Those that process your birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Southern Gardener, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Southern Gardener

    Southern Gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2008
    Louisiana
    We’ve ordered red broilers from Ideal but they won’t ship until April. I’m curious as to what type of set-up some of you have when you start your processing. Do you have propane cookers you use outside? I don’t have a garage/shed/barn so this will be done in the backyard. I want to have everything ready when the time comes.

    We (my sister and I) processed our rooster last month by boiling water on the stove and dumping it into a 5 gallon bucket outside. Pretty simple for one bird – not good for 25!

    Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful.

    Joan
     
  2. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    My neighbors and I processed our first batch of 27 birds a couple of weeks ago. To heat the water we used the propane burner from our turkey fryer, and a small handheld propane torch for burning off the tiny feathers left behind after picking.

    We processed the birds outside also and set up different "stations" for each phase, i.e., separate areas for killing, hanging, dipping and picking, and gutting. As soon as we finished processing the birds we placed them in coolers filled with ice and water. We left them in the coolers overnight and in the morning re-inspected each bird before vaccuum sealing.

    It was the first time I've been involved with meat birds... I was surprised that was pretty easy for me to do. I had raised the birds in my brooder/coop/run and wasn't sure how I'd feel about butchering something I raised and cared for every day.

    Things I'll do differently next time... get a cone for hanging the birds to restrain their wings; use a thermometer to gauge the temp of the dipping water; get a set of better needle nose pliers for picking.

    Good luck with your birds! Since this was my first experience I'm still quite the novice; I'm sure you'll get responses from more experienced people.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Chicken Connoisseur

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    Dec 16, 2008
    So.Cal
    Thats how we do it as well. [​IMG] Good luck!

    Chef
     
  4. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I skin my birds. I know all about the fat and flavor and protection from freezer burn and all...but it is easier and I don't like the skin. I tie a piece of string to their legs (actually I make little lassos) then I rope their neck stretch over a chopping block remove head and hang on swingset...let bleed then start skinning and gutting...I do it all in the backyard with my boys helping...we wash up in the kitchen and seal them up for storage with the Mom's help
     
  5. Southern Gardener

    Southern Gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2008
    Louisiana
    Thanks for the replies. I don’t really want to slit the throat – I’d rather do the chop method, but like the idea of the cone for restraint. I will be purchasing a thermometer to gauge the water temp and I can make some sort of rack to hang the birds. I have just about everything else I’ll need. The stations are a good idea.

    ChanceRider, although I’m no stranger to cleaning game – I used to help dad, brothers, uncle clean ducks/squirrel/deer/rabbit – the rooster was the first animal I’ve actually killed and I don’t mind saying I felt sick for a few hours after.
     
  6. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Vermont
    Here's my setup (before processing begins)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We've also put a marble slab on the back half of the sawhorses so another person can work on that side of the sink.
     
  7. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    My setup is almost identical to Peruvian, except we put our plucker in the driveway, and the rest in my barn/garage. This keeps the flies away. For scalding, I use a propane turkey fryer at the moment, but I'm hoping to convert a propane water heater into a permanent one this spring.
     
  8. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Vermont
    I use a propane turkey fryer and lobster pot for scalding as well.
     
  9. JohnL11935

    JohnL11935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Peruvian - Is that one of Mr. Kimble's "WhizBang" pluckers you have there?

    Looks real nice.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Southern Gardener

    Southern Gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2008
    Louisiana
    Nice set-up! I wish we had a plucker, but we'll be plucking by hand so I'm sure it will take an entire weekend.
     

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