Made some changes this time around- want to share success!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Anna-MN, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    So this was our 4th time doing a large batch of meat birds for profit. I know it can be hard for newbies to decide what products to use. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what would work for our family and I finally have it down to a science. And no, I don't work for any of these companies. They are just products I believe in. Here is what works for me-

    Chicks
    • I am a HUGE fan of Schlecht Hatchery. I have had great luck with these birds and they grow evenly and fast. Not to mention great customer service, great price, and I am supporting a small business.
    http://www.schlechthatchery.com/

    Knives
    • For slitting the throats, we use the Buck Knife 110. Stays sharp longer, slices the arteries efficiently, and is easy to sharpen myself after quite a few uses.
    http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=product.detail&productID=3044
    • For gutting, we use a medical grade scalpel. Since the blade is so short, the risk of cutting internal organs is greatly reduced. I also like that you can interchange the blades easily.
    http://www.surgicalshop.com/medical-disposables/surgical-blades-scalpels/index.php
    • For cutting birds in half, we use the CUTCO chefs knife. Cuts through bones easily and I love the fact that I can send it in and have it professionally sharpened and all I have to pay for is shipping. A very heavy duty knife with an easy grip.
    http://www.cutco.com/products/product.jsp?itemGroup=1725
    • For piecing the birds out and deboning, we use the filet knife from the Outdoor Edge Game Processor butchering kit. I originally bought this for cutting up deer (which it also works great for) and needed a knife with a thin blade to make nice clean cuts. This thing is SHARP and makes piecing the birds out so easy. Since the blade is so thin it also leaves more meat on the bone when I remove the ribs from the breasts.
    http://www.outdooredge.com/game-processing-butcher-kits-s/20.htm

    Plucking
    • We saved up as much as we could and bought a 131 EZ Plucker while it was on sale. It was the BEST purchase we have ever made. It cuts plucking time by 75% and even gets the pin feathers off. If you are going to make a big purchase of any sort this is the one!
    http://www.ezpluckers.com/

    Shrink Wrap Bags
    • We purchased bags from Nadya's Poultry. We usually use Food Saver bags but these are so much cheaper, quicker, and offer the same amount of protection in the freezer. She has excellent customer service and they ship out quickly. I will never use any other bag!
    http://www.nadyaspoultry.com/


    I hope this gives someone a little bit of help in selecting their butchering day needs. I wish I would have had a guide similar to this when I was starting out because it really is a long process of trial and error to find the right fit. Feel free to ask questions as there are probably things I left out!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for sharing your experience! It is very valuable!
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    How many did you do this time?
     
  4. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Total we had 150. Usually we only order pullets but this batch we ended up with 30 roosters and they grew much faster so we did those guys earlier last week. This weekend we did 105 in one day- and I can't believe how smoothly it went since there were only 4 of us. I have 15 left for just me that I want to get a little bigger to make stock and soup with so I am waiting to do those guys next weekend. I still have 20 or so left from my spring batch. I had to buy a second chest freezer just to accommodate all of the meat to last us through winter. Nothing worse than having to drive through the snow just to pick up something for dinner.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    How much time did it take you? What was the total time per bird? What about the net profit?

    :)
     
  6. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Let's see if I do this right. So the day we did 105 it took us about 9 hours give or take and that included set up, processing, packaging, and clean up with the four of us. Our cost per bird was about $5 including all feed, bedding, chicks, equipment (new feeders/waterers, knives, kill cones), electricity, gas to buy feed, and packaging material) We sold them whole for $11, halved for $12, sold the giblets (neck, heart, gizzard, liver) for 25 cents each, and delivery was $5. I have to go through all my order forms to get you an exact number as far as net profit.
     
  7. tdaigle

    tdaigle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Just curious, what kind of birds? Cornish X?
     
  8. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Yes, they were Cornish X. I want to start dabbling in dual purpose though....
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    You can't get the kind of feed conversion you get with the CX, and many buyers do not like the texture of DP birds. Just a warning.
     
  10. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012


    It would only be for my own personal consumption. I was looking at doing red rangers, but heard the roosters can be pretty feisty.
     

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