Processing the Packing Peanuts Warning: Graphic Photos Updated pg 2

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MissPrissy, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    When I received my spring chicks McMurray added 7 red star cockerals to the order 'for warmth' - ha! we had 47 birds in that order they didn't need warmth.

    Anyhoo ..

    We tended those baby roo's the same as all the pullets. They were fed and cared for and loved and played with by our children. My 19 month old can carry them around (with supervision!) in the barn when we are all out there petting and holding them all.

    They are 19 weeks old now.

    I have noticed they have become more aggressive toward the hens especially in the past week or two. Just plain out MEAN to the hens. This morning I was out in the barn and one of the big boys comes over, pecks my shoe, nips at my knee which is the signal to pick him up. I tucked his big self under my arm and went about filling feeders and talking to my girls. Yet another comes over with the same song and dance wanting his turn. So down goes one and up comes the other. I hold him while I check the waterers and set them out for my husband to fill. Soon all the chores are done and I am standing in the door watching the interaction of all the chickens. Buster throws back his head and lets out a magnificently loud crow quickly followed by Laf then the Packing Peanuts follow lead. I love that sound. It makes me smile.

    So, I am standing there watching this with the hens around my feet picking and scratching. Suddenly one of the Red Stars jumps on my sweet partridge rock hen and grabs her by the neck and just holds her down on the floor. Immediately before I can react 2 other Red Stars come over and bite down on her. She is squawking and raising the roof - I would be too!

    This just ticked me off. We have known for sometime now that we had to cull the roosters. They have been so friendly and docile to us that we have really put it off longer than we should have. Truthfully I have been waiting for cooler weather to do the deed and we haven't had any. It is in the upper 90's and even hotter in the barn this afternoon.

    I grabbed one roo and pulled him off of her and used my foot to get the other two off. The one in my hands I took out and put in another room with my stand by large dog crate for separating chickens if needed. I go back inside and one of the Red Stars is starring down Buster but learned his lesson quickly and backed down. I grabbed him up and put him out that same crate. No sooner had I come back in than the other Red Star was pecking and wanting to be picked up. I grabbed him up and put him out with the others. I was just fuming. I checked my hen and she is fine.

    [​IMG]

    I was just fuming mad at how aggressive they were and the tag teaming of that hen. I sort of felt bad, too, because these guys are some of my husband very favorites from the coop.

    I went back into the house, put on a huge pot of boiling water, my husband sharpened a knife and the hatchet. We made 3 slip knots in some length of small rope. I went back to the barn, pulled out 2 of the bullies and left the third one for my husband to get.

    One. Two. Three. We hung them to bleed out while we got the pot of water and other things we needed.

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    I dipped the birds for less than one minute to loosen the feathers. Once I had finished the picking my husband did the gutting.

    [​IMG]

    Start to finish it took us 2 and a half hours to dress, clean-up and burn all of the 'evidence' (including coming inside washing and finishing the birds and us getting a shower).

    [​IMG]

    I know it would have taken much less time if we weren't having to keep an eye on my 19 month old who thought it was fun to try to squirt everyone with the hose, or run off behind the barn or any number of other things little boys do. LOL

    Fully dressed and ready for bagging each bird weighed out at just a little over 4lbs.

    [​IMG]

    I am very pleased with them but know they can't hold a flame to the cornish x's we are raising now.

    [​IMG]

    They were lined with a nice strip of fat. The flesh is whitish/yellow. I have one soaking in the frig for tomorrows dinner.

    This weekend we will most likely do the other four meanies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Strange that they would tag team one hen that way. I have several roosters and they always take turns (if the lady is willing). [​IMG]

    Those are nice looking cleaned up birds! Bet they taste wonderful! [​IMG]
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    They didn't mount her. They were biting her. One grabbed her neck and pinned her to the floor and the other two came over and started biting her back. It is the damnedest thing I have ever seen. I have never seen this before.
     
  4. joanm

    joanm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very good! Fresh chicken, yum!!
     
  5. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    They didn't mount her. They were biting her.

    Wow... I've never seen that either. Guess they decided that day was their day to meet the pot!

    Seriously though, when you stripped their feathers was it difficult? I've never processed my own birds and I've been wanting to cull some of the many roosters I've got running around on my place. A friend of mine processed a couple of meat turkeys, but he skinned them. I was wanting to leave the skin on.​
     
  6. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
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    just wait till poisin ivy sees this























    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2007
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    I had a huge pot of boiling water. I submerged the bird in the pot for maybe a minute for the very first one. Don't keep it in there very long or you will begin to cook the chicken. I held it under then brought it up and tugged on some feathers to see how easily they came out. The second and third bird took a little bit more time in the water to loosen their feathers as I didn't have the water at a constant boil outside.

    I then hung them up for a few minutes to let them cool off. Those feathers are HOT for a couple minutes after dunking.

    The feathers pull right off without any effort. If you can keep your hands relatively dry and have something to drop the handfuls of feathers into so they don't scatter around in the breeze you can make very short work of the plucking. I'd say it took me about 15 minutes to pluck, rinse and then go back over them for the little pin feathers I missed.

    Once they were clean we put them in a sink of icey cold water. After all of them were processed I stood at the kitchen sink and spent maybe another 20 minutes going over all three birds and getting those really small pins out. It was very easy to do. Just look them over well.

    The birds did have hairs on them. You could see them after all the plucking and cleaning when held in the light. We use a kitchen torch and very quickly singed off the hairs. Don't hold the flame too close or touch the bird with it because it will smoke them up and burn them in spots instantly. I don't know how others get rid of the hairs. I like my chicken with the skin on for roasting and making fried chicken and I do NOT like hair in my food.

    It would be interesting to see what others people here do about the fine hairs. Anyone?
     
  8. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if it's the RIR in them...? (Don't Red Stars have RIR in the cross? I think RIR roos are notorious for being mean!)

    We just processed some extra Faverolles roosters this weekend. I've actually got the pot simmering full of Chicken and Dumplings right now (well, the dumplings aren't in there, yet). I'd never tasted non-Cornish X chicken before--at least I don't think so--and tasting a little as I pulled it off the bone, I have to say it's probably the best, most flavorful chicken I've ever had.

    Honestly, even though the breasts are small on the dual purpose birds, it doesn't matter to me because breast is my least favorite part of a chicken, anyway. I usually prefer the thighs. Looks like yours dressed out nicely, even still.

    I'm glad you were able to save your poor partridge rock, and I'm sure your chicken will taste delicious. (And may I recommend Chicken and Dumplings...?)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. They look great --- congratulations on a job well done.

    Lisa
     
  10. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I've had Buff Orp roosters gang up on a hen like that...the next step would have been them all mating with her believe me...

    I'm glad you showed this I have 2 young cockerals I'm going to butcher out maybe next month...first time I'll be eating any of my birds but better then an unknown fate to them from someone else...I decided I would buy acouple fryers at our local butcher shop and play the peanut hull game so I won't know which birdie I am finally eating!....lol..that should work for the first time!

    My mom use to singe the hairs off the birds after plucking at the gas range...just hold the bird over the flame and gently turn him to get the hairs off...
     

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