processing questionss from a first-timer

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by wanderseek, May 26, 2010.

  1. wanderseek

    wanderseek In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010
    east central Indiana
    So.....we have a bunch of chickens we wanna process, and we've never done it before. I've researched a lot on HOW it's actually done. Have a few people I know who are willing to come over and help us get it going. Show us real-time, ya know. We're really trying to raise them and benefit from them on the cheap (and maintain quality), so we don't wanna pay the price to have them processed.

    1. How do you really know WHEN they are ready to be butchered? Do you go by weight? By age?
    2. I don't have a turkey fryer thingy to boil water in outside the house. Is there something else I can do to have the hot water going outside?
    3. I've seen the low-budget chicken pluckers here on BYC that are attached to a drill. I asked questions about how they're made and where to get the supplies to build one, but never got any response. Any help out there with that? Is hand-plucking really that big a deal? (I've heard it's the worst part.)

    Thanks for any and all assistance!! [​IMG]

    SAORSA Chirping

    Apr 23, 2010
    Wine Country
    I have never processed anything but know I will sometime in the future. Really not looking forward to it. [​IMG]

    Anyway, here's a bump. This time of day might get you, (and me), some helpful advice from the many experts out there. [​IMG]
  3. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    I usually take mine to the Amish, but we did butcher a couple before. I found this thread helpful. I know that water temp is key. Some people make an outdoor fire and set a pot over that (that's what the Amish do, too). We have an outdoor burner that we used and I put the pot on that, but if I did it again, I'd make a fire and put a pot over it. Plucking by hand isn't too bad as long as you get the water temp right -- it is stinky, though. It does take some practice. Good luck!!!!
  4. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Songster

    Jul 13, 2009
    They are ready to be butchered ... this depends on your needs and your breed. Anything over 5 lbs is a good weight. Cornish Crosses are really ready after 42 days but you can wait as long as you like.

    If you have a big pot, that will work. It won't be much fun schlepping the water in and out of the house but if you get enough going on your stove you can just pour it into a 5 gallon bucket. Use your imagination.

    For the low budget plucker, its a PVC end-cap with a bolt through it. You drill the center of the cap, put in a longish bolt with no shoulder (4") and tighten a nut on it to keep the cap in place. Buy black rubber tiedown cords (s hooks on each end, has to be black rubber). cut the tiedowns into 4" sections, drill the end cap for the tiedown to be inserted. You will want to cut the straps so they stay connected inside the cap (=<=[​IMG]. Shove the rubber into the holes, chuck the bolt into a drill and flail away.
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Copy mine. I copied someone elses.

    4" PVC cap, bolt, 2 nuts and 2 washers. 2 36" black rubber bungies, I used 3" for the length, drilled 3/8" holes, trimmed the bungies for a tight fit, secured drill to a block. Just make sure you get the hole for the bolt as centered as you can.


    Your hot water heater likely gets water up to 130-140 degrees, or you can boil water and add to a 5 gallon bucket until you hit 145-150 degrees. Add an ounce of dish soap to wet the feathers better. Dunk and swish the chicken for 60-90 seconds, until the end wing feathers come out with ease.

    It is not that difficult. You can do it.
  6. wanderseek

    wanderseek In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010
    east central Indiana
    WOW you guys! Thank you all so much for the information, answers, and posting those wonderful pics/links. I feel better now about the processing process. It does make it easier to think about such a task when there are such helpful friends here to run to. Thanks again. [​IMG]

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