Something not to do when you butcher chickens....................

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by awesomefowl, May 25, 2011.

  1. heather112588

    heather112588 Songster

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    I did my first butchering last month and learned a thing or two since...hardest thing for me was the killing, not the feathers part.
    A good knife is needed! The knife i grabed wasnt sharp enough so i had to saw through the head with the thing still alive. Still this roo deserved it after it almost killed a hen!
     
  2. mama24

    mama24 Songster

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    It's too much work to skin the feet! I didn't save them this time, but last time I butchered a bird, I scrubbed the feet really well with a pot brush and lots of soap and threw them in the soup pot. [​IMG]
     
  3. geeky_farmer

    geeky_farmer In the Brooder

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    For me, I need a cone (traffic cone cut down). It restrains the bird a bit and makes it easier for both of us. I have looked at videos with them tied at their feet, and it does not look peaceful.

    I also am sure to do the deed quickly. Then make sure I did it right (blood flowing freely) and then walk away for 60 seconds or at least look away. That is where someone else is nice, someone to talk to during that time.

    I think by yourself doing 2-4 birds an hour (even as a beginner) is reasonable. Not your first bird, but your fifth should be going well. Maybe you are not scalding them enough?

    My first batch I skinned, and for me it was harder then plucking. The feathers kept getting in the way, and it looked more like a chicken (which made it harder). For me I will keep plucking...

    Good luck and keep at it!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

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    Quote:Sometimes I have a hard time with older birds. Young ones' feet are easy. The water has to be really hot too, I find. I just do the best I can... but maybe some old timer has a secret technique to make it easier?? [​IMG]
     
  5. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

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    Quote:You can cut the heads of with a REALLY SHARP knife. I did that for a while, and never had a mishap. This way you know it's dead "instantly" because you sever the spinal cord, but it's requires less perfect hand-eye coordination than the hatchet. Just make sure the knife is really sharp, or it has the potential to be ugly... Or dislocate the neck. It's not as tricky as it sounds if you do it right. Just some ideas... Personally, I like the methods that kill the birds instantly.

    I too loooooved Harvey's article. Does anyone know where you can still read it? I feel like every beginner (or even people with some experience) should have the opportunity to read it. I would love to be able to recommend it to people... I wish I had found the article when I was first getting started--it would have helped me a lot...
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

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    Quote:I get where you're coming from, al, but I have to say that all the reading and research in the world doesn't necessarily prepare a first-time slaughterer for the process. It can all seem pretty abstract and it can be difficult to remember details (many of which are unnecessarily complicated, trivial, or contradictory in the literature), when you actually have to slaughter and process a real live chicken for the first time. Been there, done that. I agree, it's not rocket science, but regardless it is a hectic experience for a first-timer working on their own, no matter how much preparation they do before hand...

    BTW your claim of being able to process a chicken in 5 minutes or LESS seems pretty dubious to me, and not a reasonable goal to throw out there for beginners. And unless you are an experienced professional using a mechanical plucker and discarding a lot of usable parts it definitely strains credibility... Just sayin'
     
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Quote:I get where you're coming from, al, but I have to say that all the reading and research in the world doesn't necessarily prepare a first-time slaughterer for the process. It can all seem pretty abstract and it can be difficult to remember details (many of which are unnecessarily complicated, trivial, or contradictory in the literature), when you actually have to slaughter and process a real live chicken for the first time. Been there, done that. I agree, it's not rocket science, but regardless it is a hectic experience for a first-timer working on their own, no matter how much preparation they do before hand...

    BTW your claim of being able to process a chicken in 5 minutes or LESS seems pretty dubious to me, and not a reasonable goal to throw out there for beginners. And unless you are an experienced professional using a mechanical plucker and discarding a lot of usable parts it definitely strains credibility... Just sayin'

    LOL yeah the 5 minute rule does throw the newby's off and I do appologize but i have been doing the meaty thing for some quite time and have done more birds than I care to count, yes I do have some mechanical devices at my disposal, so it is second nature for me to just set-up and get after it, WTS I think your above mentioned reply is very accurate and sensable, what you read can definitly seem so easy and throw you off the reality of the process. For new folks it's important to not be bothered with the morality so much as the chore in experiance in learning, That does go along way in your progress. Just buckle up and concentrate and the whole thing will be so much more rewarding.

    If you would like I would be more than willing to offer some tip's/technic's that can help you both understand and make things much simpler and enjoyable. Just offering if you wish.

    AL
     
  8. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

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    Storey's Guide to raising chickens has a very good in depth chapter on processing chickens at home. According to the book the world record was 4.4 seconds... I can't even imagine that. Experienced pickers should not take more than 5 min per bird and the author says after 20 years she's still at 15 min per bird. The hatchet method of dispatch is the least desirable ... if you can get a copy I think it illustrates the process very well and gives the reader and beginner a lot to consider and prepare for. If you have a Kindle the book is available in an E format which is what I have.
     
  9. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    The killing is the ugliest part of it by far IMO... [​IMG] When we have "processing" day here on the farm, I bring in my nephew... Finest of the fine young men! [​IMG] He has no personal ties to my birds so it's not as hard for him as it is for those of us who raised them! We handle all of the rest of processing... it's like hiring a "hit man" so to speak... It does make it easier to deal with! [​IMG]
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Well, it's always good to have more candidates in the holding cage than you might be able to do, just in case you find yourself with extra time & energy. But even better to have a pal or two to help with the chore. If you don't have a cone you can always wrap duct tape a few times around the bird's body, just to hold the wings in place. And when you slice the throat the bird really dies right away, even though it may look like it's still on your same side of the road. When you get a good scald on your birds they should be easy to pluck, like wiping the lint out of a dryer trap. A few degrees too cool and it's like pulling out your own hair.

    Maybe you could save time by saving all the feet & necks in a bag to clean & peel later, rather than doing it all out at the processing table. I hope your next session goes better.
     

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