Processing my first rooster 15 minuets from

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by k2chickens, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    All i have been told is to chop the head off, then flash boil the bird for 30 seconds or so, then start plucking away. Is it that simple or am i missing something? I have a large machette and plan on using that as my killing tool.
  2. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I know you need to get the guts out. Look for video's linked on here. My husband used them and it was a huge help to him.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    hang it up by the feet and let it bleed out for a few minutes after you chopp the head off then you but it in a pot and pour lightly boiling water on it and plung it around and for about 30 seconds then start plucking. There will probably still be little hair like feathers that you will need to singe off with a blow torch if you have one.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    Quote:Oh yeah, I was hoping the OP already knew about the gutting part too though.
  5. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Quote:do i need to gut him before i boil him or can i just flash boil him real quick then start plucking?
  6. lacasitarojafarm

    lacasitarojafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Skagit Valley, WA
    Wow, um you are not "flash boiling" you are scalding. Which means that the water is very hot but not boiling. I think the temp is 145 or so.
  7. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    "boil" (really, don't boil though) at around 145-150 degrees... i dunk the birds in 3 times, counting to 8 each time while i swish it around

    gut after you pluck, careful not to rupture the intestines though... when you make the cut to eviscerate don't stab the blade in towards the bird, rather just pierce/cut the skin with the tip of the knife and then get the knife in and have the blade parallel (against) the skin (if that even makes sense or helps)
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  8. lacasitarojafarm

    lacasitarojafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Skagit Valley, WA
    Catching Turkeys (or chickens or ducks)

    1. Wear gloves: Turkeys’ legs are hard, and scaly, and their wings are very strong. Their legs are also probably muddy.
    2. Enter the coop and close the door behind you.
    3. Move smoothly, and try not to crouch like a predator.
    4. If the birds become agitated, either stand still until they calm down, or step outside. Turkeys’ wings are very strong and can accidentally hurt.
    5. Reach for one leg, lift the bird off its feet and then get a hold of the other leg. [Note: DO NOT LIFT DUCKS BY THEIR LEGS—THEY WILL BREAK. Grasp ducks by their bodies around the wings so that they cannot flap. Simply pick broiler chickens up.]
    6. Try to move your body with the bird so that its leg doesn’t twist.
    7. Resting the bird’s neck on the ground can give your arms a rest.
    8. Don’t worry if turkeys get loose. We can herd them back inside fairly easily.
    9. Place the turkey head down in the cones, breast outwards.

    Killing Turkeys (or ducks or chickens)

    1. Insert the turkey into a killing cone, head down, with the breast facing outwards.
    2. With the turkey hanging upside down, gently grasp the neck and stretch it.
    3. Swiftly slice both carotid arteries, aiming the turkey’s head away from you.
    4. The rapid loss of blood pressure in the brain causes almost instantaneous unconsciousness.
    5. After about a minute, when the blood loss causes oxygen deprivation to the brain, the bird’s autonomic system will kick in to try to pump the lungs to get more air.
    6. Bleed out completely before removing.

    Scalding the Feathers

    1. Clip the legs into the clips. You can probably dunk two Heritage turkeys at a time.
    2. Dunk and gently swish for 45 sec – 1 minute. Follow instructions for scalder & breed. Make certain the hot water reaches the skin to loosen all of the little downy feathers.
    3. Lift and drain.
    Removing Feet and Neck

    1. Using the butcher knife or lopping shears – Remove the feet by cutting the tendons that hold the joint.
    2. Using the butcher knife – Place turkey on its back. On the front side of the neck, find the dime-sized rough spot and cut through the skin all around the neck.
    3. Using lopping shears – Cut the neck bone as close to the body as you can, but leave skin attached. Move the trachea aside with your fingers to avoid cutting through it.
    4. Move turkey to evisceration table.
    Cleanliness and Sanitation

    By no stretch of the imagination are these turkeys “clean” when we catch them, and certainly not sanitary.

    However, through the process they are going to become cleaner, and there are certain parts of them that are sterile, namely, inside their skin, which we eat, and it will be our goal to keep them that way.

    So, once the skin is cut anywhere, we work to keep that part clean.

    Dry is more sanitary than wet.

    • Use disposable gloves so that you can change them easily.
    • Rinse your gloved hands as necessary in either the scald water or the bucket of warm sudsy water.
    • Dry with paper towels
    • Wipe down surfaces with paper towels or Clorox wipes whenever necessary.
    • The most crucial sanitation step is removing the vent and intestines without releasing the contents.
    • Slightly less crucial to sanitation is removing the crop without spilling its contents. These contents are likely to be dry, but they will frustratingly stick to any tissues.
    • Obviously, keep the turkeys off the ground

    The goal of the ice tank is to chill the turkey to 45°F within 4 hours of death.

    Use a sharp knife

    Stage 1 – Removing crop and neck
    • In the neck, very carefully slice over the crop and remove crop bag from the cavity under the skin (this is harder than it seems and requires patience)
    • Pull the crop and tube from the body cavity
    • Pull out the esophagus
    • Remove the skin from the neck all around and drop it in the waste parts bucket
    • Cut off the neck (the bone has already been cut) and drop it in the small bucket of iced salt water

    Stage 2 – Removing innards
    • Carefully slice from the end of the breast bone to above the vent, cutting through into the body cavity, but not nicking anything inside
    • Make a triangle around the vent, cutting the cloaca and intestines free
    • Slide your hand in and around the contents, feeling for the round, hard gizzard. Gently free them, and dump them out into the pail
    • Carefully make certain the vent is free underneath and falls out easily
    • Watch for the liver
    • The gall bladder is attached to the liver. It is green. You do not want to cut it or break it open. Cut it away from the liver.
    • Drop the liver into the iced salt water
    • Look for the heart and either leave it inside the body cavity, or dump it in the salt water

    Stage 3 – Drop the turkey into one of the big iced containers of salt water
    Final Quality Control & Bagging
    1. Remove bird from ice water and drain, front and back.
    2. Move to a clean surface with running water, such as a kitchen sink.
    3. Remove any visible remaining feathers, skin tags, blood, etc, and rinse.
    4. Pat dry with CLEAN paper towels.
    5. Wrap the neck, liver, heart, gizzard, etc in plastic wrap or a sandwich baggie and insert in body cavity.
    6. Bag the dry bird in as sturdy a plastic bag as you can find. 2 gallon zip-locks work fine for chickens and ducks. We used clear shredder bags for turkeys. Vacuum packaging is ideal.
    7. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
    8. Weigh and label. Observe the rules of accuracy for scientific notation in your weights – i.e., no decimals unless your scale measures in hundredths (.01). Generally ¼ lbs is as accurate as you can get in the home/farm setting.
    Refrigeration and Storage
    Farm-sold birds are to be refrigerated until sold, and picked up by the customer within 48 hours of slaughter. If the customers specifically make other arrangements with you, they can be frozen.
    Plan ahead for how many birds you can fit in your refrigerator. Legally, you cannot sell them from your freezer unless they are pre-sold.
    It is really important to get the birds chilled with ice before you stick them in your refrigerator or freezer. Most refrigerators are not designed to get meat from room temperature to 45° in 4 hours. And too large a volume that is warmish will overload the compressor. Most freezers are statically cold and adding too much volume at even 45° will begin to thaw the rest of the food.
    List of Supplies
     Sharp knives—a butcher knife for cutting near bones, and smaller knife for fine cuts
     Lopping shears for cutting through necks and legs
     Cutting board or clean table surface
     Wipes or paper towels to keep surface wiped clean
     5-gal buckets, washed
     Scrub brushes for clean-up
     Bleach
     Hand sanitizer
     Brine/ice water container(s) – We have used garbage cans lined with new garbage bags, 5-gal. buckets, a water trough, and cooler chests, all depending upon how many birds we were butchering
     Salt for the brine – 1 cup/3 gallons ice water
     Bags of ice – 1 for every three chickens or two turkeys
     Disposable gloves – several pairs per person
     Paper towels
     Bucket or similar container for offal
     Garbage can for feathers, soiled or torn gloves, paper towels, etc
     Garbage bags
     Bucket or similar container for necks, livers, hearts, etc that are kept
     Plastic bags for packaging
     Calibrated thermometer
     Scale (for sale purposes)
  9. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Hopefully the OP got what they needed from all the great detailed info here. I just want to add that scalding isn't necessary if you are only doing a few birds. If you pluck immediately after killing the feathers come right out.

    I really like the killing cone, it is a wonderful tool. I made one out of aluminum flashing. Previously all I knew was the hatchet method and I wasn't real happy with the time it took for the bird to cease struggling. Try to just cut the jugulars, not the windpipe. That prevents the gasp reflex and things go more quietly.

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