Pithing Revisited

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mosey2003, May 21, 2019.

  1. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    So, I know I've commented a few times that I want to try pithing. I have finally gotten organized and I have managed to find a knife that looks like it will be perfect for the job, from Stromberg's:
    https://www.strombergschickens.com/product/Killing-Knife/Poultry-Processing-Tools-Accessories

    Sadly, since I'll be working alone, I won't be able to get video or such for you guys, but I wanted to share that I found an appropriate knife for the job.

    If the weather and other factors cooperate, I'll try to do at least one tonight after work and report back. I'm going to hang them and try to do the poke/twist just right, towards the back of the head. I will report back what I find.

    Anybody else using this method still around?
     
  2. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    I am still around. Our family always did it with a small boning knife. It is still the way I do it. Here is a photo of my "chicken killing knife" I got it from my brother in law who worked in a Wichita chicken plant in the 80's. It still works good, keeps an edge for ~ 15 chickens. It is larger than the Stromberg knife, I use it all the time in the kitchen. I think you could get one on e-bay for~$15.00. chickenKnife.jpeg
     
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  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    Yes, I have a couple different boning/filet knives :) The length makes me nervous, with my hand being that close and the possibility of the bird flinging it's head. Plus, I like that the smaller knife is sharp on both sides of the blade, that resembles the pictures of pithing knives from "way back when" so I'm happy I bought it. I like the idea of the shorter blade for the jugular cuts as well.
     
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  4. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    If the bird is hanging by the feet, put a weighted bucket hooked to the underside of the beak to stretch him out and hold him still. (Some flapping, but his head is still). A couple of pounds of water or dirt is fine, I have used dog kibble, dogs love chicken blood on their food! I just like using the same knife for more than one job. It has a nice comfortable handle. It is best to use what is most comfortable for you!
     
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  5. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    The knife is stretched a little in the photo, it is about 6 inches long.
     
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  6. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    @Parront - do you get the elusive feather loosening when you do it?
     
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  7. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    I feel like my processing style evolves. The very first few, I did the jugular slice. Then I found the broomstick method, which I've preferred for quite some time as it's humane and fast, and while they do bleed out sufficiently, it could be a bit better, honestly. So I'd like to master pithing and see what I think of that. Since I now have a drum plucker, the feather loosening isn't necessary, but if it DOES happen, that would be nice if I wanted to do some in the winter and not be outside getting all wet.
     
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  8. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    Can't say, since I don't have any other style to compare it with. I scald them and hand pluck. The most I have ever done at once was 15. The automatic drum plucker is pretty expensive for just a few birds. I think it is more important to do them at the right time, after all the feathers are grown in and then no pin feathers. The Cornish-X I had did not have as many feathers to pluck as the Orpingtons, but they are younger when processed.
     
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  9. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    Oh yeah, there are definitely easier and harder times to do it. I'm going to start doing cockerels at 12 weeks after this hatch and see how they are, although I'm betting there will be a fair number of pins.
     
  10. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    That will give you a nice tender bird. Might only dress out to ~2lb. Small is ok with me, it is only 2 of us. A young, almost ready to crow leghorn is tasty but small, I like them split and broiled with a pineapple sweet-sour sauce basted. I don't even make that if all I have is store chicken.
     

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