we're gonna butcher our first birds tomorrow

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Win, May 9, 2007.

  1. Win

    Win Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Waterloo, SC
    My wife and I have 30 black sex-links (15 male). They are all 2 months old now. Tomorrow we will make our first attempt at poultry processing. We are aiming to do 5 birds (1/3 of our meat birds).

    I've read all I can about butchering but this is all new to me. I've got a restraining cone and a couple good knives. I also have a turkey fryer for scalding.

    Are there any really important or useful tips that they don't tell you in the books.

    Will ziplock freezer bags work to preserve chickens?

    I've read that it's better to age the cacasses in an ice water bath for 6 hours before freezing them. Anybody do this?

    Thanks for any input.

    PS: this site is great. I've enjoyed exploring the posts.
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Well....we just processed 5 of ours today. CornishX. We did not have a cone.....just a hatchet, and a tree stump. Everything went fine. Even my grandson helped, he is 6 yrs old. He is a natural at plucking!!
    we had a good fire in the burn pit...and threw feathers and "all" in as we went....had a pot of water on the fire for scalding before plucking...and a clean bucket of water for rinsing.
    The funny thing is...we have contracters out putting in a new brick chimney...aftre we got started with the processing....those boys can work fast!! They wathced us carry chickens from the coop, and asked...." whatcha doin" To which I replied " Filling the freezer" They never spoke to us for the rest of the day, just stayed busy. LOL

    I have never heard of the ice water thing....we just cleaned, washed and put them in food saver bags...well 4 went to the freezer, one went in the rotisserie. YUM!! Now THATS fresh! The zip lock will be ok, but not for long...it lets too much air in, and they might get freezer burn. Maybe wrap them in plastic wrap really tight before you put them in the bag.
    Good luck with your processing...and enjoy the fresh meat!
     
  3. Win

    Win Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Waterloo, SC
    About killing the birds. I see alot of y'all cut the heads off. From much of my reading (books, extension articles) I've heard that chopping heads off does not let the carcass bleed out completely. Many sources say to cut the jugular vein so the the heart pumps a few times and leaves a cleaner bird. Does anyone do this? How hard is it to do?
     
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Hmmmmm, I dont know. Mine bled out pretty well! They do flop around a bit....but when we went to clean out the bird, no blood. I just did it the only way I was raised to do....hatchet and wood stump.
     
  5. lively Bee's

    lively Bee's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Tools I use

    8" chef knife
    2" paring knife
    2' of 14 ga wire
    kettle of water if I am going to pluck
    Cable cutters
    Cooler


    Tie the feet with the wire and hang up on a tree limb I use the stake hole on my dump turck. Now remove the head with the 8" knife now lay it aside get another bire and do the same I repeat untill I have 5 hanging most roos dont have meat on the wings so I use cable cutters and cut the wings off and pitch them in with the head. Remove the wire scald and pluck hold the feet and dunk and turn over a time or two. use paring knife and gut use cable cutters and cut off feet and pitch in to cooler "helps to keep bugs off" time from kill to complite 25 - 30 min

    Now if you wont to skin them out then here we go Tie, Remove head, Repeat untill you have 5, clip wings, pluck feathers at the neck only cut skin down the back of the neck to the body work it loose with your fingers and the hold the neck and pull the skin from the bird "feathers and all" pitch in with head pluck tail feathers gut and cut off feet pitch in cooler. time from kill to kettle 8 - 10 mins

    Remove from cooler and wash off birds wrap in platic wrap and put in freezer bag and your done
     
  6. Win

    Win Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Waterloo, SC
    Thanks folks. Todays the day. If I don't screw up to bad we'll have our first homegrown chicken for Mother's Day!

    Wish us luck!
     
  7. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry guys, I should not have read this as I am vegetarian but i dont judge others either.
    Perhaps the other chickens should not see their mates getting butchered. Can you do it privately?
    Im sure stress will affect the flavour??
    Happy mothers day
    Helen
     
  8. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry, my mistake, I went to the wrong heading"meat birds" in error as I clicked on "topics since last visit" and didnt notice the heading.
    Fogive me for being sooky but ive been in a very sooky mood tonite with sick boy, sick me, no petrol, no dollars, tommorrow better be a better day.
    Helen
     
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:My wife will hold the chicken upside down by the feet bring the head up to the feet and grip the chicken feet and head together so that the neck is exposed. Then slit the neck or jugular vein with a very sharp vegetable cleaver then bleed the chicken while holding it, it will flap its wing a bit but not for long. No need for a cone or chopping the head off.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2007
  10. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:We will never butcher our chickens so that the others can see.
     

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