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Processing Set Up- Pics & Supply List?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RubysMomFP, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. RubysMomFP

    RubysMomFP In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hey There,

    I'm a few weeks out from processing my first batch of meaties. I am starting to think about the set up and supplies that I'll need for 12 birds. Does anybody have pictures of their set up? My processing location is near the coop, but out of sight of the other chickens. We have access to water there. I have a restraining cone, pinning knife and lung remover on order.

    The supplies that I have on hand are:

    *plastic table on metal legs
    *turkey deep fryer w/ thermometer & gas tank
    *boning knife
    *kitchen shears
    *plastic tote for chilling
    *bucket for collecting blood
    *rubber gloves
    *empty feed sack for "scraps" such as feathers, entrails, etc.

    What else am I missing? I plan on freezing them whole. What should I put them in? Any suggestions will be helpful.

  2. helloroe

    helloroe Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
    Sounds like you have done great collecting supplies. Sorry I have no photos. Noone ever thinks of it until we are done.

    Sharpener for the boning knife can be handy. Ours always goes dull at the wrong moment.

    We package in ziploc freezer bags. We squeeze all the air out, use a straw with small section open and take out the remaining. Ziploc also has a new vaccuum bag out that comes with a hand pump I have been using for freezing. I plan to use it for our next batch. Alot of people seem to use the shrink bags.

    More ice then you think you need. Running out midway is a pain.

    Good luck!
  3. RubysMomFP

    RubysMomFP In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Thanks! Where did you get your nifty Ziplocks w/ the hand pump?
  4. helloroe

    helloroe Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I don't see a plucker on the list. That is a big one if you can find one to use. Also, if you're planning on keeping the organs, you'll need a container on the table to put them in. It is also nice to have a clock with a second hand on it to place by the scalder to time your scald. It is amazing how much difference 20 seconds can make, and it's a pain trying to count to yourself in a consistant manner. We tried a kitchen timer, but the second hand on a clock works much better.

    Goodluck with your processing adventure!
  6. joanc

    joanc Songster

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    You probably want to get something larger than a bucket for collecting blood. Even when they are in the restraining cones they will shake wildly and blood goes flying. We set our killing station (holds 8 birds at a time) inside a 5' diameter kiddie pool. We line the pool with plastic or whatever we have on hand (last Sat we used roofing felt/tar paper). It makes the clean up much easier.

    I'd be interested in hearing how the Ziploc hand pump/sealer works. We use a commercial vacuum sealer, only you have to make sure the birds are drained as much as possible of all moisture, or it doesn't work worth a darn!

    We also use shoe racks for the draining part-they work pretty good. Sorry-I don't have any pictures handy.

    Good luck.
  7. RubysMomFP

    RubysMomFP In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Helloroe- Thanks! We aren't too far from Walmart & Publix. Do you think a gallon bag will be big enough for a Cornish? I'm planning on processing between 8-10 weeks. I'll also put a knife sharpener on my list.

    BigRedFeather- A timer's a good idea! How long should it take to scald? I wish we had a plucker handy. I'll see if there is one in the area that I can rent. I'll also get some bowls for the organs.

    JoanC- I like the kiddie pool idea. We have one that we can use and I can line it with newspaper. What I think I'll do is attach the cone to a jump standard (the "wing" of a horse jump), hang a bucket underneath the cone and set the whole thing in a kiddie pool lined with newspaper, which can be composted.

    Thanks a million for all your responses! It's a lot to sort through for somebody who has never done it before. I'll have 2 helpers on hand for 12 chickens. One has experience, but hasn't done it in 35+ years.

  8. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Lauren, we just processed our first batch recently. Here is our setup and it worked pretty well for three of us to work. Two sawhorses support plywood with a cutout for a stainless steel sink. Our scalding pot was our pressure canner; we heated water over a campfire. The gray tubs are for dunking ice water and ice for after processing. We used a garden hose and next time I'll set it up to hang above the sink.

  9. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Nice setup you got there Mrs. Bucket
  10. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Songster

    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    we just processed our first ever... a trial run of 7 chickens in the area of 10 pound each.

    We had a 6' plastic table from costco
    2 contractors knives from canadian tire (rasor blades essentially)
    3 traffic cones suspended on a piece of wood
    a baby pool with shavings to collect the blood below
    a turkey fryer to scald
    and a few pots to rinse as we plucked

    it went very well other than the first bird we cut which hit the wind pipe.... the juglar is farther to the back than we expected...

    we now have 7 birds in the 7 pound range, 9 weeks yesterday as well as the hearts which my son likes BBQ'd and the livers for the dogs. [​IMG] We are pleased.

    Post a couple of pictures to a seperate post when I get somewhere with high speed!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010

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