Your favorite butchering tools

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by FutureChickenMan, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    Hey everybody.. collecting information on what you believe is your favorite butchering tools. (knives, gutters, pluckers, dispatchers etc)

    In another thread there was a discussion of wringing necks, chopping off heads with axes, slicing necks with knives.. then I saw a link about a dispatcher. Which made me wonder if anybody had ever tried a pair of garden loppers.

    The cradle on the bottom of the dispatcher is very similar to the cradle on the lopper.

    So I thought, why couldn't you screw the handle of the cradle side of the lopper down to a table (cut handle to length needed, leave cutting blade handle length alone). Put a couple of nails down for the head to go in stretching the neck over the lopper cradle. You could then hold the feet with one hand and give the top handle of the lopper a quick pull down. Like a guillotine.

    Anyway, what tools do you find indispensable when butchering your chickens?
  2. A sharp knife and a stone to touch up the edge every few birds. That's it. I slice the necks and let them bleed out, then pluck or skin depending on what I'm doing, then gut with the same knife. Legs and neck are trimmed with the same knife.

    I have seen lopers used for triming necks and I know often it takes 2 goes so I would not use them for the killing.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I don't think the lopers will give you a clean kill on the first cut.

    The best for me is a good sharp knife. One that feels good in my hand and I can use well. My husband sharpens it for me before every processing session.

    Also we have a cooker that we use to keep water boiling. Very handy when plucking more than a few birds in a session.
  4. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I've been keeping my hatchet sharp and usig it for almost everything.
    A big sharp knife is essential too.

    Tried the poultry shears - Lousy

    Still would like to try a good heavy cleaver.
  5. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    Quote:ooh yeah thats no good. if you're gonna lop the head you have to get it off in one shot.
  6. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    loppers can work, but i would say not a clean kill. have used them when had nothing else, but other tools mentioned are better.
  7. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We do not remove the head so that is why we slice the throat and bleed the chicken. Our favorite tool would have to be a very sharp cleaver.
  8. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Just a note: Seen a lot of sharp knife preferences, about 20 years ago I discovered the Lansky sharpening system for my hunting knives. Its fool proof in that any fool can make any knife able to shave your face. FYI
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:But, the most overlooked sharpener is the "Steel". This is not a brand name, it is merely a straight metal rod with verticle grooves designed to sharpen a knife. While most people think that this is only used on fancy carving cutlery (like when you're getting ready to carve your Christmas turkey), that is wrong. A steel is required to remove the slight folding of the metal on the blade when it is sharpened and, without a steel, it is almost impossible to get a razor like edge on your knife. These are also great when you need a quick resharpening on a knife that is not quite sharp enough.
  10. beebiz

    beebiz Songster

    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Quote:Ditto!!! I'd like to add that I've tried many kinds of sharpening steels and have found that the steels that have diamond pieces in them work the best.... especially for knives with stainless steel blades. But, if you are sharpening a knife with exceptionally rigid steel, you have to be careful using the steels that have the verticle grooves. Many times the grooves will cause tiny pits in the blade's edge; rendering it dull. With those types of knives, I use a smooth sharpening steel. And, it works great on them.

    As for using loppers to dispatch, I have tried it. I tried a pair that had not yet been used on anything else. It did not give a clean kill. As soon as I could release the flailing bird from the loppers, I cut its throat with my pocket knife. I keep my pocket knife sharp enough to shave hogs with. And, I have found it to be a wonderful knife for dispatching. I hang the bird upside down by it's feet. I then use my pocket knife to cut the bird's throat. But, I do not remove its head. I do like Barnyard Dawg does, and allow the bird to bleed out. I've also learned that if you allow the bird to hang upside down for 5 to 10 minutes, it seems to put them in a "relaxed" state; and they don't flop around so much.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: