When is the time right To butcher turkeys?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by TommyDaDelaware, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. TommyDaDelaware

    TommyDaDelaware Songster

    Aug 24, 2012
    Central WI.
    Some of my toms (At least 3) are ready to be butchered.. I think they are all the bigger they will get. They are Sweetgrass X Bronze. and they have been getting so agressive. I go out there, and one bird is dragging the other one around with its beak stuffed in his throat!! I'm ready to butcher, but I know with ducks, you have to wait until a certain time of year, like when they are not molting. so, when should I butcher my turkeys for the best cleaning? and What is the best Method of doing so? my grandmother told me to "Brain" Them with an Ice pick or knife, so the feathers just fall out... Any other helpful hints? We've done Chickens, but NEVER turkeys...

  2. flocksalot

    flocksalot Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    You can butcher the turkeys now if you like, but isn't it kind of cold? We just got a half a foot of snow with more on the way and the temp is going to drop like an anvil falling off a cliff. I might actually have to close the windows on the chicken coops tomorrow. No way would I be up for butchering a turkey or anything.

    As for debraining it's pretty easy if you can hold on to the turkey. I'm not strong enough so I just hang em and bleed em. When my hubby is around he can hold them and then its pretty easy for me. Does make cleaning them that much quicker.

    Cleaning turkeys is pretty much like cleaning chickens in my opinion. The biggest difference for me is if I forget the oil gland. Not such a big deal on a chicken, but not so good on an older turkey. Sometimes I just get going and then I have to go back and double check my work.

    They should be done with their molt which would be the biggest reason to wait. Those pin feathers are a real pain, and take the most time in cleaning.

    I think I would take out the biggest aggressor first, but I'm a softie and always want to coddle the weaker ones. That is until it's time to pick breeders. Don't want those panty waists breeding and ending up with more work.

    I hope it warms up enough so you can get the job done.
  3. Celie

    Celie Songster

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I would say at least 3 days before you plan to cook or freeze them. Turkeys are as easy to pluck as chickens, if you raise white feathered ones, the darker feathered ones take a little longer. Just make sure your scalding water is at 155 degrees and when the primary wing and tail feathers are loose, you are ready to start plucking![​IMG]

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