So was this a bad time to butcher????

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Germaine_11.20, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    I just butchered 13 RIR hens because they are not laying well.

    I did not realize that part of the "not laying well" was probably because they are molting.

    So, I now have 13 hens with alot of small feather stubs that I could not get to come out (without major effort)

    I am guessing here...Should I not butcher when they are molting because of this very problem?

    Has this happened to you?

    Will they pluck clean if they aren't in molt?
  2. jaku

    jaku Songster

    I've found layers to be a bit harder to pluck than broilers, with more left behind, but I've only processed layers on one occasion, so I couldn't say for sure.
  3. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Ok there is actually a utensile that is used to get out the very fine feathers I can't remember what it is called etc. I think at the start of the index you see post are instructions on how to butcher/process & it was put up there as a tacked up piece so it's easy to find & I think he shows what this utensil is which I think is like a dull knief. You can also use a butter knief & you hold it like you were going to peel or so your thumb rests agains the *dull blade* let go enough so your grasping hair inbetwee your thumb & the blade & pull that way & it'll come out easier that way. Also did you dip them in real hot water? It'll help loosen the feathers I think.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Skin them! [​IMG]
  5. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Not sure if this would help, but I remember my Grandpa taking the processed chickens out of the ice water bath and using a blow torch to quickly singe the pin feathers off.
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Yes, this time of year is not the best time of year to judge how your girls are laying. I'd have a ton to butcher right now if not laying was the only deciding factor.
  7. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Thank you everybody. I thought about skinning them but I was just getting more tired, cold and frustrated with each bird. And I have never skinned one before.

    I think that is the perfect solution!

    The fact that they aren't laying is not the deciding factor. They are just production RIR's and I have so many other chickens getting ready to lay soon that it is time for them to go.

    I was so surprised at the amount of fat in them. Loaded with fat.

    But I learned some pretty cool stuff about the insides of a laying hen.

    I still have a bunch to go and then some Roos of different breeds. Good thing we eat alot of chicken!

    I do have a few more questions but I suppose I should repost those.
  8. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    Oh and Jaku, your killing cone was wonderful. I really need to put both of them up.

    That is of my questions actually. How long is the bird supposed to bleed out? I have read "completly" but do they mean every last drip or until they stop flopping around?
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    I just processed some quail and a few were in molt, and they were hard to pluck, I never had processed a bird that was molting before and never will again lol that is unless I am gonna skin it.

    As for bleeding out I wait until theyt are done flopping around and after the blood has slowed to a drip.
  10. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    You are wonderful, thank you for taking the time to post.

    Quail, molting and processing do not sound like fun! I know how hard it was to try and get out those molting feathers out of the bigger bird, I can't imagine trying to get them out of a quail.

    I'd have to get out my glasses and tweezers.

    Before doing the 13 I thought the $2.25 for paying the chicken processor was too much. Now I think it is more than fair!

    If they just didn't live 50 miles away I might consider it.

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