I did it, 8 birds in cooler tonight

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jtbrown, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took my 10 Cockerals to a lady's house this afternoon. I had her name given to me from the local feed store when asking if they knew anyone who butchered chickens. She agreed to help me by showing me how to do it. I am sure I slowed her down, but we did it. I watched with the first one. Then helped with the second and did 3 more. We did 3 brahmas, one production red, 3 EE and 1 golden sebrite.

    We were about to go for the 2 OEGB that i brought when she mentioned how much her husband liked having those guys around because they don't eat much and are good protectors. She asked me now much I wanted for them, I said I have never sold a chicken, so I don't know. I said how about I still pay you for each butchered bird and I give you the bantams for helping teach me to do this. She said I take the bantams for teaching you and no charge for the butchering. She couldn't be talked into anything else!

    So, I did it. I thought plucking would be horrible, but it went well. I will probably use a cone to kill them whe I do them at home, they used an ax and then let them flop around, and that was a little different from what I had in my mind, but easy to change here how we do it. The feathers came out well plucking by hand, it wasn't bad at all. That surprised me.

    I didn't get nauseated, I kept birds no food for 18 hours prior. Transport went well. I am pleased. So birds are in an ice bath in basement in a cooler, and tomorrow night I will put them in freezer bags. Any hints how to wrap them so they don't freezer burn? Is brining a good thing to do before going in freezer? Any suggestions would be great.

    Also, thanks for such a great posting meat section, I felt prepared, not surprised.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I find a lot of times I dread doing something, but when I actually do it, things were really not that bad. Glad it went reasonably well for you. Your mentor sounds like a really nice person.

    Many people really like to brine. It is obviously so popular for a good reason. I usually only brine for a day, then wrap them. I figure when I thaw them for three days in the refrigerator, that counts as aging them.

    I cut mine into pieces instead of freezing the whole carcass. This might not work as well if you keep the carcass whole, but I find if I double wrap it in freezer paper it does not dry out and get freezer burn, even if kept in the freezer a pretty good while. Using freezer paper and freezer tape, wrap the pieces once, then just wrap that package again. Freezer tape is good for (-)40 degrees, so make sure you use the special freezer tape, not masking tape.

    I've tried putting them in zip loc type bags. They don't seem to last as long and it is pretty easy for a bone to poke a hole in the plastic bag.
     
  3. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isn't that feeling of accomplishment TRULY the best? I know people may find me weird - but in a sense I enjoy processing days - because it's one of those "Look what I can do!" moments...so many people anymore have no clue!

    As for freezer burn - it's just my opinion - but if you can invest in a food saver set up or borrow the machine and buy your own bags from a friend/family member that seems to make ALL the difference in the world!

    Also...just a thing we do...if you have any marinades you use...put those in with the bird, vacuum seal it, and as it thaws out it marinades and is ready to go once thawed - for me, another makes a huge difference moment. I just put the date and sauce on the bag in permanent marker prior to freezing. Somehow my husband talked me into letting him dual purpose roos last year - had like 4 dozen at one point - and most of those were pre-marinated like that. VERY tasty and simple! (Even if my first thought was "Oh...a rubber chicken" it really turned out good)
     
  4. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a lovely lady you had the fortune to meet.
    I wish I were so lucky with the townies surrounding me!
    Good luck with the freezing and well done on your first go!
     
  5. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you and Mme. Boulanger struck a deal like my neighbor, Dave, and I do on a daily basis.

    Few things better than good neighbors. We help each other regularly. Neither of us keeps a tally of favors, but we're both of a nature that if we feel we're falling behind in the tally that we're not keeping, we're apt to extend some gift or gesture to even things up a bit. And it has, every time, come off as a surprise to the other, who never had a sense that the tally we don't keep was out of balance. The tally we, neither of us, keep is not to check on whether the other is keeping up, but to make sure we're not falling behind ourselves.

    The only money that's ever changed hands is when one of us has done the favor of picking something up for the other if we should be going to town. Dave did, a few years back, offer me the use of his heated shop/garage, for me to do the paintwork on a tractor restoration project of mine. I worked alongside him for three weekends prior to get his seasonal work (snowthrowers off and put away, and mower decks mounted to the tractors, periodic maintenance on the road vehicles . . . ) caught up so the garage could be free. I thought I'd have the oil company slip another 50 gallons into the tank in his garage while they were there, to cover the heat that I would be using and maybe some more. I couldn't even get away with that! The gauge on the tank rose more than he thought it should have with what he'd paid for, and I had to tell him what I'd done so he wouldn't go to pulling the gauge to see if it was working right. He had the pipe wrenches in his hand, ready to investigate, when I 'fessed up. and then he called me names for having done it. That's the way we do things.

    Apart from having found a good neighbor, it sounds like you had a good experience, and learned a lot. I'd call it a day well spent.

    The pic is of Neighbor Dave and his kids, Matthew and Sarah, taking a spin on the tractor the day we first fired her up. Not complete -- more work to do -- but she was together and running, and it was a good time for the kids, who weren't used to being banned from the garage, but had wanted, too, to see what I was doing in there.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  6. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How great would it be to have a small-ish community just like that?
    Well done on the tractor; it looks fantastic! Who had more fun driving? lol!
     
  7. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input, I will get freezer tape on way home, I have freezer paper (we use it for crafts for our boys to keep marker off of the table!) that I will use.

    I went down and looked at them this morning, all packed in their ice water. They are still quite "stiff" for lack of better word. Does that loose up so the legs will "fall" down beside the breast like a supermarket chicken, or do they continue to be so immobile? I know rigor mortis set in, and I know it relaxes some at some point, but how soon does that happen?

    Thanks again for the affirming words. I felt quite good about the whole thing. Those birds lived a life, ate well, free ranged at times, had plenty of space if not free ranging, and were killed humanely. I cannot wait to get one cooked up.

    One last question. If they are butchered on Tuesday, can I keep one in the refrigerator to cook for dinner Friday (I am off that day and can cook it, that is why I want to wait).

    Any more input, greatly appreciated as usual. BYC rocks!
     
  8. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say as long as you cook it or freeze by Friday you are fine - IHOP rules are when THAWING chicken it can stay in the cooler 2 -3 days and lord only knows where that piece of bird was PRIOR to freezing or how long it was around - and in all honesty I think sometimes we still served chicken that was in there longer than that when mistakes happened during labeling - use this time to marinate it even before you cook it [​IMG] I think you'll be fine. And ours always seemed a little less stiff once they were offa the ice - even though it ain't a freezer it's still purdy durn chilly willy ya know? Let 'em warm JUST a TAD before positioning in a bag to freeze and they seem to be less stiff in my experience - it's like that icy cold water keeps them near to frozen.
     

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