Processing is a ton of work lol

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by trulyblessed, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. trulyblessed

    trulyblessed Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2011
    Wow, so yesterday we processed for our FIRST time 13 meaties. I prepared by reading and getting so much information here (thank you all), but nothing prepares you for actually doing it. It took us all day and we still have 4 left because it was getting dark. My feet hurt from standing on them, but I feel so rewarded doing it all ourselves! I had never even quartered a chicken before, but was doing perfect breast filets by the end.
  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    As you go you'll get faster and it'll get easier. I also butcher mine to final cuts as it saves space.
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    A lot of the time is spent just prepping to do the job, gathering up everything you'll need.

    I know I keep preaching this, and as someone who has done EXACTLY 25 chickens and 11 quail of his own, it probably is kind of ... at loss for just the right word ... any, but skinning them is SO MUCH EASIER for those who don't want to eat the skin anyway. Takes a lot of the work out of the process. By skinning, I got it down to where I could go from live bird to cut up parts soaking in ice water in about 10 to 15 minutes per bird.
  4. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
    Whaat? I need to get with you Denninmi when it is my turn. Geesh. I've been reading and asking and asking and reading and for some reason came away with the thought that processing is a buggaboo. Me and dh were discussing it last night and it definitely sounds messy. I've simply got to put my big girl panties on and get with it when the time comes. After all, part of my journey is about the self-sufficiency of it all. I've got to learn it, AND like it.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Nothing about butchering is hard. You just have to keep going until it is done. Well, I have to really grit my teeth to do the actual killing. but everything else is just mind-numbing assembly line work. I'd never survive at a factory job, but I can stick with it for one afternoon. Pluck, pluck, pluck, pluck, pluck... when's the coffee break?

    It's much more fun with someone to talk to. It's also motivating to think of all the nice fried chicken that's going to come out of it. Remind yourself that you will end up with much better meat than you could buy.
  6. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    Lyric - One of the most rewarding feelings is when you have butchered 10-15 birds and have them in your freezer. Makes you feel just a little more self sufficient.
    Trulyblessed - Next time you will be able to do 13 in half the time.
    Oregon - You need one of my pluckers to make it more fun.
  7. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    you just need to get your system down. are you doing them start to finish one at a time? we (my dad and i raised some together, so we processed them together) started by cutting them heads off several and letting them bleed out. then he dunked while i used our electric plucker. (you need to do this one bird at a time, you don't want them to get cold while waiting to be plucked) after we had 4-5 birds plucked and on the table, he would cut them open and i would start to clean them out. i don't use any tools to get the lungs and kidneys out, just mush them out with my fingers, quicker that way. toss them in the water and let them cool while we started the next batch.

    we did 11 in an hour and a half or so.

    i don't mean to make this sound like "huh? we only took this long, why did it take you that long"

    i mean it in a "you can do it, keep at it, here are a couple tips, you'll get faster" kind of way
  8. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My first bird took me 4 hours to process! [​IMG] The second day of processing I got it down to just over an hour per bird - and that's including the playtime I take to pull a few neat looking feathers to collect and to sometimes to pull out an intact crop, inflate it and dry it (they're neat to look at and make fun cat toys).
  9. jdopler

    jdopler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2010
    Roggen, Colorado
    sorry little off topic but Junglebird.. great idea with the crop kitty toy! I hate wasting, so this is going to be a great idea for me to try.
  10. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    Quote:Yup. If you're just doing your annual batch of 25, try to find someone else you can schedule with next year so you order your chicks together and process together. Many hands make light work.

    Quote:Yup. And sharpening knives. And cleaning up. And drinking lemonade when you're finally done.

    Don't be discouraged though. A year ago the wife and I thought we were going to die processing 25 birds across an entire day. Now we do 75 in about 2 hours. As the kids grow, we streamline our processes and as we upgrade our equipment, we'll get faster. Right now I'm working at a pace that keeps up with my lack of marketing ability. Good enough.

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