the plucker which I don't like.
  8. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That's a good method- I actually offered it as an option to my customers this year, and I'll be doing it tomorrow to a bunch of birds. Almost like filleting a fish- and really clean if you can keep the feathers off the meat while de-breasting.
  9. THunter

    THunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    What would be any different between chickens and wild geese and teal killed in September (still pretty warm here then)? With the wild geese and teal, we don't clean them until we are home after the hunt which is usually a pretty good time lapse. Never had any trouble with that. I've never killed my own chickens, but that is about to change.
  10. chicken farmer meigs

    chicken farmer meigs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2008
    Florence Mt.
    I built a plucker this year using a model from this site. It took me by myself 3 hours to process 25 birds. That was taking two birds at a time. kill them,dip in scaloding water, pluck, gut and ice bath. It was about 7 mins a bird. I use to just skin them out but they taste so good roasted on a winter day.

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