How to butcher Skinning method Graphic pics

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Huntress78, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I’ve seen many here ask about butchering a rooster so when I processed a cull this morning I took some pics. I don’t really want to go into dispatch here as there are a number of threads related to that already so I’ll just say that I use an ax but you should use the method that’s best for you.


    When I butcher meat birds I scald and pluck but don’t want to set up that equipment just to do one bird. All I keep from the culls are the legs/thighs, breast fillets and organs and I try to get it over with as quickly as possible so this method is done by skinning the bird. The only equipment needed is a good, sharp fillet knife, poultry shears (I use a heavy duty ‘tin snip’), one gallon zipper bag, paper towel, disposable plastic gloves and a 30 gallon trash bag.

    Set up your equipment. Open the trash bag and lay it flat on your work surface. All fall I used the tailgate of my truck but today I set up in the garage so I would have more light. I don’t like this job so I try to have the bird dispatched just before daylight…the bird is calmer, the flock is still on the roost and I can get this done quick before chores start. Once the bird is dispatched lay it breast side up on the trash bag.
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    Slip the tip of the knife under the skin at the point of the breast bone and cut forward exposing the bone.





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    Use your fingers to pull the skin down on both sides of the breast. If you grasp the end of the drumstick and push up you’ll expose the ‘knee’.
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    Slip your finger under the knee and work the skin down to the end of the drumstick. Don’t be afraid to pull hard…the less you use the knife for skinning the fewer feathers will end up on the meat. With one hand on the drumstick and one on the foot, snap the joint sideways to loosen and cut through the tendons with the knife. When you’re done you should have all the meat exposed.

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    Be sure to loosen the skin over the thigh and all the way down to the backbone.

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    Grasp the thighbone near the body and snap down exposing the bone. Place your knife under the thigh (parallel to the backbone) and cut up. This removes the leg/thigh in one piece. Wipe any feathers off with a paper towel and place in the zipper bag. Repeat for the other leg.
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    Start at the top of the breastbone and fillet the meat away from the bone. Use a light touch over the ribs and cut down and forward until one side is released. Do the same for the other side but when you get to the wishbone slip the knife under it to release the meat there.
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    You should now have two boneless breast fillets. Wipe off any feathers and bag. If you don’t want any organ meat you’re done!
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    To expose the organs, use the poultry shears and cut through the ribs on both sides of the breastbone.
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    Grasp the breastbone and snap forward. You can see the organs all in a row underneath. The heart is at the top, next is the liver and the gizzard is at the bottom in the pic. Pick each one up and cut it free with the knife.
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    Clean the organs up by removing the membrane on the heart and cutting the gizzard open to remove the lining and place in the zip bag.
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    Wipe off the tools with a paper towel and throw the used towels and gloves in with the carcass….no mess.
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    Like I said I don’t like to have to do this job, so over time I’ve refined my technique…I used to hang up and skin the whole bird and gut it to get the organ meat out. I don’t know how long it takes others to process a bird but it seemed like it always took me an hour with cleaning up the mess. With practice I’ve now got it down to 15 minutes from the time I take the roo out of the cage till I twist the garbage bag shut. For anyone who hasn’t butchered a cull yet it does get easier with practice…just challenge yourself to do a faster, cleaner job every time and pretty soon it won’t seem so bad.
     
    6 people like this.
  2. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This post is the best that I've seen yet on how to butcher and I thank you for taking the time to post your experienced method of doing it!
     
  3. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're welcome. I always hated cleaning up the mess but by taking the organs out the 'top' and doing it all right inside the trash bag there is NO mess.[​IMG]
     
  4. jfoley

    jfoley Out Of The Brooder

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    has anyone ever used a garden hose attached to the ck neck to seperate the skin from the body. your using water pressure to pull skin lose from the body.
     
  5. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is basically what I do (I don't have a plucker and I process more ducks than chickens)
    I do like the way that you get the organs. I never thought of doing that but so much easier than traditional eviseration.

    Good job. I always want to take pics but since its me out there alone (hubby doesn't help) I don't want to get anything on camera or phone. [​IMG]
     
  7. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know what you mean about having to do this stuff alone. I have processed deer and even my last bear all by myself...the bear took me all day. In my boyfriend's defense, he did help with the pig this fall and he helps me when I have a big batch of meat birds to do.[​IMG]
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I skin my birds too. For the dame reason, not enough butchered at one time to merit a plucking. I really like your method but have gotten addicted to making our own chicken broth as it's nothing like a broth, rather a mothers sauce.

    I take off the wings and hocks first. Snap at joints, loosen then cut. with the wings and hocks removed the skin pulls easily off excepting along the backbone. After viserating, remove the legs and use knife to cut through the ribs and remove breast then cut them in half. Though seeing the OP take only breast at this point seems much easier. I only use the neck and back of birds for broth but now will no doubt use the breast bones too. Favorite recipe so far for the meat and broth is chicken & sausage gumbo.
     
  9. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just used this method on a few extra boys, worked great. They were too "skinny" to make them worth plucking and keeping the whole bird. The dog & cats were excited to get the "left overs"
     
  10. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a little update for anyone using this method.....

    I processed cockerels again the other day and because I was out of stock/broth I took it a little further. I found it was easy to pull the skin down the neck and cut it off between the shoulders with the snips. I also skinned down the wings a little and took the first section...the 'drumette'. There wasn't a lot of meat on it as I took most off while filleting the breast but it went in the stockpot with the necks, giblets and drumsticks. I took the cooked meat from the drumsticks and froze it for a quick casserole or salad, and strained the stock, cooled it in the fridge overnight, then froze it in freezer bags.
     

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