Processing and packaging essentials.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by birds4kids, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did several searches and didn't come up with anything I felt nice and complete. Have 11 CX to process in a few weeks.


    So I know I need knives with Havalon, scalpel, utility knife being popular

    Restraining cone, I might bend and rivet one from sheet metal myself since $25+ seems ridiculous. Bucket to contain blood

    Scalder of some sort likely borrowed turkey deep fryer

    Plucker or elbow grease, friend has a nice plucker but I am only doing 11 this time, may not be worth calling in a favor and moving it for so few.

    Table for working on when separating all the bits we don't want from the parts we do.

    Tub and ice for chilling, How big for 11 CX?

    Shrink bags and closures be it staples or zipties, stickers if piercing bag at breast.

    Either second hot water bath or clean and reuse the scalder to shrink bags.

    What am I missing?
    I used to be an avid hunter and have processed a few unwanted cockerels over the last 6-8 months and have helped a friend process CX so I am not totally green when it comes to killing and processing.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A pair of poultry shears to cut the joints and keep your knives sharper.

    Lots of running water, I use a garden hose from an outside spigot.

    Do not reuse the dirty scalding water to shrink the bags. It will be filthy. You do not want that in the freezer.

    Are you going to brine them? I don’t but many people do.

    I skin instead of pluck. That eliminates having to heat water, which can be a pain. But many people really want the skin on. When you scald to pluck, do you need a thermometer to monitor correct water temperature or do you just wing it?

    When I butcher I have two separate containers for the bits I don’t use. One holds stuff that gets buried, the other holds stuff that will be fed back to the flock; guts, most internals, and just various bits of protein and fat. Most people don’t bother treating the survivors. Still, I don’t see mention of a container for the stuff you will be disposing. Do you need to dig a hole to bury stuff? I dig the hole the day before.

    When I butcher I keep a bowl of water on the table to receive the bits I’ll keep, moving them to the ice chest after I finish the bird. But I keep many organs and I cut the bird into serving pieces as I butcher it. I don’t know what bits you are keeping or if you will keep the carcass whole.

    A lot of this stuff just depends on how you do it.
     
  3. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shears is a great idea, hadn't considered that. Still trying to decide on a knife, might spring for a Havalon.
    For shrink bags I will at the very least clean the scalder and start over with fresh water. I will scald since I envision many of these birds going on the grill/smoker and due to the grill, I have good thermometers.

    The RUNNING water is an excellent point I had not considered, friend has a 8ft counter complete with kitchen sink he hooks up to the garden hose with a drain line to keep the work area dry and thanks to you I am just now realizing how nice a thing that is.

    I will decide based on size if they stay whole or get split in half, maybe I will get a couple size bags to accommodate both options.

    Far as brining, do some people salt the chill bath?

    This is good stuff that will definitely make the day easier.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You really don't need anything special for a knife I use 2 fish cleaning filet knives and a pair of kitchen shears with a notch in one side which holds the bone from sliding down the scissor when you cut, the shears I have are barely large enough in going to pick up a larger pair at some point. I keep one knife very sharp for the kill with a ceramic sharpener the other I resharpen as needed and use for general cutting.
    A large beer cooler should be fine for a small number of birds. I've got 2 coolers of ice I like to use.
    I just turkey fryer with large canning pot for scalding I hang the sensor for a digital meat thermometer in the water to monitor scalding temp. Pluck by hand or with a small drill mount plucker I made I hope to get a large plucker at some point.
    Get yourself a game cleaning table like this:

    http://www.ruralking.com/smr-multi-...m_medium=cpc&gclid=CMHZ2r77hMwCFQctaQodXXUAZQ

    It's tall enough to stand and work and comes with a quick connect setup to hook right to a garden hose I'm gonna get a second one when they go on sale here again.
    I may switch to a utility knife for the kill at some point simply to eliminate knife sharpening but the filet knife works fine
     
  5. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That table is attractively priced and that is basically kitchen counter height which like you said is good working height.

    Good shears sound like a must, would save a lot of wear and tear on the knives too. Kitchen shears I have were small and challenging to split a couple silkie cockerels we ate a few months ago so probably useless on a CX.

    I finally got them outside this evening.
    [​IMG]

    Silly me thought the 1/4" rib would discourage perching, will be reworking that tomorrow when I get home from work and it is empty, glove was a last second size reference.
     
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a good price on the table it's usually around 70 bucks rural King must have it on sale I'm not sure what shipping would be. I got mine at Menard's on sale last summer for like 45 dollars they seem to run that sale on them at Menard's a couple times a year, fleet farm carries them to but Menard's was cheaper. My dad built a steel feeder years back, sold it when he got rid of his chickens wish I still had it, but you may be able to do something similar, he made a thing like that to discourage perching but it was able to spin horizontaly so they'd jump up and it would turn and they'd lose balance and fall or jump off
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may be able to find some sort of game bird shears, my buddy had some years ago they used when cleaning birds pheasant hunting
     
  8. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will have to check Fleet and Menards, the GIANT Appleton FleetFarm is 8 miles away and I have to drive past Menards to get there. If you haven't seen the Appleton Fleet you should.
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I stopped in there last spring and was able to snag a couple boxes of 22 shells, I had apprenticeship classes at my union hall which is in Appleton otherwise I rarely get down there it is a big store. In antigo they have them by the meat grinders and what not in the sporting goods section but I want to say fleet was 70 or 75 bucks. I'm not sure if Menard's had them right now it if they carry them seasonally, if you are able to wait Menard's will have them around 45 dollars at some point
     
  10. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Spr...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00
    http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-2-...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01

    I started processing today used those shears and scissors, the scissors are sharp enough I am only using a knife to bleed.

    This is 6.5 weeks, not all that big but plans in upcoming weekends dictated now, and the smaller size will be easier to cook after work. Will weigh tomorrow.

    One of my daughters was helpful spraying the hose and stuff for me, 6yo so I wasn't going to have her get any more involved, might let her pull some feathers, she likes to have a biology lesson and name organs as I remove them. My homemade bungee cord/pvc plucker wasn't any better than plucking so I have just been doing it by hand. My younger daughter didn't appreciate when she saw one kick around the int cone, but accepted me killing them when I reminded her this was why we had these birds, and chicken is one of her favorite foods.........
     

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