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Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by Habibs Hens, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. chickens galore

    chickens galore Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2015
    bridgend south wales uk
    hi every one i live in bridgend south wales, i started of with 6 warrens for eating eggs, but soon got hooked, next came 2 light susex, then i got an incubator and things just went mad.
    6 ayam cermani
    2 pairs of lavender wyandotte 8 of their chicks
    6 poland tolbunts
    6 blue splash orpingtons
    10 0nagador
    7 silkies some smooth some sizzle
    12 mixed breed mutts
    loving them all, but need to reduce some of the mixed roos, trying to decide if i could process them it soung quite complecated
    any advice would be great thanks
    carolyn
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi Carolyn

    In my experience the killing is the hard part. I did lots and lots of research before I attempted it. I had seen a wonderful you tube video of an American lady resting it in her lap and stroking it until it relaxed and then cutting the carotid artery and bleeding it whilst still stroking it. Decided that was a really caring way to do it, but was then informed that it's not legal to bleed them before stunning them here in the UK so I ended up using a broom handle and would strongly recommend that as the best layman's option. Hold upside down by the feet. place broom shank over neck, stand on the broom shank and pull upwards and backwards sharply. If you pull too hard the head becomes detached, but much better to pull too hard than not hard enough and you need the head off anyway at some point.
    I've tried removing the head with an axe afterwards and failed to make a clean job first time, so I'm pleased I didn't go with that means of killing. I'd never manage a clean strike with a live bird if I can't manage it with a dead one and the trauma of getting it wrong would stress me to death!

    Anyway, once it's dead, Hang it and bleed it (cut the carotid artery) and then pluck and eviscerate the carcass. There are some really good you tube videos that show you how to do this. It took me quite a while but I was really pleased with the result. If you dip them before plucking, be prepared for it to smell. I made the big mistake of filling a trug with hot water in the house and then couldn't lift it outside, so I dipped it there in the kitchen.... very bad idea!! I probably wouldn't dip it to pluck it next time. We dry plucked when I was a child and I found that the feathers stuck to my hands when they were wet and it wasn't appreciably easier to pluck having been dipped, but maybe I didn't get the temperature right.

    Anyway, good luck with it. I have 9 more waiting for me to psych myself up to the job.... it's the killing part that's deterring me.

    Do be prepared for them to flap a lot after they have been killed and keep a hold of their feet until they stop.... it can be 30 s to a minute.... feels like a lifetime!.... sorry, I'm not selling this very well[​IMG]

    I do feel quite strongly that anyone who eats chicken should experience this though.

    Anyway, once you have processed it, leave it to rest in the fridge for a couple of days. The best way to cook the carcass is in the slow cooker unless they are only 10-12 weeks old but unless they are proper meat birds you will need to keep them longer than that to be big enough to be worthwhile processing.

    I hope that gives you some insight.

    Good luck with it

    Barbara
     
  3. chickens galore

    chickens galore Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2015
    bridgend south wales uk
    thanks barbara, i tried the broom handle method a few weeks ago, got myself worked up to do the deed, caught Mr T a big wyandotte warren x 6 months old gave him a cuddle and took him somewhere quiet, i did the deed, shed a tear and waited for the flapping to die down, then thinking it wasnt as bad as i thought and i could do this again i lay him down, the flipping thing jumped up and ran down the garden, i obviously didnt pull hard enough, so hes still at large, its getting the carcass ready after that im not to sure about, i have watch the youtube clips, im wondering if i could just pluck the breast and legs and cut them off as we dont really eat much more than that, but the next time a catch him raping a young pullet he had better watch out
    carolyn
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    3,731
    2,418
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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Yes, it's important to be more heavy handed rather than less. I had to euthanaze a poorly pullet the first time and I over egged it and pulled her head clean off. The cockerel was much stronger, and I thought I might not have done it hard enough but thankfully I had. I found cutting the artery to bleed it afterwards took about 10 goes (my knife clearly was not sharp enough) so I was relieved I didn't go for that option either.
    Yes, there is no reason why you can't just pluck and remove the breast and leg/thigh, but you lose out on the carcass to make some nice soup. I actually didn't find the eviscerating all that difficult and with practice I'm sure I will get a lot quicker.... I was very slow but I was really proud that I got it all out without rupturing anything.

    I know what you mean about doing it in the heat of the moment when they are terrorising pullets. My problem is that I ended up banishing them to a bachelor pad to protect my girls and now I just feel sorry for them that they don't have the good, free range life that the others do, which makes it more difficult to kill them! It's got to happen soon though.
     
  5. chickens galore

    chickens galore Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2015
    bridgend south wales uk
    Went down to the pens this morning and found a young pullet with her scalp ripped open, so that was that, he had to go,I did the deed, horrible but quick, I shouldn't have put it off, i now have a injured pullet, lesson learnt. I think its important that new owners realise that its sometimes needed and is our responsibility to cull or get someone else to do it .
    carolyn
     
  6. Luddite

    Luddite Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    South Wales, UK
    Do you eat the chicken skin? If not, it's much easier to 'peel' a carcase. Leave it at least a day for rigor to pass, then cut off the feet and peel the skin back (like undressing, almost), then detach the legs from the body. For the main body, cut off the head and then snip the skin along the back for a way, then peel that back towards the anus, then cut. Once you've peeled them, gutting is much easier, too. Saves all that tedious plucking.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  7. chickens galore

    chickens galore Out Of The Brooder

    61
    3
    31
    May 31, 2015
    bridgend south wales uk
     
  8. chickens galore

    chickens galore Out Of The Brooder

    61
    3
    31
    May 31, 2015
    bridgend south wales uk
    thank you thats what i will try, well thats the plan for tomorrow, he's hanging now [​IMG]
    carolyn
     
  9. Luddite

    Luddite Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    South Wales, UK
    Hope it goes well. Shame I'm not a bit closer, I could demonstrate. I'm in Blaina.
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    3,731
    2,418
    313
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Well done. Did you use the broom stick the second time or some other means? I hope the pullet gets better soon.

    I normally love chicken skin but I have to say, having gone to the trouble of plucking and slow roasting my first cockerel, I found the skin to be the most disappointing part. It was so tough! I had soaked the dressed carcass in a salt bath for a couple of days in the hope of tenderising it so maybe that changed the texture of the skin or maybe it was just that the bird was too old... he was about 30 weeks. The others are now about 50 weeks. I might try peeling the skin and feathers off the next one, but I'm a firm believer that meat has little flavour without fat and the skin is the tastiest part.
     

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