Tried Joel Salatin's kill/gut methods

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dancingbear, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slaughter:

    Evisceration:




    I know most people do this early in the morning, but things didn't go according to plan. So I ended up slaughtering in the evening, instead. It was fine, as DH is out of town, and except for the laughter and bleeding out, I was working in the kitchen anyway.

    Plucking took forever, as usual, but the actual slaughter was much easier. So was the evisceration.

    I don't have any cones, so I hung the roosters upside down with a loop around their feet, pulled the head down firmly to find the bare spots just under the earlobes on each side, sliced each side, and let them bleed out. I believe that they are dead very quickly this way, because the blood loss is so fast. Without blood to the brain, which means no oxygen to the brain, I doubt they are aware for more than a minute, at most. They do flap, but since they are hanging with nothing to bang into, they don't get bruised or break wings or anything. They flapped a lot less than roos I've slaughtered before, so I think they bled out a lot faster this way. I used a scalpel, so it was nice and sharp, but I think next time I'll just use a very sharp knife. The longer blade to draw across would make it easier to get a deep cut, quickly. Once they were bled out pretty well, I pithed them, to relax the bodies and loosen the feathers. I can't say it really did anything, it's quite possible I didn't hit the right spot.

    I let them hang a little longer while I went and fed and watered chickens and pigs, then brought them in to scald and clean. I had put my biggest pot on the stove to heat while I went to feed, but it still wasn't hot enough when I was ready, so I had to turn up the heat and wait a bit. I used another BYC members advice on scalding, which is to dunk and swish, and pull one wing or tail feather to see if the bird's ready. When the feather slides out easily, the bird's ready. I had to do one of each, because my pot's not quite big enough, so I have to dunk and swish one way, then flip the bird around and do the other end. It's easier to dunk tail-end first, because it's easier to hold hot bare legs, (they cool quicker), than a hot, sodden neck.

    I had moved the pot from the stove to the sink, so when it sloshed over the water would just go down the drain. I put a tea kettle on the stove to heat more water to add as the water cooled/got sloshed out.

    I don't have proper plucker built yet, so the most time consuming part is plucking. (Yes, I already know I could skin them, and waste all that tasty skin, and throw away the wings, which are my favorite part, but I'm not going to. I like the skin and the wings.) So once I got the plucking done, I was ready for Salatin's easy evisceration method. Joel S. guts in about 30 seconds., that's just gutting, saving heart and liver, (He throws away the gizzards. I do not.) not removing the lungs or neck. The birds get passed down the line and somebody else does that part. But, as I was alone and not passing the bird along to anybody, I followed his method, and it took me about 2 minutes to do what he does in 30 seconds. Then I took a couple more minutes to cut off the neck, clean the gizzard, and remove the lungs. I let the birds soak in cold water while I cleaned up my mess in the kitchen, drained and bagged them, and they are now in the fridge resting for a couple of days before I put them in the freezer. The actual gutting-to-soaking part took me 15 minutes for 3 birds. 5 minutes per bird, much better than my previous experiences.

    Once I get a proper plucker, processing will be MUCH easier and faster. I'm so glad I took the time to watch this videos, with my slow dial-up.
     
  2. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wish I could watch the videos, but from my office computer, we can't get youtube. Wow, you did it in your kitchen?! You're brave!
     
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kill them outside, to avoid the "CSI crime scene" look in the kitchen. I did try killing one inside once. If you have a cone, you could probably manage it without much mess, but I didn't have one, and wound up looking like Dexter Morgan. For just a few, it's easier to clean them in the kitchen than to set up all the stuff outside, like we do when we do 20 or more together. I just have the kitchen trash basket on one side, and a plastic dishpan on the counter on the other, so I have handy place to throw feathers on each side. Last night was "garbage night", too, so when I was done, I bagged up all the waste and it went right out to the garbage can to be picked up this morning. I threw the offal into the dishpan with the feathers, and dumped it all in the trash can when I was done.

    You might check your local library, and see if you can use the internet there. They'd have high speed, and you might be able to use an earphone to listen to it as well. Once on YouTube, search "Joel Salatin" or "Polyface Farm" and you should be able to find them.

    I watched a couple about pigs, too, and learned some things that should make future pig (and cow) raising easier, and a great alternative electric fence idea. He uses polyester (or maybe it was nylon?) rope, tied around trees, with a knot and a loop (to run the wire through) on the side where he wants the electric fence wire. The rope won't harm or scar the trees, and acts as an insulator for the elec. wire. You can fence a wooded area without clearing trees, and you won't have to dig nearly as many post-holes, and it cuts down carrying a lot of materials back into the woods. Plus saves the cost of most of the fence posts. We want to fence 22 acres, (divided by a road, so additional fencing along the road frontage on both sides) mostly wooded, and mostly inaccessible by truck or tractor, so this could be a great help. A real time, money, and labor saver.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    [​IMG] Yay for you, I'm glad you had such a successful session! And thank you for posting the links to those helpful videos, there are some other really awful ones on YouTube on the topic of chicken processing. How nice you made a way to work in the comfort of your own house. Next time, if you don't have a cone & want to eliminate the flapping -- and the splattering blood drops -- try duct taping their wings down to their sides with a few wraps of tape.

    [​IMG] Be sure to call us when dinner's ready! [​IMG]
     
  5. Thingrizzly

    Thingrizzly Out Of The Brooder

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    Love the idea of using rope for insulators. Been putting off installing electric fencing due to all the brush that would need to be cleared.

    Congrats on the successful processing.

    Kenneth
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You can actually buy corner insulators that only cost a little, that would be easier to install than tying ropes around all the trees and would no doubt last longer. They look like donuts with a groove around the outside. You just wire them on through the donut hole and run your electric fence wire through the groove.

    Joel always has great ideas, though, doesn't he? [​IMG]
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What would you attach the donuts to? Without driving nails into the tree or wrapping wire around it?
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You would wrap a piece of electric fencing wire, which is considerably cheaper and will last longer than nylon rope, to the tree on which to attach the donut.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    If you're encircling a tree with ANYthing, rope, wire, whatever, you need to check it periodically to make sure the tree isn't growing over/around/through it. The tree could apply enough pressure to pop the tie, or grow around it so the cord gets embedded in the wood. This could also weaken or kill the tree, its life is just below the bark. And the part above the tie could come down in the next windstorm, taking many yards of fence wire with it. It might also get so tedious if you have miles of trees to check & re-tie that it would just be easier to use fence posts.
     
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't want to wrap wire around my trees. I don't want to nail or embed any hardware into my trees. We'll have to check the fence line frequently in any case, no matter what we use, because if you let vegetation grow up into the fence, it won't keep working, and your livestock could escape. It's easy enough to do a visual check on the rope while we're at it. We can untie and re-tie rope as needed. When wire is outgrown, it would probably have to be cut off and replaced. Rope may have to be as well, but might sometimes be ok to just let out a bit and re-tie, if a little extra length is left on.

    Today, a couple of my friends came over to learn how to butcher chickens. They had 2 big roos, about 8 months old. They were both "attack roosters", so had to go. I was so glad I'd learned a better way to do the whole thing, so I was able to give them better info than I would have before.

    I gotta tell you though, those older birds are harder to process. The bones are more solid, the innards are more solidly attached, and it's harder to get your hand up inside. The skin and sub-dermal layers are much tougher, and don't tear easily like a young bird's. My 4 month olds were a breeze compared to these boys. They're easier to pluck, though, as long as they aren't growing new feathers post-molt. There were no pin feathers to speak of, very easy plucking.
     

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