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Slaughter/processing techniques

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by happymorrows, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. happymorrows

    happymorrows Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    DH and I will be processing for the first time. Just one mean rooster. What is the best way to get this done?

    What time of day is best (I have heard early morning, is that 0400, 0500?
    Is the kill cone the best way to do the bleeding?
    If I can't find a kill cone (none of the local stores seem to have them) what is the best way to slaughter the bird (details please)
    Details on cleaning the bird would be nice as well. I have read and researched, but I want to hear what works for you.


  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Separate him from the others the night before, no food, but give him water.

    Milk jugs work for a kill cone, and traffic cones work as well. A kill cone confines the bird and makes it easy to keep the bird clean and calm. There will be a bit of flapping or struggle at the end, after about 2:00, then it is done. Slit below the jaw line, in line with the ear opening.

    Get some water up to 145-150 degrees, add a few drops of dish soap, scald for 60 seconds. Pluck.

    Take off the legs from the front at the joint, just one slice with a sharp filet knife. Sever the head. Starting at the tip of the keel bone make a straight shallow slice through the skin towards the vent. Make an upside down "Y" cut to both sides of the vent. Reach in, pull out the guts, don't be dainty. Last night the crops came out easily. Trim off the vent, rinse well, let rest, cook & eat.

    You can clean up the bird even more by cutting the neck closer to the body, and scraping out the lungs. If you are parting out, that might be wasted effort. Keep the feet, back, heart, liver, gizzard for making stock.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Go back to the Meat Bird page, and at the top of the list of topics (notable archives) you'll find a few stickies. I know at least one has GREAT pictures from start to finish...of course that guy was doing a bunch, but you should be able to use his steps. And as was already mentioned, any cone-like shape will work...but the guy in the picture even shows where to make the cut, etc. Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    We use an orange traffic cone that you can buy from Lowes to use as a killing cone. We have to use several sizes for our different birds and still have had to cut the neck off on some for the bigger Marans. It was almost funny when we put a bantam Cochin in and he fell through so we went back and got smaller sizes.

    We cut the head off quickly with a very sharp knife. After all that we have killed we still turn away when we have done it because we hate it but know this has to be done for us to eat.

    We only eat the breast and the leg quarters so we skin back the feathers and skin from the breast and I fillet that out and then DH pulls the skin off over the legs and takes those off. We quickly put into cold slightly salted water.

    There are many great sites to show you different ways. I have found a lot of info from this Meat Birds section though.
  5. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    You can use an old bleach or vinegar jug, or get a traffic cone from a hardware store. I've also just put their head through a hole in an old pillowcase or empty feedsack before too.

    Be certain to have a sharp knife.

    I think first thing in the morning is the best time to do it. That way you can hold the bird overnight and let it sleeps off the contents of the crop naturally without you worrying about withholding food and water.
  6. happymorrows

    happymorrows Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    That sticky is exactly what I needed. Thanks!
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    For an older rooster, I advise plucking. They have connective tissue that makes skinning more difficult. Dip it in the water by holding the legs, swish it around, lift it up, then do it again to get the water next to the skin. Keep doing this until the wing feathers come out easily, then it is ready. Scald it too long and the skin will tear.

    Younger roosters and most hens can be skinned. When skinning, the first thing I do is cut the feet off. That makes skinning the legs a lot easier. I then make a cut across the belly and pull the skin off. It does take a bit more strength doing this, but I'm probably a little faster skinning young ones than plucking. My major slow down with plucking is managing the water. The actual act of plucking itself is pretty fast.

    I use the feet, back, heart, gizzard, wings, and neck for making stock. I feed the liver to the dogs. You can pick the meat off these parts and use that for chicken tacos, chicken pasta, chicken salad, anything you would use cooked chicken for. I once got 5 cups of meat and 13 pints of stock off one grown rooster. To me, that was well worth the effort.

  8. butcheress2000

    butcheress2000 Hatching

    Aug 4, 2008
    i prefer to use african style. laying it on ground. taking wings and feet by my feet, and slitting the throat.
  9. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    I just hold the bird by its feet with my left hand and cut off its head with one blow of good size sharp ax using my right hand using a stump or piece of wood. If you are lefthanded just switch the hands.

    Hold it for about 10-15 seconds or hang it by its feet, bungee cord works great, if it start flopping the wings the better that helps with bleeding process.
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If you have a pet carrier or other cage or crate, you can take him off the roost the evening before and have a readily available bird whose crop is empty to process the next day. This way it really doesn't matter whether you start at 4 AM or 9 AM.

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