My butchering, and questions on catching birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bja105, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. bja105

    bja105 In the Brooder

    May 3, 2009
    Western PA
    I butchered 40 on Saturday. It went well, especially the borrowed Featherman picker. It was the gasoline powered model, worked great with 2, 3, or 4 birds at a time. The picker left a neat pile of wet feathers that were easy to clean up.

    My neighbor's 15 year old showed me a better way to gut and truss, with two separate cuts in the abdomen.

    We cut up about half for our own use, and left the rest whole for sale. i used new garden shears to cut through ribs, necks...

    With four killing cones, the automatic picker, and a small handed Amish boy gutting, the biggest slow down was catching the birds from the pen. This particular pen only has 1/3 of the top hinged. The first few were easy to catch, since they always run to me when they are hungry, and they had no food since the day before. Then I started placing a feeder outside the pen near the opening. most of them fell for it. The last few were smarter and i had to crawl in after them.

    My other pen's top comes off with 4 screws, but I will still have to hurdle lots of cross pieces. I can use plywood to herd them into a corner, but I want other options.

    Fish nets? Do the feet get tangled, making them hard to remove from the net? Any bruising?

    Leg hooks? Do they work 100% of the time? Any pics of homemade hooks?

    Any other ideas?

    I strongly recommend having Amish friends. Maybe I need to borrow some shorter sons to go in the pen after the chickens.
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I built a small pen, about 5'x5', just T-posts and some 3' tall chicken wire on 3 sides. On the 4th side there is a 2' tall section of 2x4 wire that I can just step across.

    Step #1 will be to catch all the birds and transfer them to this small pen, which is right next to where the kill cones will be. Just place the birds in a rubbermaid tote and transfer from the tractor to the holding pen.

    I just used scraps of wire, a few zip ties, and 4 posts I already had. The birds will only be in there for 30 minutes at most, so there is no need to predator proof what we are doing. I'll take a few pictures later on.

    That should speed up your operations in the future.

    Also, on fishing nets, you might try a dip net with fine mesh. The holes are 1/2" at most.
  3. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I use the coated fish nets. Black and rubbery.
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Here is my holding pen.

    Getting things set up for butcher day on Saturday. The saw horses and cut table in the back groungd will be our primary work station for Saturday's work party.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010

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