Tomorrow's the day.

ZooSD

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 26, 2008
96
3
94
Sparta, TN
My first time raising meat birds and they're 8wks old, tomorrow I'm going to start with the largest guys that are really having a hard time walking. I weighed a random pick today to see if they were as big as they look and it was 9.4lbs. It was not the biggest one out there. I haven't processed chickens in 35 years so I've been reading everything I can find on here and all of the wonderful information is swimming in my head. Does anyone have any "Oops, I wish I had...." suggestions. I'm doing this on my own since my family thinks it's totally gross.
 

Elke Beck

Songster
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
444
109
186
Sunny So Cal
I prep everything the night before so that I am not running around on the day wondering where the Dickens the trash bags have gotten to, and how to I attach the cone again?
 

ZooSD

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 26, 2008
96
3
94
Sparta, TN
I prep everything the night before so that I am not running around on the day wondering where the Dickens the trash bags have gotten to, and how to I attach the cone again?

smile.png
That's what I'm trying to do tonight. I feel like I'm at the store and forgot my list at home. I plan on doing 2 at a time, so 2 cones, sharp knife and backup knife, several clean 5gal buckets, large pot for heating water, ice for cold water bucket, fat chickens, garbage bags for feathers. What am I missing?
 

Elke Beck

Songster
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
444
109
186
Sunny So Cal
I like to use surgical gloves because it is a messy process, and to me it is easier to shuck off dirty gloves and pull on a clean pair than to go to the sink to thoroughly wash my hands every time I touch poop..

I keep a roll of paper towels handy to dry the birds because I don't like to take the chance of cross contamination. Also, when things get slippery (and they will), paper towels make it easier to get a secure hold on the carcass.

I recommend since this is your maiden voyage that you do one at a time at first. Get a feel for how long it takes before you do two at a time. It is really hard to pluck when the body starts cooling, and it is important to build your confidence by being successful rather than becoming frustrated.
 

ZooSD

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 26, 2008
96
3
94
Sparta, TN
I like to use surgical gloves because it is a messy process, and to me it is easier to shuck off dirty gloves and pull on a clean pair than to go to the sink to thoroughly wash my hands every time I touch poop.. 

I keep a roll of paper towels handy to dry the birds because I don't like to take the chance of cross contamination.  Also, when things get slippery (and they will), paper towels make it easier to get a secure hold on the carcass. 

I recommend since this is your maiden voyage that you do one at a time at first.  Get a feel for how long it takes before you do two at a time.  It is really hard to pluck when the body starts cooling, and it is important to build your confidence by being successful rather than becoming frustrated.

 

Good point, I just bought paper towels and I have a box of gloves somewhere. I'll have to find them tonight.
 

ZooSD

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 26, 2008
96
3
94
Sparta, TN
I asked my husband a week ago to not schedule anything for today so I would be free to process chickens without interruption. That didn't work too well so I only got two done this a.m. and it was a little slower than I had planned. It took me about 35min per bird since I was giving my son chicken anatomy lessons at the same time. I made my cone out of a black plastic garden pot and it worked great! It fit a 9.5lb CornishX with no problems and wasn't too long or too short which I was worried about.
 

Elke Beck

Songster
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
444
109
186
Sunny So Cal
Congratulations! It is tough the first time, but each time it gets better as you get more confident and develop your routine. It sounds like your planning paid off.
 

ZooSD

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 26, 2008
96
3
94
Sparta, TN
Hope the processing went well. Like riding a bike...or so I hope!

Surprisingly easy. I definitely have a couple of things to tweak so just about the time I get a good routine I'll run out of birds for camp. I have 12 more in this group and another 15 in 6wks.
 

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