our first processing experience--question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mrs. Mucket, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

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    This weekend we butchered four cockerels as a test run for a batch of broilers. Three of the birds bled out just fine but one didn't drip as much. We thought it just may have had less blood, but when we ate the chicken (yum!) there was blood in a few pieces. What causes incomplete bleeding out? (Or, what is necessary for complete bleeding?)

    Here is our simple setup. It's a pair of sawhorses supporting a plywood counter with a stainless steel sink set in the middle. Two 2x4s mounted vertically behind the sink hold the cones, with plastic directing the drainage to the sink. We put a sheet of plastic on the counter before setting the sink in so we could pull up and burn the plastic afterward. The small table on the right held the scalding pot, our pressure canner base--water heated over a campfire. The two plastic tubs had ice water for dunking and ice for holding birds between steps. Three of us worked comfortably at the counter. Next time we'll attach the hose to the faucet area and add our third cone to the back of one of the 2x4s.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

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    That's a great setup you got there!! [​IMG]

    Missi
     
  3. Mrs. Mucket :

    What causes incomplete bleeding out? (Or, what is necessary for complete bleeding?)[/url]

    As you probably noticed on the three birds that bled well, you will see a sudden gush of pulsating blood when correctly cutting the artery. I am going to assume the arteries on this bird were either missed or not completely severed. I can't really think of anything else.

    Nice looking set-up.​
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

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    Thats how we have out set-up also. Its in the woods and even have a catch-um pen, to place the roos that have been caught and sentenced to death row. They are hard to catch. The only thing we are lacking is the steel sink. Still looking for an inexpensive on. good job. I'm with John the artery wasn't severed all the way.
     
  5. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

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    Thanks--we'll hone up on our artery skills for next time.

    We got our sink for $10 from a Craigslist ad. I imagine one could be found for free where a kitchen remodel is going on.

    Another bird cleaning question I forgot to ask...If we're not using the neck, is it really necessary to slit neck skin/remove windpipe & crop first before severing neck at shoulders? With two of the chickens we couldn't even identify a crop but we are new at this. We had fasted the birds well.
     
  6. burquechick

    burquechick Songster

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    Wow! I'm totally jealous of the set up you got there!

    I've only processed one chicken, but I've been wondering ever since if a pair of loppers would do the job? Anybody have experience with this? I used a heavy butcher's knife and had to make two chops. I don't want to have to do that in the future because I fear the chicken suffered.

    Also, about removing the crop, you really do want to remove that. It's full of nasty stuff and smells really bad inside, so you can imagine what the chicken would taste like if any of that spilled out. In our chicken, the crop was all the way down inside the chest cavity, and it was good to have the windpipe and esophagous to hold on to to get to it. We cut the windpipe and esophagous away from the neck, down to the base of the breast, then sort of pulled, while feeling around, to get to the crop. Then we cut the crop out, intact.
     
  7. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

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    When we process we cut the crop loose from the neck and then pull it out with the guts. Doesn't all that plastic get slippery?
     
  8. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

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    Quote:I was thinking the same thing, I have a similar set-up, except, the cone is screwed to a tree and the table isn't next to it (flys can be out of control when close to the cone and bucket with yuckys in it.
    As for the lopers I think they'd work, I use them to cut of heads after they've bleed out. I do want a sink I can attach my garden hose to.
     
  9. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

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    The plastic wasn't a problem for us but if it got slippery I suppose you could put newspaper on it. It worked well around the cones. We wanted to keep everything off the plywood and the surrounding area and leave no traces behind to attract critters. I'd rather have a nonporous surface like a stainless steel counter though!

    I saw a post by someone who uses Fiskars garden pruners for everything from the decapitating to the cavity opening.
     
  10. gummiepig

    gummiepig In the Brooder

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    [​IMG] true true great set up but have a question - did you have a certain size for the cones or just guess
    we have our layers but do plan on raising some for meat and would like to get things in order first
     

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