Processed 45 Cornish-X at 12 weeks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Clay Valley Farmer, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    Between loosing half our initial flock to cocci/enteritis and deciding to let the remainder grow a bit bigger and being busy on other farm stuff the processing the meat birds got put off and at 12 weeks some off the roos were up in the 16-19lb range with some dressing out to 13 lb. Chickens completly filled two 55 gal plastic overpack drums that were used for chilling.

    Took about 7-8 hours with set up, clean up and an hour for lunch. Mobile chicken processor guy would have had it done in half the time I know and after spending a day processing chickens in the rain his cost $3.50 a per bird is a bargin.

    Seeing freezers and fridges stuffed is rewarding though.

    Any thought on good technique for pulling the livers out and separating the galblader? I found I mushed up a few livers digging things out and made a mess of a couple gallbladers.

    Other observation was with processing the bigger birds making up some XL cones would have been a good idea. As the birds did not fit in regular cones I hung them by their feet like turkeys. Though as a result had quite a number of broken wings, amazing just the final flapping would bust a wing right out through the skin even though there was nothing hit.

  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    Sounds like you did a great job! I know what you mean about pulling the livers out without them getting mushed up in your hand. I have found that if I go a little further and snag the lungs, I get everything out in one swoop and the livers are almost always well intact. The pressure of the pull gets put on the lungs, not the liver. You are less likely to break the gallbladder that way as well. I always end up cutting off the gallbladder, I have never been able to pull it off without breaking it.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I start grabbing and pulling guts way up at the top and haven't had much problem with mushed livers. I get the gizzard and esophagus all in the same pull. The gizzard is something that is really easy to get a good strong hold on.

    I use a small very sharp pointed knife and I cut the gall bladder off, taking a little bit of liver with it to be sure.

    45 birds is a good day's processing. Over $150 to pay for processing. Are you sure that would be worth it to pay to have it done?
  4. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    Given it is after tax dollars going out it is likely not bad but hard to make it pay more than minnimum wage. But on the other hand bags and propane for scalding would have been about $20 and I have some $20/hr work in the shop that I am behind on and looking at it that way the might have been better spent working in the shop and paying someone else to pluck chickens in the rain.

    I was flipping most of the intestines out to the side with the gizzard and then reaching in to pull the heart and liver, will try scooping down and getting the lungs same time and see if that frees up the liver. thanks.

    Quartered and baked one of the smaller ones last night and it was very tender. This batch, though older, was raised indoors and was even more tender than the last batch processed at 8 week but raised outdoors in a tractor.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011

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