Processed my first meaties today. PICS

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jdywntr, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    So I got 17 Cornish Rocks a few weeks back. I was unsure of exact age but decided that today would be the day to process some as game hens. It has been in the 80's here recently, yuk, so I planned on slaughtering outside and then into the kitchen for everything else.

    I moved 7 last night to and easier to get to enclosure and got started at about 9:30 this morning. The process went well, I have only processed ducks until today.

    I ran into a few problems. First, I realized as I was going outside to get the first birds that my thermometer was broken so my scald water ended up too hot for the first one and I tore the skin, no big deal though. Second, I realized that I really prefer something to hold the birds wings (all that flapping bothers me) and I did not get a cone like I planned so it took a little work to hold them still. Again, no biggie.

    I had previously skinned the ducks I processed so I plucked the first cornish and skinned the second. It took me almost the same amount of time so I plucked the rest. 2 were horribly covered in pin feathers. [​IMG]

    I was by no means rushing and I got 2 birds, slaughtered then inside to finish then 2 more then the last 3. It took me about 3 hours total including cleanup and I was working by myself.

    So here they are at the beginning.
    [​IMG]

    The first 2.
    [​IMG]

    And all 7 in the cooler.
    [​IMG]

    I only weighed one that seemed about the average size and dressed it was 2 lbs! Two were smaller but still good size. Most were cockrels. They are resting in the fridge and Sunday they will go in the freezer.
     
  2. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2007
    Staples, Minnesota
    Nice birds! You illustrate what I think is the worst part about Cornish Rocks. The darn feathers grow in too slowly so you wind up dealing with tons of pinfeathers. The trade off is to hold them longer and end up with big tough birds fit mostly for roasting or stewing.

    I try to limit their feeding after the first couple weeks and feed them high protein feed to encourage feather growth. Unfortunately, in the quest for the maximum meat NOW they have bred quick feather growth out of most broiler strains. It's not so much of a problem with commercial processing equipment but it stinks when you are plucking by hand!
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm hoping that in a few weeks when I process the remaining 10 that the plucking will be easier. The feathers that were grown in were SO easy to pluck. Since I was without a thermometer I was just guessing and I only placed the birds in for 10-15 seconds. If they were fully feathered I think it would have been a breeze.
     
  4. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't hold them too long just for the sake of feathering though. They will get way too big and tough unless you want roasters. :)
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I'm shooting for 8 weeks. If I have any that are obvious hens I may wait until around 10 weeks. I watch them daily for any problems and I have started withholding feed.

    One thing I forgot to ask:

    Several of the ones I processed had scratches on their lower backs or lower abdomen. Some were pretty long, to the point that I had to think if I had somehow done it myself. I am assuming this is from them sparring but is there anything I should do to prevent it? I don't recall seeing chicken at the store with scratches.
     

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