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 Post subject: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:20 am 
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We did 50 last wednesday in about three hours, set up to clean up. Did eighteen more the day before yesterday...total, one hour. We're getting pretty quick. :s_thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:57 am 
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Wow! You have a REAL opperation over there! Do you have a good ol' Whizbang? And how about a slaughter cone? I'm about to do a bunch of roosters; I can't wait!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:21 pm 
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For kill cones I use grout bags (but I hope to make some out of some stainless sheetmetal by spring) hung from heavy strings. If the birds are too heavy for the bags I just hang them by their feet, but they beat around too much when I have to do that. For my scalder, I have a HUGE copper kettle with a turkey frier base hooked up to propane (or over a fire if I need). My picker (not plucker :s_tongue ) is a Featherman model (I traded a guy some concrete work for it). My processing tables are some scrap pieces of granite countertop that I set up on honeybee supers. And my cooling tank is a food grade water/liquid tote (about 250 gallon) with the top cut off.

We can have eight at a time hanging with their necks cut. I can dunk and pluck four at a time. And the evisceration tables can accomodate 4 people (but it really only takes three). So basically the whole thing is a four man operation, me, my two oldest boys and my oldest daughter (she's my champion gut pulling princess :s_crazy )

One person gets the birds hanging and puts finished birds in the tank. Another person slices necks, dunks and plucks and helps eviscerate when time allows (that's me because I'm dad and try to do the most). The other two just eviscerate (that's plenty to do).


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:16 pm 
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LOL! Well that is something else. I might twist my ladies' arms to help out, but Im the executioner/feather-plucker/gut-puller round these parts...


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:43 pm 
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Well git her ta make sum ore yunguns so they can pull guts with ya. :wink:

My girl not only pulls chicken guts, but she can run the kitchen by herself and do almost as good a job as her mama. She's a good hand in the garden, she's well read, smart (but not too smart), loves YHVH with all her heart and she's quite a looker to boot if I might say so my own self....and she's only 13...so I'm trying to keep them boys off'n my porch :aggressive:


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Texas Jon wrote:
LOL! Well that is something else. I might twist my ladies' arms to help out, but Im the executioner/feather-plucker/gut-puller round these parts...


I help Alan clean the birds after the kill. I don't like it though. Very stinky.LOL

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:42 pm 
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It's funny how bad they smell on the butchering table, but how good they smell in a pot. :s_yes

VW, do you save the feet? They make the best broth y'know.


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:35 pm 
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That's a good set up you have. Have worked the same way on a much smaller scale, and it's very efficient.

I didn't have killing cones. I used a thick wad of news papers. You can use duct tape to keep the wings from flapping.

I had a bucket with a plastic bag lining that I set under the chicken to catch the blood after cutting the throats. It made a huge difference in the clean up.

I sure do miss fresh meat!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:55 pm 
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We catch the blood in buckets too and compost it.


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:14 pm 
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priest wrote:
Well git her ta make sum ore yunguns so they can pull guts with ya. :wink


Not sure if that's possible, but we still try these seventeen years. My little country girl told me she'll help yank out guts with me though... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:45 am 
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Judith wrote:
That's a good set up you have. Have worked the same way on a much smaller scale, and it's very efficient.

I didn't have killing cones. I used a thick wad of news papers. You can use duct tape to keep the wings from flapping.

I had a bucket with a plastic bag lining that I set under the chicken to catch the blood after cutting the throats. It made a huge difference in the clean up.

I sure do miss fresh meat!


Man, you seem to be doing it the hard way.This is how Alan butchers a bird.

He has a clothes line hung up in the butchering area. He has a wooden block w/ 2 nails in it so you can put the head over the nails they are on either side of the neck and holds the bird still.

Before butchering, he ties a rope around the leg, w/ a loop. He holds the bird's legs, and lays the bird on the ground so He can grab its neck. He then, puts the head where it goes, holds the legs, then uses a machete to to the deed. Then he is holding the bird upside down so it can bleed out. It flaps and even squawks. (the voice box is lower than the head you cut off. Very scary if not expecting it.) Any hoo, then after the bird quits moving, he ties it to the clothes line with the rope w/ the loop. It does not take him 5 minutes to do this.

Oh and btw, we live in the woods, so there is no clean up of the blood on the ground. It isn't done right in our yard though.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:33 am 
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Two words: Kill Cone.

The meat is more tender if you slice its throat and bleed it out prior to cutting its head off because the brain is still sending signals to the heart to pump the blood, thus making the bird fall peacefully asleep before expiring. If the head is severed first, like we used to do as kids and watch the dude flop around comically, then the last thing the brain tells its body to do is tense up and go into shock, rendering the meat "tough as an old bird".


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Texas Jon wrote:
Two words: Kill Cone.

The meat is more tender if you slice its throat and bleed it out prior to cutting its head off because the brain is still sending signals to the heart to pump the blood, thus making the bird fall peacefully asleep before expiring. If the head is severed first, like we used to do as kids and watch the dude flop around comically, then the last thing the brain tells its body to do is tense up and go into shock, rendering the meat "tough as an old bird".


Hey, I like that. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:34 pm 
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[quote="Texas Jon"]Two words: Kill Cone.

The meat is more tender if you slice its throat and bleed it out prior to cutting its head off because the brain is still sending signals to the heart to pump the blood, thus making the bird fall peacefully asleep before expiring. If the head is severed first, like we used to do as kids and watch the dude flop around comically, then the last thing the brain tells its body to do is tense up and go into shock, rendering the meat "tough as an old bird".[/quote

Exactly TJ, The issue is trauma. With a SHARP knife the neck veins can be sliced without causing trauma. The bird can still breathe just fine and doesn't sense the damage till it begins to grow woozy.

There is, then, no major pheromone dump into the meat.

Respect for the animals life and welfare even as death ensues is the heart of kosher kill. Yah is wise.. :good:


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:18 am 
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yep..absolutely.

We changed our ways after one of our chickens got loose, headless it ran about and then dived into an open cellar window (where bedrooms) onto my daughter's bed and bled there. It took a few min. to run into the house and down the stairs to retrieve the bird...what a mess!

Also, if you hang the bird by it's feet for a while before making the kill, it just seems to relax and take a quiet nap. It's so much easier than hanging on to a flapping bird!

We didn't have killing cones..we "made them" with news papers. And yes, it makes a huge difference to bleed it out first. In the old days when we ate rabbit, we used the same process, sans cones.

Noticeable improvements include what you said about less suffering and more tender meat, but also a lack of bruising through the neck and into shoulders. No dirt in the stub either.

It does take a few min. to set up, but if you have a lot to do, it's a whole lot easier and efficient with improved quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken processing
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:05 pm 
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I love these tips.

I definitely believe in respecting the animal when making a kill. If I did it, I would pick the way that I would prefer if it was done to me. So far, I like your way (Judith) the best. Oh and that was funny about the headless bird. I know it was not funny to you but dang! LOL My garden hose (temporarily) comes from the basement out of the outside wood shoot. Occasionally I forget to close the wood shoot and worry about a skunk getting in there and thus having free range of the whole house. LOL Alan has hooked up the new outside faucet, but being as it is winter, I feel the water draining in the hose down to the basement is less likely to freeze (as long as I remember to turn the hose off. LOL

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