Planning for the big day

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SunnySkies, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Songster

    May 13, 2012
    I have 30 FR to process in September. I'm trying to make sure I have all my bases covered for P-day so we aren't running the obvious stupid pun.

    I haven't processed lots of birds at one time in years, other than the odd mean roo. Some friends are coming to help, take some fryers home with them and bringing their plucker ;) that does 2-3 at a time, and I have messaged them to ask if there is anything they want me to have on hand. But I'm sure there are some things I need to collect now. My list (and can you add to it or make suggestions):

    Place to hang birds or killing cones (we might have to use the clothesline...don't have any trees where we can nail up cones....the poison ivy and two electric fences are between the house and the woods)
    Knife or scalpel blades
    Buckets with sand or cat litter to bleed into
    Source of heat for heating water (will my grill be enough, or should I buy a turkey cooker)
    21 qt canning pot for water
    Plucker and electric cord to plug it in
    Rubber gloves to protect hands from hot water
    Bags to put innards, feet, and feathers in (I don't eat organ meats...I just have never liked them..was going to ration feet, heads and organs to my dogs, unless my friends want them, and compost feathers)
    Knives to cut up with, pull any feathers
    Knife sharpener
    Table and plastic to cover said table for processing on
    Hose for running water
    Pop up tent (ok, this is a friend is going to be very pregnant end of September. She is tough and used to doing hard jobs, but shade will make her much more comfortable)
    Ice chests and lots and lots of ice to chill everything
    Lunch and cold drinks

    I'm looking at the shrink wrap bags to store them in, as I can see they probably won't fit in a gallon zip lock bag right now. They are getting big. I'm sort of thinking they will be ready to lay it down mid September.

    When I kill one bird, it just isn't nearly as daunting...I kill it, bleed it while heating water on the stove, carry it in to dunk it, then pluck it, gut it, and done, using equipment from my kitchen. It gets the job done. But 30 seems like we need to really establish a system so we aren't at it all day long.

    I think we will have a team of 4-6 people, maybe more. Depends on whether or not my friends' parents come (her dad was way interested) and whether or not my husband wants to help (he might not..he is oddly squeamish about some things) and who else I can round up.
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Growing up we use to do 200 birds in a day. I would say there was 8 adults that did most of the work.

    We set up an assemble line. This process will depend on the skill of your workers and if they are skilled what they do best. My dad and uncle could gut a chicken so fast if you blinked you missed half of the process.

    We would kill 2 birds a piece, so if 8 people 16 birds were killed and scalded. The pluckers plucked (we had no automatic machines then). Then once the birds were clean of feather they were handed off to the gutters. Then once gutted, someone would dip the birds in a clean bath and the inside rinsed out well. They would then lay out for a short while to dry a tad and the rinser then singed the "hair" off the birds and they then went the ice bathes. We used the old wringer washer rinse tubs for ice baths, they worked great.

    We use to freeze ours in water. We saved mild jugs all year. The birds were placed in cut in half, filled with water and placed in the freezer.

    You will develop a rhythm to this. One thing that my grandpa was very picky about was getting that bird from the chopping block to the ice bath as quickly as possible. So he didn't want a bird killed unless we could get it to the ice bath in less than 10 minutes.
  3. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Songster

    May 13, 2012
    My dad is like that..can gut a bird before you know he has the bird.

    My friends are pretty experienced. I've just done the odd bird here and there myself, so I'm not as fast. I am very, very good at catching, and these birds know me. I might end up catching and carrying and perhaps killing.

    I'd forgotten singing and rinsing. Propane torch and another pot are on the list now.

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