I'm about to butcher ALOT of extra roos.... need some....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tnchickenut, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    I need some equipment before I can start to process this HUGE lot of extra roos I have been blessed with this season. [​IMG]

    Scalding pot - what do you all use? I need something fast and cheap.

    Plucker - effective ... but cheap! (I think I may stick with my hands but we are talking about 30 roos here)

    Also, this is more a question: what do you all use for butchering tables? I worked far too long in resturants to not be picky about handling poultry, so wood won't work for me. Any ideas?

    Looking to you all for your experience and advice. This will be my first time butchering.
     
  2. sdlacrow

    sdlacrow New Egg

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    We are hardly super experienced (only second butchering completed), but we did learn a lot since butchering 6 extra roos last fall to 38 meaties today. Killed in 2 batches near chicken shed then moved carcasses to big barn since pouring rain today, probably should have done in 3 batches though--took a little longer to get all processed. Used a turkey fryer for the scalder--use a thermometer to monitor the temp. If water gets too hot (like last time), the skin will be a mess. I would have killed for a plucker today, but that will be a priority for our fall batch. Our set up was --scalder, 33gal garbage can w/ cold water to cool after scalder, 4- 2x4's (about 2 feet long) nailed 90 degrees to barn wall to hang chickens by legs to pluck (much easier than on table), 1st table to dismember, 2nd table to collect hearts and livers, clean gizzards, and peel feet. Large bowls on 2nd table to put extra parts (1 for liver, 1 for rest including necks), and bushel basket for guts/waste on floor in between tables then another 33 gal garbage can w/ ice water to cool carcasses on the end. The biggest improvements were hanging the chickens to pluck (although if you can get your hands on a plucker I would strongly encourage) and using killing cones. My metal killing cones did not arrive until late this afternoon (grrr), but we improvised with old plastic ice cream buckets with a hole cut in bottom and screwed between wood across two sawhorses. We had four going at a time. We did use a traffic cone but found the buckets worked better. The reason we had the ice cream buckets was we froze water in several of those (and every large mixing bowl I own) over a few days so we would have large blocks of ice for the chilling cans/coolers instead of buying big bags of ice--seemed to last a lot longer. We used folding tables with a white plastic top which can be wiped/sprayed down w/ dilute bleach solution to disinfect. We got them at Sam's club, but I've seen them other places too. The only thing that we may change for next time with that is possibly putting them up on cinderblocks or something to raise them a bit. My back is killing me. The actual butchering went much more quickly since I had a better idea of where and how far to cut. I still have a problem getting the crop out quickly though. It took 5 adults and 2 semi-helpful kids about 6 hours today to do our 38 (kill to cooler--9hours total with set-up/clean-up/mini lunch break/and recouperation--a beer at completion). Considering it took us 2.5 hrs to do six last fall, a definite improvement in efficiency. The plucker would have cut that down A LOT. 3 people were assigned to dipping/plucking duty, 1 for actual butchering, and 1 (plus kids-12 and 9) for detail work on the innards. Depending on how much help you have and how much experience they have, you might want to plan on splitting up those 30 roos over a few days. Our first time, I printed step by step pictures from the internet (although frugal's instructions here are much better) and put them in plastic covers in a 3 ring binder and flipped through multiple times during the process. I did review the procedure last night, but didn't need a visual aid today [​IMG] I would also recommend pre-treating yourself with ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory of your choice. I HAD to eat a giant milkshake for supper tonight because my fingers were too tired to use utensils....but then somehow worked through the pain to type this obscenely long post....I'm a trooper [​IMG]
     
  3. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Scalding pot - a 5 gallon bucket with water I boiled on the stove. By the time it gets in the bucket and ready to dip, it's not too hot and not too cold. Just grab them by their feet and swish around to the count of 30.

    Plucker - I just use rubber gloves, like the kitchen gloves with grips on the fingers. I would [​IMG] a plucker, but can't afford one.

    What do you all use for butchering tables? I have a big plastic cutting board I use on the kitchen counter next to the sink and just bleach it.

    For my killing cones, I use a plastic bleach jug nailed to a tree with the bottom cut out and the top cut enough that the roos head and comb fit through. They are easy to clean, cheap, and it's like recycling! [​IMG]


    For me, I slit the throats in the cones, let them bleed out, then when they are done, put them in a pile. Then I dip them in the hot water, and hang them on my laundry line. Then we super pluck! All of us in front of a chicken just ripping feathers out. I try and have a garbage bag, but it usually doesn't work too well, then cut off the heads.

    Once we get to the butchering part, I go through the neck and loosen the crop. Then, I make the rear end cut. When the chicken is plucked, you can see where to cut...just like in the supermarket birds. Don't go too deep, if you use a smaller knife, like a paring knife, it will be easier to control that. Just cut around the vent and make the hole big enough for your hand. I use the vent as a handle, and pull it out, loosening with my other hand, and scooping out the intestines. Everything else usually follows. You'll need someone with a smallish hand (mine are medium sized and it is hard on a younger bird) to reach in and pull out the heart and lungs. The lungs are really hard if you aren't expecting them. I run my fingers hard along the inner ribcage and can usually get under the lungs and they pop out. A butter knife would probably work well, too. They are kind of hot pink and spongy and you can see them along the sides when you have everything else out of the bird.

    Be sure and let them fast tonight and before doing this! It makes it a lot easier if the crop and intestines aren't full. [​IMG] You can still butcher them, but it doesn't usually go as smoothly.

    Then, I put them in an ice and saltwater bath for at least 24 hours. If I am going to do something like chicken and dumplings, I can go ahead and throw one in the pot right after processing.

    Also, I wash my birds inside and out with Dawn (or something similar) before I do the ice bath, and again before I put them in the freezer. Just an extra precaution. [​IMG]

    Good luck! If you don't have a whole lot of people helping, you might want to break it up into a few days, depending on how you feel and how hot it is.

    Shelly
     
  4. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you by chance post in the knoxville, tn home and garden section? I bought a large pot for 49.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.. its a 12 quart 4-piece multi-cooker that came with 2 different sized inner baskets, its stainless steel and says its good for steaming, pasta, soups, stock, marinating.... It worked on an outside gas heater and takes the heat [​IMG] the brand was Denmark and is AWESOME and worth the 50 I paid. I plucked by hand the first 2, then I tried the de-skinning without removing any feathers first and it worked and was just as fast because we don't like skin. Wish I had a table, if it were me find stainless steel if you can easy clean up with a watering hose and won't get a bunch of scratch marks like plastic and wood.
    btw this is only my second time butchering and it was young dual purpose cockerels so not much meat but great learning experience with the throat cutting, since the first one I did I didn't hit the jugular so 2 mins later it was still alive and the DH had to chop the head off to hurry up and put it out so it wouldn't suffer any longer... and don't let the videos fool you the de-gutting was pretty hard to get a hang of and took most of our time [​IMG]
    Hope this helps and glad to see another user from TN!
    Hannah
     
  5. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Quote:See? I'd rather gut all day than pluck! LOL! Once you do a few it gets pretty easy. The dipping and plucking took longer for me. If you're freezing them, I'd pluck them so the skin protects the meat. If I am just doing one bird for dinner, I will skin it. Or I'll skin the ducks because I HATE plucking them! [​IMG] LOL!

    Shelly
     
  6. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    Quote:See? I'd rather gut all day than pluck! LOL! Once you do a few it gets pretty easy. The dipping and plucking took longer for me. If you're freezing them, I'd pluck them so the skin protects the meat. If I am just doing one bird for dinner, I will skin it. Or I'll skin the ducks because I HATE plucking them! [​IMG] LOL!

    Shelly

    Yeah, well I only did 2 today and they will both be cooked after like 2 or 3 days. But it's good to know not to skin em before freezing when you have several... plucking was easy since I'm good at the scalding thing and I did it with no gloves on so I guess thats why I don't like the de-gutting thing since I have no gloves... The smell of the guts and the slime was getting to me after the second one, I had to down some wine to take the edge off and not puke from the smell [​IMG].... haha [​IMG]:lau I think its only because I was doing it in the kitchen and the smell was becoming concentrated...
     
  7. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    Thanks for all the replies....

    yes, I did post on Knoxville craigslist... possibly Chattanooga too. I'm inbetween (almost exactly) the two.

    I saw a 22qt pot at wally world for $49 (which is $50 in my book) and thought that was too much. I would only be able to dunk one at a time in that thing. I thought about a water trough for a scalding pot and a aluminum trash can for a ice dunk. What do you all think? I want to heat the water out in the yard.... I do really like the idea of the turkey fryer - keeps the water at the right temp.

    I don't need killing cones. I'll be using "The Dispatcher" and then hanging them and then slitting the throat up to bleed out. It says to bring the "handle down smartly" so since I'm not a hunter and killing things is not normal to me... yet... I figured it would be easiest for me. Just have someone hold the birds neck in the right spot and I will pull the handle down quickly and done.

    The butchering will be done by my mother. I am not a cook and really have no patience or desire to play with innards - her deal was I give her some birds, she will do the butchering if I do the killing and plucking. I think it's a good deal.

    Whoever mentioned the gloves... that sounds like a good idea. There are some fishing gloves I have (I'll get a second pair for the chickens) that would be great. Didn't think about that.


    I do have access to metal barrels, but they were holding chemicals and industrial "stuff" - even lined when they were used... I can't help thinking that that may not be such a good idea. What do you all think?
     
  8. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    I just used a big stock pot on a camp stove to scald. We only do one bird at a time. Hubby beheads and "sometimes" helps me pluck and I clean the rest. His excuse on that one is his hands are to big to fit in there! Right.....
     
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    I also use a big stock pot on a propane burner (like you'd use for a deep fry turkey) and rubber gloves that are textured for plucking, also I keep a pliers handy for the tough quills. I only do a few at a time, up to 6. I use the pithing method by hanging them up by their feet, pith them, bleed them, scald them, pluck them, butcher, brine, then freeze.
     
  10. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    we scald ours outside..nice big camp fire no propane used for a turkey fryer and no heat in the kitchen.Plus,it's fun when the chickens are finished the kids grab a stick and their marshmallows.We use a small metal garbage bucket-had to seal the seam to make it water tight but it's a perfect size and much cheaper than a real cooking pot large enough
    Pluck by hand it's actually real quick once you get the hang of it plus if scaled well they just come out
    We use a counter top over saw horses for our table..we are builders so the top was free impenetrable to the chicken yuck and works great.When we are done it's bleached and put away...saw horses go back to work truck.
     

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