Things I learned today during processing...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Charles07, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. If you cut a main vein/artery, make your cut sure and deep. *If you flinch or hesitate, it makes it stressful for the bird and you end up lopping its head off to end the suffering. [​IMG]

    2. 140-150 degrees for the scalding pot, don't leave this temperature window, 30 second swish/agitation. Too hot, the bird starts to cook, too cold and they are much harder to pluck. If you have to dunk the bird more than once, it may start to cook. If the skin is rubbery after plucking, congratulations. You cooked it. Now pray that you didn't cook the meat underneath. [​IMG]

    3. Don't rush things at the end. We were on the last bird, were a little too sloppy catching it, it jumped free knocked my wife's glasses off, and I ended up chasing it over 4 acres until finally downing it with a .22 rifle. Needless to say, I lost a wing, breast and thigh because of this, plus I had to manually bleed the bird afterword. [​IMG]

    4. Bleach water, bleach water, bleach water! 8-10/1 ratio of water/bleach as a table rinsing solution keeps the flies away. [​IMG]

    5. You have to actually scald the feet to get the socks off. [​IMG]

    6. Don't underestimate your children. The 8 year old boy went back inside. The almost 3 year old girl was mad because we wouldn't let her kill the chickens, and she plucked feathers like a champ. Go figure.

    7. Last but not least. Control your emotions*, even if you have to disconnect for a couple seconds during the actual kill. The bird can sense your fear, and may freak out a little, or a lot depending upon your emotional control. Smile at it and speak warmly to it even during the actual cut. Once it stops moving, it is no longer something that you raised and cared for and is now just meat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    very well stated I bet more than a few are going to learn from you. Please post a pic of your three year old plucker!
     
  3. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you, and I do apologize. We were so engrossed in the job today that we neglected to capture pictures of her in the act, but below is a picture of her from 3 months ago.

    Yes, she is standing there in rapt fascination. She more than understands that eggs come from chickens, baby chicks come from eggs, and that we must wait until they are bigger before we eat them. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    [​IMG] Good for you & your 3-year-old too! I always learn something new each time I process that helps make the next session so much easier. One thing that really helps is to have a place overhead from which to hang the chickens while you pluck, it makes it SO much easier to have both hands free.
     
  5. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ha!

    We hung them on slip knots for the slaughter, and not once did we think of rehanging them for plucking. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  6. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heh.

    I forgot to mention that while the last rooster was running crazily and criss-crossing my yard and my neighbor's yard, she was running after it as fast as she could yelling, "I catch it, Mommy!! I catch the chicken!". [​IMG]

    Now that I would love to have captured on video.
     
  7. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Well said!! Only thing I would add is to have as many hands helping as possible. We have 24 that will be ready soon and after the processing of 9 turkeys, the more helping hands the better!
     
  8. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Little ones are a lot more understanding than we give them credit for [​IMG]

    When I was 2 or 3, probably 3, my pet duck was hit by a neighbor's car and killed. He brought it to the house, told my folks, who brought me to the door. He told me, "Jenny, I'm so sorry. Your duck was in the road and I hit it and it died."

    My response: "Bad duck. Don't go in the road." And that was that. I went back to whatever I was doing, and later claimed a different duck as my own. Folks never did have problems with me going to the road either [​IMG]
     
  9. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Indeed!

    The feather clean up was very quick with all of the children helping. Well, minus the 6 year old stuffing feathers into his pocket to be sorted through later for his collection. [​IMG]
     
  10. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     

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