processed my Cornish X's this weekend

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Winsor Woods, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I started yesterday and processed half of the them. I finished the rest today. In all, 20 birds were process this weekend. I spent about 5 hours each day and I was working by myself. I had a drill mounted plucker that I made but I don't think the black rubber bungies are the best thing to make them with. I ordered fingers and think I'll see an improvement. The scald is very important to get right. I'd rather underscald a bird than over scald it. Dishsoap in the scald water seemed to make a noticeable improvement.

    I spent most of my time per bird on the plucking. I used a coleman stove and almost couldn't turn the burner down low enough. I initially brought he pot to temp on our kitchen stove and then moved it outside to save on propane.

    Things I would change for next year.

    1. Get fingers for my drill mounted plucker. (already ordered)
    2. Use a separate knife for each of the following:
    -making the killing cuts (sharper is much better)
    -cutting the head off (dulls the knife after a few birds)
    -opening and dressing the gizzard (little rocks etc dull the knife quickly)
    3. Put the birds in a wire floor enclosure/tractor during the fasting period. The fasting period is mainly so you don't have full crops and gizzards. All the crops were empty but the gizzards were all full of rocks, dirt, and feathers. The bulk of it was just dirt/soil, cause they were SOOOOO hungry they ate anything. I only fasted them for 24 hours.
    4. Get more ice. You can never have enough on hand.
    5. I could have used wider size variety of killing cones. The larger roosters were a stretch. I had to reach up into the cone and pull their heads out and there wasn't much room to make the cuts.
    6. Process them at 8 weeks instead of 11 weeks. There was considerably more fat in the organ cavity between the test process bird I did at 8 weeks versus the batch I did this weekend.

    I did cut one head off with a hatchet just to compare side-by-side with the jugular cut method. There is no comparison....bleeding out in the cone is MUCH cleaner, appears less stressful on the bird, much less stressful for me, and gets more blood out of the carcass. I didn't measure the blood that came out because it never freely "flowed" from the neck like the jugular method. There were a few drips but the jugular method streams blood out for 30 seconds or so and them trickles down to a drip by drip. The hatchet method just dripped and then nothing. That bird is earmarked for early consumption.

    Dan
     
  2. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Nice job with all the hard work! We butchered 4 turkeys yesterday-- LOTS of work!! And we've figured out a few things we want to do to refine our process for turkeys and chickens.
    When you cut the jugular- did you cut from the outside, or through the mouth? We want to switch to restraining cones and bleeding out as opposed to cutting heads off from now on, so I'm curious which way you did it.
    Thanks!
     
  3. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

    378
    1
    121
    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Hi NurseNettie,

    I made the cuts on the outside of the bird. I'm not quite able to picture in my head how you'd make the cuts through the mouth. I'm not aware of any technique like that. If you have some more info on that I'd like to read about it.

    Here is a post I put up a month or so ago which has a link to a youtube video on where to make the cuts for bleeding out. It's a really good video. This video shows making two cuts on each chicken and I tried to do that, but sometimes I couldn't make the second cut because I had to reach up into the cone to begin with. All you need is one cut. Two just help to speed up the process of bleeding out.



    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=244807

    Dan
     

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