Quick help?!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChelC, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. ChelC

    ChelC In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    We don't know what we are doing. We just butchered our first chicken and since we couldn't understand the directions in the book we pretty much faked our way through it. What is the easiest way to do this. We are visual people and need pics. Any good site links? We checked out the sticky post on this board but still didn't quite get it. I would like to have them as whole roasters, but our first gave us trouble so we skinned it. We're supposed to get four more done tonight! Yikes! Help PLEASE???? Thanks!
  2. ChelC

    ChelC In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    Thanks! We got it done okay. The first was a nightmare but after that we figured it out and got a system down, but we did end up skinning them all. The birds we processed were not meat breeds and they were fairly small with thin skin. We just couldn't get the feathers loose enough to pull out without tearing the skin a bit, so we figured since we were in a pinch we'd just skin them all this time and learn more before the next.

    We thought we knew what we were doing until we started - ack! Now, other than plucking we've got it down. Next time we do this they will be bigger chickens and I'm hoping that will be easier???
  3. claud

    claud Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    I do mine the easy way --- I take them to a processor! [​IMG]
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:First of all, good for you, you got the first batch done, that's always the hardest, and the slowest. It will get easier!

    Sounds like maybe you need a thermometer to check the temp for scalding. Too cool, the feathers won't turn loose, too hot, the skin comes apart. I think (check this, I have a terrible memory for numbers, I always have to look again) the right temp is around 160 F, and you dunk and swish for about 30 seconds(?) or so. Feathers should come out easily if you have the right temp, and the skins should stay intact, or at least mostly intact.

    I need a thermometer too, but don't currently have one. I just let it cool some from boiling, cross my fingers and hope for the best. I do a quick dunk, check the feathers, if they're still tight, I dunk some more.

    Some people put just a couple of drops of dish soap in the water, to penetrate the feathers better. You'll be rewashing the bird with clean water at least a couple of times before you gut it, so that'll get the soap off.
  5. ChelC

    ChelC In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    Thanks. We did try the dish soap. We had read to have the water around 140 and those feathers were really tough to get out, so maybe it wasn't hot enough? I think the worst part was that we used a killing cone and our first one just looked at us and then after we'd slit her throat we kind of walked away (the first one was really tough) and even though her feet had already been tied for hanging she managed to flip herself out of the cone and into the garbage can beneath. When I'd read about the killing cone method I thought it would be quieter. The next ones we did were quiet until their last few moments and then they really fought it. It was not fun at all, but I think the next time we'll be a lot more prepared. Some of our hens also started laying yesterday and so it was a big day for the chickens!
  6. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    When we did our mixed breed bunch, we found the time in the water for scalding slightly varied according to breed. But we used 140 to 145, for 70 to 90 sec. At about the one minute mark pulled the bird out of the water and gave it test to see how easy it was to get the feathers out.

    Most of the time it was around 70 seconds, we used one of those cheap kitchen timers you can get at most discount stores.

    We used a Turkey fryer, which comes with a very long thermometer to check the water tempature.


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