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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Part 1 of a two part video of practical processing. He does things a little quick but he shows good skill and explanations. This is how country folks do it up. I'm a little more slow and deliberate in my movements than is Russ but the basic process is the same...I use a cone made from a sturdy bleach jug now instead of tying one up.


Part 2 of the How to Process a Chicken

 

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I use a stump with two nails in it, just wide enough for the head. Pull back the legs and chop the head off with a hatchet. Remove the insides, dip in scolding water and pluck. Sometimes I will just skin it depending on how I plan to cook. I butcher as I go, if I want to cook the bird that day I butcher that morning. Simple as can be. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use a cone or two now...made from a 2 gal. bleach jug. It lets me take my time and frees my hands up. It's sturdy and contains movement so that I'm not getting blood sprayed all over the bird or my clothes. I've just found it to be more efficient and a time saver, so I like it better than other methods now.

We used to use the hatchet and block way back in the day but we are usually doing more than one bird, so that repeated positioning, bending, swinging and the bird flopping all over and getting blood on the feathering has become a thing of the past for me~too much wasted motion and frantic movement for my taste. I enjoy the calm quiet of the bleed out method and the cleaner feathering that results.

Here's a pic of a bleach jug cone..the plastic is more sturdy than milk jugs, it can hold the largest chickens and also the small, it cradles the shoulders better so that the bird cannot flop out of it like it can with the more sharply tapered aluminum or traffic cones.

 

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Both the video and the pictures were really helpful. I'm still torn between using the noose method and slitting throat or using cone. What is the benefit to slitting throat vs just chopping off head? I hope to make the slaughter as peaceful and quick as possible. It's not something I'm entirely comfortable with yet but I am coming around to it. If I can eat meat I should be able to be the one to do it otherwise I feel like kind of a hypocrite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They seem to bleed out more completely when one just slits the throat, as the heart is still pumping the blood out of the body for seconds longer then when decapitation occurs...and that few seconds more is all it takes to move what little blood a chicken has out of the body.

When just cutting of the head, some of the initial flow is cardiac driven and then it must come out via gravity...which can't really happen from the fine vessels located deeper in the body and muscle tissues.

That's the only real difference..the amount of blood expelled from the meat. The longer and better bleed out yields a product that stays fresher longer and has less of a strong flavor. Just those 5-10 seconds longer of bleed out can make the difference between a good product...and a better one.

Who wouldn't want a better product?
 

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Gotta say - we just harvested a couple if our chickens this morning and slitting the throat while they are hanging was not pleasant in MYO. They flapped and blood got all over their wings and it was just a mess. Even tried putting them down into a dark garbage can but it was still most unpleasant. Hubby is going to fashion a killing cone
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gotta say - we just harvested a couple if our chickens this morning and slitting the throat while they are hanging was not pleasant in MYO. They flapped and blood got all over their wings and it was just a mess. Even tried putting them down into a dark garbage can but it was still most unpleasant. Hubby is going to fashion a killing cone
All chicken deaths are rather unpleasant and all methods generally result in the same flapping, blood everywhere..make a mess. However, I find the cone contains the thrashing and flapping a good bit, thus reducing the spraying of blood far distances. It also is less dramatic as the wings are pinned and the animal is cradled effectively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I love this guy. This is the same video I watched a few weeks ago when I butchered my first roo.
Me too...all business and ALL country! Love it! He's a little quicker and more abrupt than I am..I generally don't move the birds so fast or as casually, but it's all the same in the end. The job gets done, gets done quickly and with a minimal of fuss and anxiety.
 

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Yeah, they broke their wings with the flapping. I feel bad that their deaths were more unpleasant than we had hoped due to our inexperience. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here are some general processing pics...the lady in the pics is my antique manual plucker, The Ol' Bat. :D



Cutting around the vent...



The vent and attached bowel cut free and pulled out to show what the completed step looks like...



Knife point showing where ovary is located in a chicken. This is a very young CX meat bird, so the ovary is undeveloped and doesn't look as a mature hens would...



Peeling the inner lining of the gizzard. This is the lining that sloughs off and is expelled in the feces when it gets worn out..and a fresh layer of mucosa is underneath, ready to grind food!



Place to start the cut for bleeding out..either side will do or even cutting straight across the neck is fine. It's all the same in the end.



Examples of internal organs and what they look like....shown here is a bile duct, lungs, testicles of two sizes, kidneys, a spleen, livers and hearts.



This one shows these organs with the digestive tract included...the gizzard can be seen as the rounded object in the middle...



Birds awaiting processing....



And birds awaiting the packaging for the freezer....

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another good vid of processing but this one is on skinning a bird and removing the meat off the carcass for canning, but without gutting the chicken.

 

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Bee said:
Here are some general processing pics...the lady in the pics is my antique manual plucker, The Ol' Bat. :D

Cutting around the vent...

The vent and attached bowel cut free and pulled out to show what the completed step looks like...

Knife point showing where ovary is located in a chicken. This is a very young CX meat bird, so the ovary is undeveloped and doesn't look as a mature hens would...

Peeling the inner lining of the gizzard. This is the lining that sloughs off and is expelled in the feces when it gets worn out..and a fresh layer of mucosa is underneath, ready to grind food!

Place to start the cut for bleeding out..either side will do or even cutting straight across the neck is fine. It's all the same in the end.

Examples of internal organs and what they look like....shown here is a bile duct, lungs, testicles of two sizes, kidneys, a spleen, livers and hearts.

This one shows these organs with the digestive tract included...the gizzard can be seen as the rounded object in the middle...

Birds awaiting processing....

And birds awaiting the packaging for the freezer....
Your an amazing lady Bee I truly look up to u thanks for sharing the pics.
 

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I used this thread when I processed my cornish cross birds. It was exactly the tool I needed. I just followed the steps and though I was nervous and slightly sqeamish everything went according to plan. My birds dressed out at 8 lbs, 8.6, 9.4, and 10lbs. Amazing. We have eaten three and one in the freezer. Thanks for all the info. I couldnt have done it so well without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow! Good finishing weights! Excellent results for a first time meat bird project. Thanks for the feedback, it really helps. :)

Did you take any pics you'd like to post here?
 

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Hope the pics show up. Here was one of my sweet birds. Before and after. I placed a pencil beside to show scale. We were so impressed with their size. I have baked two in the oven and fried one. Absolutely delicious. Amazing amount of meat. Especialy breast meat. We didnt get any pics of the processing. Had my hands full getting it done. Hubby helped but couldnt stomach getting directly involved. My 13 year old daughter petted them and held them still so my hubby could bring them to me one at a time. My son who is 8 stood with him and watched what I did. We thanked these sweet birds for the meals they would make us and for being sweet pretty birds and then I just did it. My son prayed and asked jesus to take them to the chicken coop in heaven. Lol. These videos were absolutely my lifeline. I rewatched them through the whole process all the way through dressing them out. It got smoother with each bird. My kids were relieved of their sadness as soon as I sat a huge platter of fried chicken on the table.
 

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