What do I need for Processing Day?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 8, 2013
We are (we think) just a couple of weeks away from processing our first few CX. They will be our first! I've been reading and researching all the how to but this is a question of with what? What do we need to be ready?

Kill cone
Kill knife
large pot of water at temp for scalding/plucking
cooler with ice water
filleting knife
butcher knife
bags or freezer paper/tape (Suggestions?)
refrigerator space

What am I missing?

Thanks All! I feel like we couldn't have done any of this with out the massive support of BYC members.
I just did 30 birds (29 FR/Rosambros and 1 SFH).

We used the following:

Limb lopper to cut their neck
Bungee cord to hang with to bleed them after death
Pop up tent to hang from (no trees to speak of)
21 quart canning pot to scald in
3 large pots to heat water in, and we periodically poured fresh hot water into thr canning pot. They just sat on the stove until needed.
Auto plucker (but I did have my team of young adult helpers, who had never done it before, pluck one by hand)
Needle nose pliers to pull any feathers left
Shrink wrap bags: BEST investment ever
Knives: I bought a $15 dollar kit at Walmart and a $15 filet knife. We didn't use that filet knife at all. My friends brought a $60 game processing kit, and TBH, that kit had all the scissors and knives we needed. Mostly, we used a knife to make a few cuts and the heavy game shears.
We cut most of the birds into butterflied birds, then cut them in half again down the backbone, and my friend vacuum packed a lot, but the shrink bags blew her away. We were kind of wishing we had just done that the whole time.
Ice chests with ice and water. We needed 2 huge coolers for that many birds. Mine are still resting in my ice chest on ice outside. I have no idea how big that chest is. It takes 2 people to carry it when empty.
Running water: we used the hose and set up where it could easily run away from the house and where we were walking. Used it to rinse birds, knives, hands, everything.
Bleach and a spray bottle. They sometimes leaked poop when pressure was applied to the guts. It happens. Wiped up and sprayed a bit of very dilute bleach water then rinsed.
Plastic table cloth: we did it all, except vac packing, outside. We did a batch, ran the hose and bleach over the table to clean up, then caught and killed more. I have a long banquet type table that we set up in the pasture and used. It was lovely to sit down to clean birds.
Trash bags for feathers.
Gut bucket

We did not use a kill cone, but these birds were so huge we regretted that. But I have killed less heavy birds successfully and easily without a cone. I suspect that if we had cut their throats and let them bleed out instead of cutting their necks, they would not have flapped so hard they broke their own wings. We solved that by having my large man friend hold them down to steady them while I cut them. Instant death, but the breaking of the wings was disturbing.
Wow. That's some good play by play of materials. Thanks so much.

BTW. We are also homeschooling 4 at 8 and younger (2 boys, 2 girls, 1 of each of school age). The birds are certainly easier!

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