New to this... having some trouble.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by poularde, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. poularde

    poularde Hatching mode

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    Puyallup, Wa.
    So I finally have processed some of my own birds. I went to a class and it was very helpful. I have processed seven of my own birds. It went OK, but I seem to be having difficulty cutting the artery. I am using a killing cone. When I processed my first two birds I had a hard time getting through the neck in one nice slice. I purchased a bleeding knife for the next batch.

    Has anyone used one of these? I believe it is more of one you stick in then slice out. I am just nicking the artery and it is taking too long for my birds to die. [​IMG]

    Any helpful hints? I have another batch to do and I want them to suffer as little as possible. I really want to do the bleeding out technique.
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Put the bird in the cone with the breast towards you. Grab the head of the bird and pull it somewhat taunt (this makes cutting easier). You want to cut right behind the earlobe. There is a spot that usually doesn't have many feathers. When making your cut, place the end of your knife on the spot behind the earlobe, apply some pressure with the knife and slice away from your hand. I have found it is easier and safer to push the knife away from yourself instead of pulling toward. The angle of your knife is also important. You want to end up making a "V" after both sides are cut. The cuts don't necessarily have to meet, but if they did, it should be a "V". If you do it right, there should be a moment when the blood squirts, then it becomes a steady flow. The bleed out should take less than 1 minute if you do it right.

    Keep trying. You'll figure it out and it will become second nature. I keep my knife really sharp, which makes it easier.
     
  3. poularde

    poularde Hatching mode

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    Thank you for the reply. I believe I am not going back far enough. I like the idea of cutting away from myself. It made nervous cutting towards myself. Thanks again. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  4. dusty48

    dusty48 New Egg

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    I have found when processing my birds to use pruning shears, like for cutting branches. It works wonderfully, I just cut and they loose their heads.
    I have found skinning my birds to be the easiest way to process. I just cut around the feet and then between the legs and pull the skin( feathers and all) to the neck.
    I do not utilize any of the inner parts,
    My only issue is the meat is always tough.
    I don't know if it is the age of the bird or the method.
    Good luck- with the price of food and the issues of cleanliness I would rather raise my own:)
     
  5. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    The sharper the knife the better.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:That's exactly how I do it. I grab the bird by the comb , position the knife, and push the knife away from me. If you draw the knife towards you the neck skin tends to roll up. By pushing the knife away it draws the skin taught and helps the knife to cut.
     
  7. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the others. Keep it taut by pulling the head aside. I use their comb as a handle. Sharpen that knife and run it along the jawline away from you. You will need lots of pressure but even more if it is not sharp.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Exactly, think about where you'd check your own pulse underneath your jaw, in a line from your ear to your chin. Same spot to slice on the bird with the knife angled toward the center of the head.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  9. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I skinned a bird recently, because she was about to die. I didnt have any water heated up for scalding and that pot seems to tske forever on my grill. Besides, She picked a very inconvenient time, Friday evening at 8:30 at night, not to mention it was at least 110 degrees and we were about to grill steaks and watch a movie. Some date night, start irrigation and butcher a chicken, gotta live the romance! Anyway, I do believe it only saved me about ten minutes all said and done.
    As far as not using the innards, skin or feet, I just feel it's such a waste of a life. I guess, I feel I need to honor my birds by using as much as possible. My dogs eat the parts we don't like ( livers, kidneys, lungs, hearts, testes), and I use all the rest in the stock pot. Let me tell you, those feet are well worth the trouble to clean, the stock is amazing! The dogs also get the meat strainings after I'm finished making the stock, even the feet, which seem to fall part into mush.
    I believe it's worth the effort to pluck, even if you don't actually eat the skin. I either feed the dogs the skins, after I've cooked the chicken, or the skin goes into the stock. But, for most of my recipes, the skin really does protect the meat, making the meat moister and juicier. If you don't want to eat it, it's very easy to peel of after cooking, then save and toss to the dogs or in the freezer bag of stock pot parts.
    Oh, my dogs are on a RAW diet, so they get a varied selection of food. They love their chicken parts and nothing ever seems to upset their tummies. I think the fact that everyday they get something different to eat really contributes to their health and well-being, not to mention their cast-iron tummies, lol.
    As far as killing, it seems to me, mine have taken 4-5 minutes, although I've never timed it and it's probably less, just seems like a long time when I'm standing there. This last one, though, went very fast, since she was probably having a heart attack, dying right before my eyes. I don't have a cone, just two pieces of twine with slip nots to hang the birds upside down. I have to hold the wings when they flap at the end. I really loved the video recently posted, something about the humane way to kill a chicken. I loved how she held the chicken in her lap, calmed her, desensitized her and then cut the neck. I'm not sure I'd be able to hold my large birds in my lap all that well at this point, though.
    Don't try to cut too deep, it's a very shallow vein. If i were going to start an IV on this chicken, id run the needle at a shallow angle, probably 70 degrees, if that gives you any idea of how shallowly youre trying to cut. You may be trying to cut way too deep, which will be too much force and get you down to trachea and maybe into the bone. If you miss, just try agin, it's a large vessel and right on the side of the neck, just below skin. You might even be able to feel a pulse, although I never do.
    I have a cheap little knife, three inch blade. It's a pink knife that I purchased at a baking store for about 2.50. I sharpen it before every use and use it for the entire butchering process. I'm thinking about going to Bass Pro and getting a real knife, but so far, my little pink knife works pretty well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  10. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    I tried it like that and was taking too long for me too. Now I snip off the head with tree loppers and it's SOOOO much easier and faster. [​IMG]
     

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