1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Our first experience butchering

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TrystInn, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    We prepped three ducks and a chicken today, definitely a bit of difference between the two.

    Honestly, the whole thing was absolutely fine with the unexpected squawk when I pressed on the breastbone while de-feathering. And yes, I'll do it again later this month and likely order more meat ducks next Spring.

    The oddest thing so far was the reaction from others when they ask what I did today. [​IMG] My mother is rather shocked 'but I sent you to college so you wouldn't have to do that sort of thing!'. Dad, an Irish immigrant, was predictably much more interested - "how'd it go, how do you feel, will you do it again and would you come for Thanksgiving to prepare ours if your Mum and I buy live turkeys?" (Short answer - no, long answer - hell no)

    Anybody else preparing their freezer birds?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009

  2. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    How hard are preparing meat ducks?What breed did you use?I plan on gettin some but want to know the difference between preparing a meat chicken and a meat duck.
  3. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    We prepared three different duck breeds - a full Blue Swede, a Swede/Cayuga mix and a Cayuga. By far, there's a hell of a lot more long feathers on the Swede & Swede mix vs the Cayuga.

    Cayugas & Swedes are medium-sized ducks but the full Swede was almost twice as large, which made it easier to handle. The small leghorn chicken was frustrating as anywhere you went to hold it, blocked access to the feathers to pluck.

    Plucking out the pin feathers on the duck were easy by hand, especially with the thick downy undercoat - they all came out together. The chicken had a lot less feathers, but most were pins and we needed pliers for those.

    We'll be making the drill attachment for mechanical de-feathering in the future.

    If that didn't answer all your questions, just let me know what I missed. [​IMG]
  4. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    I have about 16 pekins to process in two weeks, and another 20 the week after. Thanksgiving/Christmas time I should have a dozen muscovies to put away. That will be it as I get ready carry 40 or so breeders through the winter. That should put me with four breeding pairs of wild mallards, eight (6f/2m) pekins, and 24(20f/4m) muscovies for the spring.

    I'm a firm believer in duck wax.
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have two turkeys that have exactly 30 days left with their feet on the ground. They were confined to the dog kennel this past weekend to fatten up a bit, they have been free ranging since June.

    Both hens, they are a Royal Palm cross.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by