So I butcher my birds with nothing but a sharp pair of garden pruners.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bnentrup, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. bnentrup

    bnentrup Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    I am throwing this out there, hopefully not being attacked by anyone who sees this as a silly method. However, I like to simplify things as I am learning them (optimize my time) and in the process of butchering 20-birds last week have come to the conclusion that 1-tool is all it takes to butcher a bird.

    I have a set of VERY sharp Garden Pruners by Fiskars. I pull the skin on the neck out far enough to reach the main artery and not clip the jugular. Snip with the pruners. The bird bleeds out easily since the pruners are VERY sharp indeed.

    Next, after I have picked the feathers, I snip the head completely off once again with the pruners. I reach in next to neck bone with fingers and dislodge the crop as I stretch the skin open with my hands (no extra cutting needed).

    I immediately follow up to the rear where I make 1-cut, just above the scent gland, and also cut through tail bone. I repeat the same process similar to the neck area by taking my fingers and opening the incision up while pulling down the vent area. I grab the entrails, pull out the crop, and pull out any innards that I can see. I scrape the lungs with my fingers (ouch!! I actually cut my finger on a broken rib from an injured bird and was a bit worried). I think that I would like to invest in a lung removal tool.

    Lastly, I make a few cleanup snips with the loppers at the rear area to cut any part of the vent/rear that is not appealing. I finally clip the legs at the joint with pruners, pull them apart (do not cut all the way through) and then snip the skin flap with pruners.

    THAT IS IT! It takes me less than 1-minute from start and NOTHING but my garden pruners. The birds look clean, and the process is simple as can be. I did however pick feathers by hand, which took me 10-15 min per bird.

    Just figured I would say to those contemplating the butchering process that butchering is NOT difficult. Picking feathers took the longest time, but that was not difficult either.

    BTW, the chicken tastes yummy.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  2. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I have used them to remove heads. I can't find fault with you actions. I use a 12 inch piece of twine to tie the feet and the only other tool I use is an old hickery pairing knife. Well I can also mention the bucket for the feathers, blood and guts. But I don't have scalders, pluckers (not yet), or multiple sharp tools for the actual butchering.
  3. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Nothing wrong with using what works! When we did turkeys last month, we quickly discovered for us it was easier to use a pair of PVC pipe cutters (the ratcheting kind) to cut off the heads, and then the neck itself, the part of the wings we didn't pluck (that very end tip part that doesn't have any meat really) and so on. I'm sure there are a million ways, but for us, that was easiest (plus we now have a use for them, as when I bought them I didn't know we ALREADY had a pair - then promptly lost the receipt so returning them was delayed). Dh calls them the Turkey Nippers - I am sure if anyone saw/heard us they would think we are nuts, but like I said, ain't nothing wrong with whatever works!


    Theres a pic - for something large like a 50 pound turkey it can't be beat! Plus it kept my husbands prize knives from getting dulled! (He's a freak about keeping them sharp and taking care of them)
  4. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    I am going to start using these with killing cones.. I think they are great .. The top cuts and the back inner curve sever the spinal cord.....
  5. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Very neat on the shears, btw.

    i once saw a pic of a chicken guillotine. the pic is in that little book called 'the have more plan'. it looks alot like a stapler. just put birdie's head and neck under the blade, and WHAM your hand down. i just thought that was pretty neat.................

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