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Want to process a single bronze turkey...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. ...and it will be a one-person-operation.
    Hi! I have a bronze tom that I want to process. My first problem is I know I can't just pick him up and take him to the cones, like a duck or chicken. He got in the wrong pen the other day, and I couldn't even pick him up to put him over the fence. He put me on my butt and then came right back checking for treats.
    Should I slip a 'feedbag with a hole in the corner for his head' at night, and scoot him out to the dressing-out area.
    Since he's too big for me to even think of dunking and scalding, I'll be skinning him --- but mostly, I'm worried about getting him subdued and properly bled-out (without me getting wounded).

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:That's what I did for both my 50lb toms, only difference was I walked them to the dressing area and bagged them up there because it would have been harder to carry them to the dressing area.

    I did scald though, used a 30? gallon trash can, rope around the legs and one of the roof support beams.
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    1. Get someone to help you with the kill if at all possible.
    2. If you can't get suitable help, subdue using the bag method. You could even wrap the bag in duct tape once you have the bird in there to keep him from breaking a wing, hurting you or escaping. A few well placed wraps would do. Start above the legs and work towards the head to the base of the neck. Leave the feet accessable.
    3. Get a pulley with an eye, $3 or so. Attach to a rafter or some other structure sturdy enough to hold the bird. A flat work area would be needed.

    4. Run some 1/4" rope through the pulley, tie off to the legs of the bird, hoist upside down, tie off to something sturdy, cut the jugular and let him bleed out into a bucket.
    5. Take some water that you have already heated up to 145-150 degrees, place in a large cooler, bucket, garbage can, etc., under the dead bird. Add some liquid dish soap, then lower and scald the bird for 60-90 second, or until wing feathers release easily. Hoist back up, pluck.
    6. Put a card table under the bird, lower it down, eviscerate.
    7. Hoist the bird up, clean table, rinse out bird, lower into an ice bath, remove feet and wrap for the freezer.

    8. Invite me for dinner.
  4. 1. Get someone to help you with the kill if at all possible.

    I asked, and my husband said he'd go buy a turkey ready to cook IF I wanted to cook a turkey.
    It kind of seems like a waste of energy to heat 25 gals of water to scald one turkey. I've been skinning chickens and ducks again lately (I always skinned them before until I wanted some whole ducks to smoke, so I started scalding and plucking).
    Skinning is so much easier for me. If I feel enthusiastic enough, I might heat water and do the turkey and some duck-boys at the same swoop. Honestly, the turkey has me a little intimidated.
  5. Jared77

    Jared77 Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Howell, MI
    Can anybody elaborate on the bag subdue method?
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Water from your tap is 130-140 degrees. Add 5 gallons of boiling water. Done. You won't need 25-30 gallons, maybe 10 gallons total. Use ice to bring the water down to the right temp if it is too hot. A biotherm (pocket thermometer) is less than $5.

    You mean to tell me that he won't help you with the kill portion? Seriously? He can't spare 5-10 minutes to rig the pulley set up and safely subdue the bird, that is all it would take. How many things do you help him with? 2 pulleys would be even better, reducing the effort to raise and lower the bird by half.

    As far as the waste of energy, how much energy did you put into raising the bird? Do it the right way, you'll be much happier. It is kind of like hunting. People spend thousands on gas, equipment, time and effort, and then scrimp on the ammunition that is going to bring the animal down.

    Bag subdue. Cut a corner in a feed bag allowing for a hole 5-6 inches across. Corner said turkey, slip bag over head and get the head in the hole. The bag will keep it from successfully flapping its wings and thrashing you. Use some duct tape and start wrapping the bag tightly against the body from the neck to the feet. Not a solid wrap, more like a barber pole wrap. Leave the feet accessible. This may be harder than it seems.

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