Processing Day Support Group ~ HELP us through the Emotions PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sally Sunshine, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2013
    Question about a knife:


    Yesterday I bought a new knife, a Kershaw "Shallot."

    Do I need to do anything with it before I use it to slaughter the chickens? It sliced paper really nicely.

    Are other people as pathetic as I am?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm astounded that the wounds look as good as they do. I was originally going to keep the frizzle Cochin that died because he was just so adorable. I fell in love with him when he started tidbitting to all the other chickens and not eating the treats I brought. Since I planned to keep him, I thought I'd keep the other frizzled cockerel because he was so darn ridiculous looking. The Cochin that is left is not friendly like the one who died, so really, there is no reason to keep him. I was only keeping him because I was keeping the other cockerel and what's one more.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    If it can slice paper it should do alright on the chicken. The thing to remember with cutting skin, always, is to pull it taut first to create a plane on which your blade can rest. If not, you get into a dragging motion as the skin follows the path of the knife, slowing it down and keeping it from good penetration. It also dulls your blade somewhat to have to drag skin and feathers along the cut line.

    Pull it taut, take your time on placement, then a quick and deep cut...I usually only cut one side and as I cut, I tilt the head a little to open the wound gap and allow the blood to flow freely for a few moments and as soon as the bird starts to jerk a little, I let go and step back. It's over in seconds, usually before I can count to 10.
     
  4. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the hand holding.
     
  5. jajeanpierre

    jajeanpierre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hit reply too quickly....


    I think this was the problem I had--I didn't pull the skin taut. Really dumb question--can you go into a bit of detail on just how to pull the skin tight?
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Sure can. As your bird is hanging upside down, you can grasp his head with your non-dominant hand...the bird will be facing away from you at the time. Your fingers will be at the back of the head at that time, the thumb under the beak. Just put gentle traction downwards with your whole hand to gently stretch the neck(the bird may fight this but maintain your hold..they usually do not fight this) and then even more pressure, after that, with your thumb, to tilt the head back. If you were to see this bird standing up, he would be straining his head toward the sky with his head tilted back to look directly up.

    The first traction downwards tightens the neck skin and the second traction with the thumb will tighten the area around the wattles even further. I cut directly above(if the bird is right side up, this would be UNDER the wattle)the wattle where there is very little feathering. Pulling the skin in that manner will further expose that region of bare skin. At the most there are very tiny feathers there but they are not an obstruction for the blade. This will provide an area just below the jaw of the bird where the blood vessels are closest to the surface...think about where humans take a carotid pulse, right back of the jaw under the joint.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  7. goodb

    goodb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like this thread. I just did my first kill today. [​IMG] The EE rooster was terrorizing my younger chicks so I isolated him 3 days ago. I was going to keep him for a while longer as he wasn't very big to "fatten" him a bit. Just 16 weeks old but when I recognized he was waking me at 6:45 then 6:30 and then 6am it was time for him to go. I was going to use him as my first processing lesson but as the time got closer and being a God-fearing man that recognizes the value of First Fruits, I gave the roo back to Him. A bit upset but appreciate the support on this site. Thank you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. dutchbunny83

    dutchbunny83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry goodb [​IMG]
     
  9. dutchbunny83

    dutchbunny83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fayetteville, NC
    So this has nothing to do with processing chickens, but I'm super upset about it and you guys are really supportive....

    I was doing a hatch and they started coming out Wednesday night through Thursday. By last night they were all in the brooder because they were being wild, but there were still some eggs left that looked good in candling so I left them.

    This morning they were rocking around and chirping but none had pipped at all. I kept checking all day and nothing. It's day 22 so asked for some advice if I should open them because they seemed like something was wrong. I was told to let them take its course, not to mess with them on lockdown.

    Finally around dinner time the rocking and chirping comes to a stop. I wait awhile and nothing. I finally take the eggs out and open them and there are 5 fully developed chicks in an awkward position where they couldn't get their beak to the egg to start pipping. All day long they were crying for my help and I just left them in there to die. Such a waste of life.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Well, I played it exactly the opposite.
    When some were struggling I gave them an extra helping hand from super dad. When I broke the membrane lots of blood came out and the little chick died just a little bit faster from blood loss.
    The turh is help or no help anything can go wrong. Without knowing what your up against (happen to have an MRI?) its anyone's gamble.

    We all have to face this venture just like we all have to face the crossroads of killing and processing our own chickens.
    Learn from what you do wrong just as much as what you do right. If the learning never stops then no life would have been wasted or lost without a purpose.

    Losing a couple chicks taught me so much and gave me motivation to learn a lot more so I like tho think they are up wherever bragging about how its all thanks to them that I'm a good hobby farmer now.
     

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