Tips for getting ready for processing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by twinmom+1VT, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. twinmom+1VT

    twinmom+1VT Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Vermont
    Hi,
    We're having our first batch of birds processed this Monday. I'm trying to get everything ready since I will be gone for the weekend. What kinds of things should I plan in advance? We're having someone come and do on site processing, when should I put the birds into holding boxes? When should I remove food and water (before slaughter)? Can the birds go right into the freezer after processing?
    Since this is our first time I want to make sure we do things right and don't ruin any of the meat.

    Thanks!
     
  2. alaina

    alaina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2011
    North middle TN
    I usually put the chickens in cages for easy catching the night before, and don't put food in, you can give them water so they don't dehydrate up until butcher time. Usually I let them sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours afterwards to let them go thru rigor mortis, then freeze or cook. Otherwise you could end up with tough meat.

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  3. twinmom+1VT

    twinmom+1VT Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Vermont
    We're processing 47 chickens and obviously don't have that much fridge space. Can I put them in the deep freezer and then "cure" when thawing for cooking?
     
  4. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Lebanon, TN
    twinmom+1VT :

    We're processing 47 chickens and obviously don't have that much fridge space. Can I put them in the deep freezer and then "cure" when thawing for cooking?

    Yup. Just let it set up a day or two after it thaws out. By the way, those RubberMaid Brute trash cans are food safe and made of exactly the same material as the Rubbermaid Brute Ice Cans (50 gallon). That's what we use to chill and rest our birds. Lots of ice and a huge (very clean) Brute trash can.

    I've read that you want 1 to 2 pounds of ice for each pound of bird to get them down to the appropriate temperature quick enough.​
     
  5. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    Buckets for parts and feathers. Sharp knife for cut-ups. Freeze some soda bottles full of water. It's cheaper than bagged ice and block ice has more thermal mass.

    Clean out your refrigerator. Clean out your freezer. Make room for your visitors. You can fit one 4# chicken in a Ziploc gallon bag. If they are bigger, they probably won't fit. If I had several larger birds I would cut them up. Several pounds of boneless breast and tenders in a bag, a bag full of wings, 4 leg quarters in a bag, 3 backs and necks in a bag (cut the backs in half at the ribs). That gives you a variety of options for dinners. I also cut my wings for hotwings rather than leave them whole.

    Get your dishes done and laundry put away. Pick up around the house as necessary. Make some lemonade. Make sure you can just come inside, have a cool drink and take it easy when you are finished. You will be tired. I promise.
     

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