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Turkey processing (not to graphic)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Dogfish, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    So I took a few photos of the processing for my Tom. I used a "little giant" type ladder for my gallows, and the bag method worked rather well.

    I attached a pulley like this to the top of the ladder,
    but you can use a cheaper type.

    The pulley system made it really easy to lift the turkey up to slit the throat and then lower him down to bleed out. I tried pithing, and it worked, but I didn't notice a big difference to the hen I process a few days before. The pulley system also made scalding a breeze. Note the boiling water in the background and I used the blue tub as the scalding tank.

    Having the pulley system did make it easier to pluck, because when I plucked the hen I had her laying in tub, so I had to constantly clear the plucked feathers from her to find the unplucked ones. Plucking the tom was a lost easier. It also made rinsing a 35# bird an easy chore.

    Anybody have good suggestions on scalding turkeys? I just lengthened the time from 1 to 2 minutes, and I kept the water temp at 155 degrees. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010


    RAREROO Crowing

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    What breed is this turkey ? A BBB or a heritage breed ? Steve had cool scalding set up with one of those big ol cast iron sugar cane cooking type pots with an open fire under it. That looks like it worked pretty good. Do you all think that those big galvanized type trash cans could hold up well to a fire and heat the scalding water ? If would that be too weak of a metal to use ? I have also heard something about some kind of toxins from the galvanized containers if they are rusted and that they shouldnt be used for water bowls for animals, but if it would work for heating the water, since its just scalding, do you all think there would be any danger from whatever toxins from the zinc or whatever it is that is exposed when they rust ?
  3. LindsayB

    LindsayB Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    Is it just me or does it look like the turkey had bumblefoot?
  4. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Quote:I was wondering the same thing....

    other than that it looks like it will be a good thanksgiving turkey :)
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    He was a BBB.

    Probably was bumble foot. He roosted about 3' high on top of my integration pen. Even at that weight, he could still fly enough to get up there, but the landings were a bit hard on him. Saw that developing the last few weeks.
  6. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    That's a neat setup!! Thanks for sharing!! [​IMG]
  7. Rod W

    Rod W In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2009
    Phelps, Wisconsin
    Excellent post, thank you, I was looking for this exact info! What is the best age to pluck/ process turkeys? I suppose it depends on the type of bird. NO, you don't have anything to worry about as far as toxins. Galvanized metals do give off toxins when cutting with a cutting torch but as long as you are not melting the metal, you don't have anything to worry about.

  8. schmism

    schmism Songster

    Feb 16, 2007
    Peoria IL
    i use a galv trash can ontop of my turkey fryer burner for a scalder. Takes a while to warm up like 40 gal of water but works fine once warm.
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I used hot water in the tub to begin with, which was at 130 degrees from the tap, then boiled another 3 gallons in my turkey fryer pot, and added hot water until I hit 150 degrees. Probably had a total of 8 gallon of water in that tub. Doing a single turkey I just needed enough hot water for a single scald.

    My turkey was 7 moths and I had no issues plucking.
  10. vatterpa

    vatterpa Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Indiana, PA
    I don't know what that turkey did to you, but it sure does look like you got some "payback" [​IMG]

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