Just did my first butchering of 6 meat birds!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Dawggy Stile, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Dawggy Stile

    Dawggy Stile In the Brooder

    Oct 7, 2010
    Everything went pretty smooth except the plucking.
    The birds were exactly 7 weeks old...made a killing cone from a old traffic cone (which worked fine)
    Sliced the veins in their neck while holding their head till they went limp.
    Let em bleed out for 5 minutes, then scald in 140 degree water, swished and dunked for about a minute then off to a homemade plucker on a drill.
    This is where it got tricky. The feathers weren't coming off as cleanly as I would of liked. Actually they were kinda hard to even pull. So I increased the water temp to 150 degrees and scalding time to 2 minutes and they were still hard to pull! It took time to get them clean but we did it.
    Their now in the fridge for a couple days before going to the freezer..One is going to the oven tomorrow!

    The weather has been down to freezing a few days before slaughter, would that have any effect on the feathers being hard to pull? I also seen dish washing detergent in the scalding water..would that help?

    I cant wait to do this again.. in the spring / summer months!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The plucking has always been the slowest part here, too. We did 150F for at least 2 minutes. Messed up the skin a couple of times. One person would do everything else and easily keep up with two people plucking, sometimes three.

    You could always learn pithing, it's supposed to make plucking very easy. I'm reluctant to try it without actually seeing someone do it first.
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    There is something to do with age and how their feathers come in, At 8 weeks no problem. The temp of the water is very important along with how long you dunk. I always do a test to see how easy the feathers will come out. If they come out easy it done, if you have an issue re dunk. I also use detergent in my water also. I had problems plucking when mine were nine weeks up to 12 weeks, then they are easy to pull again. Some one had it posted on here at what age is the easiest, when pin feathers aren't holding them back.
  4. twister

    twister Songster

    Sep 12, 2009
    we did our first birds at 7 weeks/ 140 degree scald for about 20 sec.... pin feathers were a PAIN to get out...

    the following week and the remaining birds were 8 weeks/ 155 degree scald at 20 seconds and ALL feathers came out fairly easily! It must have something to do with getting the temp just right and the age....
  5. SteveH

    SteveH Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
  6. Dawggy Stile

    Dawggy Stile In the Brooder

    Oct 7, 2010
    We just roasted one tonight.
    Birds sat in the fridge for 3 days to age...
    Split the bird, used the back bone for a stock for gravy.
    Oven set at 400 degrees, buttered. salt and peppered the bird and baked for 45 mins... it was the BEST chicken I ever had!! Im not much for white meat, but he breast was tender and moist...without injecting.

    I was wondering if I can ever eat something I raised, but this was no problem. Now I'm convinced the "chicken" sold in stores is actually seagull! [​IMG]
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Quote:That was my first reaction when I ate my first homegrown bird YUM!
  8. lamelde

    lamelde In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2009
    Sparta, WI
    I've removed two from the coop & stopped feeding (they still have water) - how long does it take before I can butcher?
  9. knjinnm

    knjinnm Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Quote:A day should do it. When scalding birds I always test readiness to pluck by how easy the flight feathers pull out. If the birds are two months or less we skin them.
  10. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    After reading all these posts I might just have to try some cornish x this spring. I dont think Ill pluck, tho, Ill probably skin.

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