Today was flock thinning day (pics, one semi-graphic)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Fredster, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Last night, I moved our group of twenty 10-week-old chickens (from a McMurray batch delivered back in November) out of the small coop into the big coop with the rest of the flock, which brought the flock size up to around 85.

    Time for some thinning. [​IMG]

    The roosters from a batch of chicks we hatched from eggs I bought up in Amish country, as well as the ones from a bunch of chicks we got at the flea market, were just starting to crow and feel their randy hormones kicking in. It took me four hours today, but I processed fourteen young roosters this morning. I left one of the flea market ones alive because they're so pretty. We think they're Icelandic chickens, or very closely related.

    It was so cold when I got to the plucking part that my water cooled down too much after just two. Plucking the third one wasn't going well at all so I got ticked off and just skinned them. [​IMG]

    As tiring as it is to do them all at once, it's nice to know we're putting away enough chicken that I don't have to do it again for a couple of months (when the McMurray ones will need thinning).

    Dead roosters on my tailgate, which I use as a table. The pretty
    multi-colored ones to the left are the ones we think are Icelandic.
    They're a gorgeous breed, whatever they are.

    Inside for the washing and gutting at the kitchen sink.
    My wife really appreciates me when I do this.

    The bottom of the kitchen fridge is loaded with fresh meat.

    Spillover into the laundry room fridge.

    Our LGD George, taking his job with the rest of the flock very seriously.
  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Very nice. You did a great job! Looks like a lot of good chicken to me.
  3. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I send all my extra cockerels to freezer camp. If I have a big batch to do or there are too many pin feathers I just skin them.... a lot faster and healthier so they

    Julie [​IMG]
  4. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    It looks like you skinned most of them? They look like pretty meaty birds. Looks very nice!
  5. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Hey, how old are those barred rocks?
    I'm trying to figure out of mine are particuarly scrawny or it's just the breed. Mine are 17 weeks and just a bit bigger than yours
  6. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Crowing Premium Member

    Great job! Been too cold here for that type of work, glad I have them all done.

    What breed of LGD is George? I have 2 Maremmas and an Englis Shepherd. Great dogs, my birds are very safe. My eggs however some times get taken - by the dogs themselves! LOL

    I really need to gate the area of the nesting boxes so that I get the eggs first, and give the dogs my choice. One was getting fat and I could not figure out why, then I wondered why egg counts were down, put it together when I saw her in the nesting area.
  7. menageriemama

    menageriemama Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    [​IMG] Wow! You really cranked em out!! Way to go [​IMG]
  8. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Quote:Yep, skinned 'em all. I can do that faster than I can use my plucker. All the pulling made my tennis elbow flare up, but it was still better than trying the plucker on them all. [​IMG]

    Quote:All the chickens I did today were about 20 weeks old, give or take (but I didn't actually do any barred rocks, just Rhode Island Reds, some generic white ones I hatched from eggs I got from an Amish man, and some Icelandic (I think) ones).

    Mine are probably small because they don't get broiler rations. They just eat regular old grower feed and layer pellets when they move in with the big ones, as well as table and garden scraps. They all ended up around 3 pounds. The smallest one was about 2.5, and the biggest was about 3.75. Nothing like the Cornish X chickens, but they taste a whole lot better to me (I think maybe it's because they live longer, and run around a lot).

    Quote:He's a Great Pyrenees. His sister Gracie helps too, but she was off laying under a tree when I took that picture. [​IMG]

    They like the eggs, too, but I think I've about made it impossible for the dogs to get them. I built a wall of sorts, about a foot in front of the nest boxes, with holes too small for the dogs to get more than their heads through.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Great job. It's been awhile since I've done chickens.... in fact I'll bet it's been since 1982 since I last skinned the pheasants I shot on my last pheasant hunt.

    We ALWAYS skinned... mom always said it was healthier that way.

    She expected the neck gone and the innards removed (and the gland at the hind end cut out carefully) before I ever brought them in the house. The dog and cat would love to be around when I was skinning chickens. On the farm we'd put the feathers and skin in a barrel and burn them after the barn cats had picked through them.
  10. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Your dog looks as comfortable around the birds as mine do, they still make me awestruck with how much all the barnyard critters and dogs can get along, have a great day.

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