Where to start?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Amyh, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really want to get 25 or 50 meat chickens this Fall and process them myself. But, truth be told... I don't really have any knowledge on how to do this, just the desire to do it. I have never killed anything in my life and although I think it would be difficult, I really believe that I can do it for all the benefits to the animals as well as my family.

    I just don't even know where to begin. What type of chickens would I choose? Cornish? How do you feed them? Do they have to be wormed like a laying hen? How do I know they are healthy?

    Is there a book to read? Should I offer to help someone in my area that is slaughtering their flock to learn?
     
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Since you've never done this before I would do some research and then see if you can find someone who is going to butcher to see if you can help. This way you can see if you have the stomach for it. Anyone can do it with some practice. You wouldn't want to have to get in a situation.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Definitely. This is how I learned to process birds. I volunteered my services to a friend who was slaughtering 40 birds- ducks and mixed meat birds. It was a great learning experience. I looked at tons of pictures of butchering and watched videos, but nothing beats doing it hands on with a good teacher. And when you do 40 birds your first time you can do it in your sleep after that.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Volunteer to slaughter someone else's birds, and then raise a batch of 5, get those going and start another batch of 5 a few weeks later, depending on availability at feed stores, etc, and then do your large batch once both of the small batches are moving forward. There is a lot to be learned, but it isn't too difficult. Good for you for giving this a try.

    There will be some death and sadness, and remember, if a bird is not performing well and will not live a quality life, there is no issue with culling. It is a part of the process. If you aren't sure, ask here. Remember, if the bird is 4 or 5 weeks old, and you cull it, you should have a cornish game hen ready for eating.

    Many people don't take responsibility for killing their own food. That is what you are about to do. Your birds will have a better life than any factory bird. remember that as you process them, and say something nice to the bird as you initiate them to freezer camp.
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I too only had the desire to do it also. So I went slow I ordered a small batch from Meyers hatchery. 11 cornish X and I also got 25 freedom rangers from JM hatchery. So far Its not that bad, but they are only 16 days and they are on their way out to the back of our property in pen with lots of shade. They do stink a lot [​IMG] and the brooder needs stirred and new bedding 2 times a day. But all I can think is YUM YUM.
     
  6. n3kms

    n3kms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't raised chickens yet. I wanted to be sure that I could kill them before I started. I found someone in my area that was taking orders for free range, organic fed cornish x. You pay a deposit on how many you want and then they grow them. I ordered 10 and I asked for permission to help process them and they were great with that. I will be doing that next month. So, I will learn the killing and the cleaning and get chickens to take home.
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Best of all worlds. You get to have fresh chicken, learn to process, and don't have to deal with the stench as they grow. Good job.
     
  8. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan to put them in a 10 x 50 pen. How many birds will that hold without being over crowded and also bother the neighbors with the stench?
     

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