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We did it ! OH my goodness! :D

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by calamtykel, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. calamtykel

    calamtykel In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    Unable to lock down a processor who didn't want $8 a bird, after my own processor backed out, I decided to tackle this project on our own. I really had no choice as they weren't getting any younger! I had 26 Cornish X and now 12 are done, cleaned and in the freezer!

    I just want to encourage anyone that if you really want to (or NEED to, as in my case) do this, you CAN do it! Myself (a mom of four) and two of my female friends tackled this task ALONE with the assistance of my four kids, 8 to 16. My husband was working for most of the time, but he arrived home in time to see us plucking and about to gut. And we did! He was a little apprehensive at first, but he jumped in and helped too!

    None of us had any real prior processing experience except for my one friend who had watched her grandmother do this 45 years ago.

    We don't even have any special equipment - we just made do with what we had. Some items we found helpful - two coolers and a couple of bags of ice , some lined garbage cans, a package of 50 count surgical gloves (yes, if you have helpers, you want this many because you will keep changing them), a bottle of spray bleach (for cleaning the table and cutting boards in between birds) and a containers of disinfecting wipes.

    My friend brought over a double hot plate which we used to heat the water outside with an extension cord. It took a long time for the water to get to the right temp, but it was a chilly day. I used a giant stock pot - (really giant - 16 quarts). While that was heating, we killed the first six. I hung them with twine by the feet from the frame of a large piece of dog run fencing I had loose in the hard. I just pulled the door open and it made a "T" shape and I leaned the other side against a peach tree.

    I will not say it was easy - I was queasy and shaky when we were doing the first one, and frankly we didn't cut deep enough and it took a a minute or two for the bird to bleed out - was holding it during this time and it was hard! :( . I tried cutting it again but I just don't think we were aggressive enough. I decided I could NOT do that again - I was almost in tears and I was ready to back out from doing any more. So we got a pair of very sharp pruning clippers - they have a little rounded crook in them - this was perfect - I held the bird's head while my friend made a fast clip across the neck, so it cut both sides of the neck and it bled out and died instantly. MUCH more humane and more manageable for someone who has trouble with the killing part.

    Once they were done, we hosed them down and dunked them and were shocked that the four kids who didn't even want to be outside, came out and started plucking with us! We had a folding table set up with the laptop on it, so that we could reference some of the FABULOUS tutorial blogs and Youtube videos for every step.

    The first time the three of us gutted our first birds, it must have taken 25 minutes a bird. By the end, we were taking 5 minutes or less. We were so afraid of breaking something the first six but once we got the "feel" for the inside of the bird, we had it down, and instead of the birds being done looking mutilated, they were perfect oven stuffer looking! :) The first six seemed to take forever, but we banged out the next six in an hour and a half or so!

    We kept them on ice (even though it was cold) and after my friends left, I brought all 12 in, finished plucking the stray feathers and washed them very very well, and then double bagged them. They dressed out about 4-5lb. My cornish are about 9 weeks old, so I think this is a little small for them, but they do a lot of free ranging and are very active for Cornish so it's okay. We'll probably do the last of them next week if we get a nice day.

    I am so incredibly proud of, and amazed at us three ladies - I feel like we learned a new skill that our ancestors knew, and now we know it! If you're wondering if you can do this - yes, you can. It really wasn't as gross as I thought - just time consuming and very very tiring! But it's a "good" tired!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
  3. thejohnsie

    thejohnsie In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Marion, NC
    Thanks for this post. I will be doing this for the first time in a week or so. Good to hear from someone in the same boat.
  4. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    Congrats to you all. It only gets better. A real "good" tired. Nice
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Well done!
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Good for you!!!!!! You saved a ton of money at $8 each that was $96 and you now know how to do it yourself.
  7. Joe Jordan

    Joe Jordan Chirping

    Apr 12, 2012
    Neat! Maybe you could do your own "how to" video?

  8. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chirping

    Jul 17, 2012
    This is a great line and a wonderful way of thinking. Congrats. What an inspiration.
  9. calamtykel

    calamtykel In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    We had the laptop right out there with us (on a different table!) so we could look stuff up as we went. This blog was invaluable because of the pictures involved.


    And the Youtube videos were helpful too.

    Made soup with my first one and it was fantastic. I can't believe that there is no fat and all meat.
  10. GulfStar

    GulfStar Chirping

    Sep 13, 2012
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    Good job, it's great that the kids helped. It'll teach them to appreciate where their food come from.

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