So DH found his turkeys...UPDATE!!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by EggsForIHOP, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now I have questions! He is trading the neighbors granddaughters mom work on her car for 3 HUGE turkeys! Putting on a new door handle and ac control switch thing - sounds like a plan...until you figure in who has to do the research on processing them!

    Got a couple questions:
    1) They are coming tomorrow sometime and shall be staying FAR from my chicks, BUT...we won't be able to process until next week sometime - can I feed them Flockraiser until then? Or do I need special turkey food for the next 5 days?

    2) How does one go about scalding a turkey that large? What temp should the water be? Same as it is for chickens, but in a much larger pot? (i.e. metal tub) I have googled it, but want answers from ya'll as I trust you guys!

    3) How far is far enough from my chickens? 60 feet? 160 feet? I am thinking 60-80 feet so as to be able to run some temp. electric fence ...let me know what ya'll vote though...

    4) What do you put a bird that large in to freeze it? Of course they will both rest in the fridge first, then one will be smoked on the smoker and the other frozen. I am hoping to be able to leave it whole, but if I have to we can part it out...any thoughts?

    I gather the rest of the process is the same as a chicken or duck - only ever done ducks and quail before (from hunting trips) and WATCHED my mom when I was MUCH younger. Course that all came to an end when my uncle told if he had to kill Thanksgiving dinner one more time he wasn't coming until Easter, so she claims she can't remember what to do... HELP PLEASE!

    OH! background info: 6 month old 4H turkeys, living down the road a piece here in Conroe (like 5 miles away) I think they are toms, but could be both, idk how 4H works so I dunno what the girl was raising, just know her mom needs work done and we live by the granny, they came to visit today and got to talking out in the yard and there you have - my husbands first attempt at bartering worked! He's so proud it's nuts - he was all puffed up like a turkey when he ran in to tell me




    ETA: UPDATE!!!! WE DID IT!!!! We processed our first turkey this morning! 50 POUNDS!!!! I SWEAR!!! I am so excited it's nuts!!! It was a little intimidating at first, and since I have 'smaller hands' I had to do the insides by vote (it was 2 to 1, I lost) But we did it! Turkey burgers for all who come to my house tomorrow night! Couldn't have done it without ya'll! I am so thankful for the inspiration and information we get here!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  2. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two large pots that will scald a turkey. One is from my turkey fryer and the other is a huge canner. I don't do anything different from doing chickens. They are just bigger. I scaled until the feather pulls out easy at the wing and tail. I learned from this site under meat birds, a homesteading site and pictures on Mother Earth News http://www.motherearthnews.com/.

    My husband does not let me eat them any more.
     
  3. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband BETTER help me eat them - and process them! Thanks tho for confirming they are like chickens. I was up until 2 a.m. searching it, just not finding the same details I found when it came to processing chickens - this ought to be entertaining to say the least.

    My husband can kill a deer and quarter it, hunt ducks and quail - but when there were 2 chicks that were suffering and sick, guess who had to cull them? Me - I couldn't let it go on, and did it while he said "I don't see how you can kill a baby chick" - so I am worried that I will end up doing the work while he watches, all I need to hear now is "I don't see how you can kill a friendly turkey like him"....
     
  4. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The last turkey we ate my husband wanted to save. We had clipped the wings on some of out turkeys that like perching on our latice patio cover at night. I had already broke my wrist severly requiring surgery and a year of therapy (didn't help), cleaning up there mess. I wanted them sleeping somewhere else. Clipping the wings didn't help. They jumped up on my BBQ and still made there way up to the patio cover. Then the elephants would play on my roof top all morning before they got the nerve to jump down. One day the biggest Tom missed as he jumped from the BBQ. He propelled himself on our cast iron fence. When we found him the spear was all the way through his breast and out his back. He was flapping his wings bleeding all over. My husband got him off and wanted me to get him a box so he could take care of him. I told him to boil water. He tought I wanted to sanatize something. Big tears where rolling down his face. I told him to get out of here. I take care of it. That was the best turkey I ever ate. Unfortunatly the timing was bad. It was the day after Thankgiving.

    It's funny my husband is a city boy but always hunted. Now he is just soft. I am cold hearted. I think home grown food is healthy and respects the animal alot more than buying it from the store. I have tried being Vegan for health. I have a disease that would benefit from no meat, cheese ect. But it is so hard without the moral backing that I don't have.
     
  5. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm with your husband on this! [​IMG]

    How sweet of them to dance on your roof! I'd prefer that to the sound of my frog hunting neighbour's motorbike at 4.00am as he returns home drunk from an all night hunting trip. [​IMG] The rainy season has its draw backs! We got our own back on him this morning at 6.00am by talking very loudly as we cleared the drainage channels into the lake after the year's heaviest deluge so far.

    I haven't yet killed anything for food other than trout and I don't know whether I could kill a turkey when the time comes. My wife is against slaughter anyway. If I saw a bird injured, my only thought would be to try to help it recover. When a newly arrived hen wandered off the land to lay and was mauled by two dogs we had her treated without a second's thought. A friend thought we were crazy not to kill her but the idea never crossed my mind.
     
  6. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband says that I was the one that made him like he is. We have lots of animals. About 70% of our income goes to the care of our animals. We moved 6 times in 5 years just to find a better home for them. We have been here a while and hope this is the last move.

    I accept death different than I use to. Its hard to explain but I don't think death is the worst thing that happens to a injured animal. It might be I have been around suffering so much that death isn't that bad. I do give most animals a fair chance. But when you see the same thing over and over, I know the right thing to do.
     
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Got a couple questions:
    1) They are coming tomorrow sometime and shall be staying FAR from my chicks, BUT...we won't be able to process until next week sometime - can I feed them Flockraiser until then? Or do I need special turkey food for the next 5 days?

    a. I would say yes Since they will be butchered in 5 days, Using wild game feed won't matter that much. But about 24 hours before butchering remove the feed if you can.

    2) How does one go about scalding a turkey that large? What temp should the water be? Same as it is for chickens, but in a much larger pot? (i.e. metal tub) I have googled it, but want answers from ya'll as I trust you guys!

    a: For Turkeys we use a 55 gallon trash can, set on top of a propane burner that come with our smoker. We scald for 50 sec to 1 min at 150 degrees.
    NOTE: the USDA recommends not using any galvanized metal in food processing. When you lift them out of the scalder they are not lite with all the water in there feather. we use a cherry picker to get them out of the scalder.


    3) How far is far enough from my chickens? 60 feet? 160 feet? I am thinking 60-80 feet so as to be able to run some temp. electric fence ...let me know what ya'll vote though...

    a: Since they are new comers to you flock. 60 feet may be ok, Since you will have them for such a short time, It's not the distance but your going from one area to the other.

    4) What do you put a bird that large in to freeze it? Of course they will both rest in the fridge first, then one will be smoked on the smoker and the other frozen. I am hoping to be able to leave it whole, but if I have to we can part it out...any thoughts?

    A: We usually only keep one or two whole, to be used for fancy dinners and such, then rest get cuts up so more fit in the freezer.
    It's much easier to smoke the parts rather then the whole bird if it's large.
    We use freezer paper wrapped in two layer. each layer is 90 degrees to the other to make sure it gets covered.

    Yes it pretty much the same a chicken, just bigger.

    Last week we did some butchering, Instead of removing the insides I just cut the breast off and the thighs and legs the disposed of the rest whole.
    We don't even bother plucking the wings or tail. The first thing I do is remove the wings so I can work on the rest of the bird.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  8. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took a wild turkey a month ago and learned what a big difference there is between those and all the other wild birds I've processed in my life... BIG being the key word... just handling the bird was a chore. My wife plucked most of it dry, if you get started while the body is still hot the body feathers come out pretty easily but you have to scald to get the wings, tail, and the smaller feathers on the sides etc. Advantage of that is weight. If you scald the whole bird you'll need some kind of help lifting it out of the water. If you're only scalding wings, tail, shoulders, you don't need as big a pot.

    You only have to feed it for 4 days, stop giving it food 24 hours ahead of kill so the crop & guts are empty.

    When you start heating the scald water, mix up an iced brine in a large cooler chest - LOTS of ice - so you can chill the carcass. Brine helps draw out the blood and tenderize the meat. You can leave it in iced brine for up to 16 hours.

    Getting the lungs out is a chore. If you didn't want a whole bird, I'd say just cut the back off.

    Good luck, after the work you'll have lots of great eating ahead!

    Tim
     
  9. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'd make sure your doctor was ok with this before trying if you do. The lady that lives across the street from me was a vegan and now has major health problems because of malnutrition. She wasn't getting enough of "something". Don't remember what, but she has been fighting problems for years now.
     
  10. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'd make sure your doctor was ok with this before trying if you do. The lady that lives across the street from me was a vegan and now has major health problems because of malnutrition. She wasn't getting enough of "something". Don't remember what, but she has been fighting problems for years now.

    Thank You for your concern. A vegan, gluten free diet is highly recomended for my disease from my doctor. I would be in alot less pain if I could do it. But he know's most people have a hard time following it. I know alot about proper nutrition so malnutrition would not be a problem. I am kind of a health nut anyway. My health is followed very closely from my doctor too. I am a pin cushion. Some times I can go about a month on a strict diet then I compleatly lose it and want to eat all the bad stuff I can't have.
     

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