Whats better? Debraining/dry plucking or scalding?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by rainnotebook, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. rainnotebook

    rainnotebook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Northern AZ
    Okay so we are butchering our turkeys this weekend for Thanksgiving. We have butchered chickens before and have scalded them, however in a book we have about turkeys they talk about debraining. My boyfriend thinks that this is probably a better way because of the size of the birds (getting a large enough container to scald them) and because he thinks scalding may affect the skin, which we want to keep on.

    I haven't been able to find a lot of information online about debraining. (surprised about this actually, thought you could find anything on the internet) Anyways I was hoping there were plenty of people online here that have done both and can give the pros and cons about each method. Also if anyone knows of any links online for debraining (I have found plenty on scalding) I would appreciate it!

    I can't believe its already November, seems like a month ago I just got my baby turkeys. They were great pets and I highly suggest having turkeys as pets or meat birds. I love my babies and yes I'm struggling just a little with butchering them, but they are BBB's so I couldn't keep them very long even if I wanted to!

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Find a large cooler, tub, wheel barrow to put your water in and scald them. I'm using an old shop sink. Just scald for 60 seconds in 150 degree water. Have more boiling water nearby to bring the temp up after each bird. Test the release of feathers before scalding some more.

    TG and Chris (my turkeys) hit the butcher block this weekend, and I too am feeling a bit guilty, but I'll be proud when we eat them. Treat them with care and kindness.
     
  3. ultasol

    ultasol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    Another term for 'debraining' is 'pithing'. If you use pithing as a search term you should get more hits in your search.
     
  4. lightfoot

    lightfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2010
    NW minnesota
    I've used the pithing method. The feathers release freely without scalding, except the leading edge of the wings. It is easier for me to use killing cones and pithing.
     
  5. rainnotebook

    rainnotebook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Northern AZ
    Thank you all for your replies. After doing a little research on the term pithing, I see that the bird shouldn't be killed first, which would cause the brain to be scrambled and the bird is alive during this.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=89082

    I want my turkeys to have a very fast painless (as much as possible) death. So it looks like pithing is out of the question. Unless you have done pithing after killing them. Let me know!
     
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    From what I understand, pithing disconnects the brains from the rest of the bird. They supposedly feel nothing from the moment of being pithed, so there would be no pain. Death would come afterwards, but if the brain is disconnected, there can be no pain.

    I'll try pithing a chicken on out big slaughter day, but I am a bit doubtfull that the feathers will just release without scalding.
     
  7. lightfoot

    lightfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i see much confusion about pithing, my comment may have been incomplete/misleading. when dispatching a chicken, i try to keep it calm at all times. i pet it, speak soothing words and don't rush. i place it in the killing cone, belly and beak facing me. i hold the head in my left hand, gently opening the beak. insert the blade to a point between beak and eye press point through to brain and twist blade 180 degrees. a split second is all it takes. eyes close, muscles relax. a quick slice on side of neck and bleed out occurs. no squawking, no flapping of wings. feathers relax and can be pulled out easily. pithing is not killing, it is a disconnection of nerve pain signals to the brain.
     
  8. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Sep 1, 2010
    Henryetta
    Quote:Be sure and know where your supose to aim if you don't go straight back, but up into the skull cap the feathers will be much harder to pull, so I hear anyway. I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject, as this is the method I will do, and from everything I've read, those that aim correctly love the procedure and wouldn't process w/o it, but those that don't have a completely different experiece.
     
  9. johny

    johny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    OK all you pithers.

    If I cut the head off, the brain is disconnected fom the body.

    So why bother trying to do an ice pick lobotomy through the mouth?
    A swift cut to decapitate is much easier and accomplishes the same effect: brain not attached to body.
     
  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Supposedly pithing makes the feathers release easier. That is one reason why folks do that. The other is to relieve the bird from any pain.
     

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