Just how hard would it be to process birds without special equipment?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chanceosunshine, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    I've done quite a bit of skinning, and I don't like it. It's more physical than plucking. If you decide to skin, come back and look for some posts on it, there is definitely a right method and a wrong method (don't try to take it off over the back first like a suit, absolutely miserable)

    I use zip bags while they rest and then I vacuum seal for the freezer. I love my vacuum sealer, I do everything in it, lol.

    If you look hard enough, Wal-Mart usually carries 2-gallon Ziploc bags, they come in super handy for bigger items :)
  2. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

    Aug 1, 2015
    My Coop
    Couldn't agree more!
    Mosey2003 likes this.
  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    You do have to process the feet, yes. What you'll want to do is take them in the house, set a pot to boil, and dip them briefly. The outer skin will peel away easily, you want to skin them and many people (me included) remove the toenails with a heavy chef knife. You can scald the feet while you scald the whole bird, but I don't like to have to fish the bird out of the hot water (it burns!) so I just do them separately if I want them. They're great for stock, they add gelatin.
    EggSighted4Life and BantyChooks like this.
  4. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
  5. chanceosunshine

    chanceosunshine Chirping

    Jul 15, 2019
    NW Ohio
    Mosey2003 likes this.
  6. BirdsBeesTrees

    BirdsBeesTrees Crowing

    Mar 10, 2019
    We would have a stock pot on the stove boiling and the other one out while we were processing, when the water got cold we swapped it for the one on the stove. Its a lot easier to pluck than skin, but whatever you want to do. The lungs in the bird are in the ribcage so you have to really dig to get them out. I buy freezer bags from McMurray hatchery because I've found that they are easier to slip the bird in and rarely get freezer burn. We like our birds at 7 pounds, so that's probably why those other bags don't work for us. :D P.S. You'll need some rubber gloves to shield a bit of the scalding water from burning your hands.
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    As described by mosey... the outer layer of skin will peel off after scalded well enough.

    I use the gripper for lifting canning jars to hold the legs of my birds under water completely without scalding my hands. I usually see the skin peeling already. I agree plucking was less difficult than skinning.

    When we were using a folding table outside it was hard on the back so we raised it up to more of a counter height by putting wood under the legs. I now use my old BBQ that no longer worked as a counter outdoors and is exactly the right height.

    I think this is the thermometer I have or very similar...

    Water resistant yes... Pacific Northwest rain proof... DUH... no! ;)
    Mosey2003 and BirdsBeesTrees like this.
  8. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

    May 26, 2009
    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    I put the chicken parts into zip lock bags and partially zip the bag then hold the bag in a deep bowl of water while keeping the open part of the bag out of the water, effectively vacuum sealing it, without a vacuum sealer as I slide the zipper to the fully closed position.
  9. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    Apr 19, 2018
    Salisbury, North Carolina
    one filet knife if you are skinning them. If you are plucking then you need a large pot of very hot water (not sure the temp) ... I go the less items needed route so I skin them.
  10. archeryrob

    archeryrob Songster

    Aug 3, 2018
    Western Maryland
    I want to cover the other part what you might have missed from this post. I don't know what kind of chickens you have to raise now. Some are broody and some are not. You need a proper rooster to hen ratio or you might get a bunch of duds and a few chicks. We had that with the 16 hens to one rooster and hens hiding on the roosts in the run to avoid copulation.

    Plus if you get a broody hen she sits until hatching and turns off. I am not sure of a way to restart one, only to put them in a wire cage off the ground to cool them off and stop the broodiness. It is great to raising them with a broody hen, but if you plan for it with regularity, you might wish to consider an incubator also.

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