Suggestions on good entry level processing supplies?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by zephyr66, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. zephyr66

    zephyr66 Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Parthenon, Arkansas
    Hi all... it's been a long time since I've processed one of my chickens but many hens went broody this spring/summer and I have a ton of roosters. I want to humanely kill them with hopefully no pain and very minimal stress. My question is regarding good processing equipment for people like me who won't process more than 10 roos a year. I sold all my equipment a while back and I don't need the fancy stuff and just the basics as it pertains to knives, cone, etc. Would love your feedback. Online it seems they have a knife for just about every part of the bird and I just want to do it traditionally. Thanks!
    MaggieMay'sMom and penny1960 like this.
  2. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    If you stretch the head holding the body solid can separate the spine from the neck by pulling fast
  3. BGcoop

    BGcoop Songster

    Aug 5, 2018
    This year was my first year processing chickens. DH did the dirty work with a traffic cone (bought for cheap) and his well sharpened buck knife that he uses for EVERYTHING.‍♀️
    We scalded the birds in a turkey deep fryer, plucked and gutted by hand on a makeshift table and had a plastic barrel of ice water for chilling the birds. Everything done outside so clean up was relatively easy with the hose. We also only did a small amount of birds and start to finish only took a couple hours.
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. zephyr66

    zephyr66 Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Parthenon, Arkansas
    thank you. i am looking for a suggestion on online supplies that will get me started. i do a lot of diy stuff but have too many projects going and am solo.
    penny1960 likes this.
  5. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    Guess it depends on what method you're using. For the traditional decapitation you just need a stump or large piece of wood and a sharp hatchet. If you want to use the "killing cone" method you can cut a hole in the bottom of a feed bag and hang. It doesn't work quiet as well as a restraint cone but, hey, it's free. I had to use it on CX that didn't fit in my cone. Then you just need a very sharp knife. Or, like me, use a tree looper. Let the blood drain into a bag or bucket. (I dilute it and give it to my rose bushes).

    Any large pot can be used for a scalding pot. You can also dry pluck or skin. If I only have one or two to do I just dry pluck. A pair of pliers is good for gripping the base of those wing feathers that just don't want to come out.

    I hardly ever cook my bird whole; I usually spatchcock, half, or quarter so I don't bother keeping them whole at butcher time. I use kitchen shears to cut off the tail, cut around the vent, and cut up the spine. Then pull out all the innards. I also use the shears to cut off the tips of the wings. If you don't want to do that all you need is a sharp knife. I use my favorite knife, which is a chef's knife but I've also used a small paring knife. My chef's knife worked for cutting turkeys whose necks where too big for my loopers. You don't need any special kind of knife. It should be very sharp and you should be comfortable using it. That's all that really matters.

    If you already have good kitchen knives you don't need to buy any more. A sharpening stone would be a good investment. I sharpen mine the day before every butchering no mater what shape they are in. I use a wet stone.
  6. RUNuts

    RUNuts Nothing sucks seeds like a chicken with no teeth.

    May 19, 2017
    Eastern Houston
    Kitchen knife sharpened. One that will hold an edge.
    Bleach bottle cut to fit the size of the bird for a killing cone.
    A pallet on sawhorses or any table. I bleach the surface before processing.
    Water hose kept handy.
    Crawfish or turkey fryer burner
    Crawfish or turkey fryer pot for scalding. Bigger is better, but also costs. Metal drums or trash cans also work.
    Thermometer that will read around 145°F for monitoring the scald water.
    Tongs to submerge and remove from the hot water. BBQ work.
    Bucket for offal. Compost, garbage or back woods for disposal.
    Patience. Lots of patience to pluck.
    Large plastic bowls and ice chests to receive the meat and giblets.
    Maybe some help. Help is good.
    Stereo or something to while away the time with.

    I don't think I've ever seen a butcher kit past knives and scissors.

    Are you plucking on the table or hanging the birds? I hang them over a garbage can while plucking. For the table, I have to pull one way with each hand. Do what works best for you.

  7. zephyr66

    zephyr66 Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Parthenon, Arkansas
    hi there and thanks so much for the response! i did my first roo yesterday. a lot of diy stuff but did invest in a "finger plucker" that is drill attached and it made a world of difference. the only thing i'm missing now is music! good tip, lol!
    RUNuts likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: