Topic-icon Homekill for Poultry?

  • InCusterdy
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06 Oct 2018 21:28 #542654 by InCusterdy

I'm kind of thinking I already know the answer to this one, because there's nobody advertising the service, but are there no homekill services for chickens? We were thinking about raising some meat birds, but it would be nice to be able to drop them off somewhere to be transformed into meat. This doesn't seem to be something that's done? Do most lifestylers who raise their own chickens just DIY the whole process?

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07 Oct 2018 10:15 #542668 by LongRidge

I would imagine that $10 each to get someone to process them would not pay for the processors time, so after that cost it would be very expensive meat. And whether a homekill butcher has a licence to do poultry would be another factor. You will have to learn to do it yourself :-(.

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07 Oct 2018 11:07 #542670 by Sue

Look up a Youtube video to show you how to do it, or get a neighbour (?) with chooks to demonstrate.

Depends where you live but I doubt there is any home kill outfit that does it.
I do know there used to be a small poultry processor in Levin that would do small batches but he had a lot of issues and maybe closed down now. The bigger processors will not take on outside birds due to biosecurity constraints.


Sue
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07 Oct 2018 15:40 #542676 by InCusterdy

Thanks! I kind of figured that would probably be the deal.

I have watched a lot of YT videos on the subject, but was hoping there was an easier way that didn't involve killing the birds myself. It makes sense though, with the low fee per bird, etc.

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09 Oct 2018 14:05 #542707 by max2

InCusterdy wrote: Thanks! I kind of figured that would probably be the deal.

I have watched a lot of YT videos on the subject, but was hoping there was an easier way that didn't involve killing the birds myself. It makes sense though, with the low fee per bird, etc.


Don't worry I haven't done any in recent years as I felt I was adding to the animals grief and not ending it humanely enough. Something I have considered doing though is cutting off the tip of a plastic road ''witches hat'' and strapping to a fence post upside down or such like. Then putting bird in and going for it with an axe (trying not to close eyes) where the neck and head would dangle out.

At least my body parts won't be associated with holding said bird with potential loss of limb.

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09 Oct 2018 14:48 #542708 by John M

It's more mind over matter to be honest. We process our own. My wife and teenage niece did 31 meat chickens yesterday in 4 hours.

I tried the traffic cone... wrong shape, too tapered for the meat birds. I shouldn't be soo tight and just buy a dedicated cone. We ahve used the pole over back of neck and pull, in a bag with corner cut off and swing with a meat cleaver. Personally, I prefer a cleaver to an axe as more managable.

A large tub with hot water (old kettle element hanging in) dunk them in for 30 seconds then direct into the rotary plucker (yeah I bought one) and they come out with few feathers remaining.

SHARP boning knife is key to good processing. Head and legs off, cut around back end and gut them quickly and cleanly. Tidy up carcass then drop into large tub of cold water to chill.

Every so often, take processed birds in, clean again and pat dry. Wrap in butcher film then direct into the freezer.

Admittedly, this is our 4th of 5th year doing poultry for our own use. We have done ducks, chooks and turkeys. Nothing special, but repetition helps. I have no doubt that we don't dress to professional standards, but we are particular about trteating them humanely, dispatching quickly, general cleanliness, cleaning and chilling quickly then freezing asap.
The plucker was a life saver! Cost maybe $900 but it will last years well and makes a huge difference for us.

John


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Full shedding, easy care, good feet, easy lambing and good mothering is what it takes to make the breeding cut!
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09 Oct 2018 19:25 #542715 by Farmersden

The cone of death - cut up traffic cone - is perfect for ducks. Our experience with chicken to axe off heads or stretch their necks! Hubby and I split the job, he kills them and I pluck and clean them. Best if you can find someone locally who will walk you through the whole process it gives you confidence and confidence means a quicker job for the bird! Good luck.

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10 Oct 2018 11:20 #542722 by tonybaker

I made my own cone from sheetmetal as the road cone is too small for Cobb birds. I just nailed it to a post in the barn. Heated the water up with gas burner, forget what the temp needs to be but it's not so critical. One thing you will find is that the feathers come out easily if plucked in a certain direction. It's not the same way all around the bird. You do need two people on the job. Don't try to do them all at once and only put a few in the freezer at once.


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10 Oct 2018 13:26 #542724 by Sue

Water temperature is @ 50C just so hot that you can't keep your hand in! If it is too hot you take off the skin cuticle and the skin dries dark and patchy.
Oh, and pull the wing feathers and tail feathers out first- they are harder to pluck once the bird and water get cooler.


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11 Oct 2018 18:24 #542747 by Anakei

I bought one of these while in Oz as it means I can process the chook by myself.
www.morriganfarm.com.au/store/index.php?...roduct&product_id=75
It doesn't cut the head but dislocates the neck. Its adjustable for different sized birds. I do the deed, then immediately hang them up and cut the throat and allow to bleed. It means I can hold the bird securely with one arm, tuck its head in the slot and bring the lever down.

What I would really like is some "shackles" These are used on a processing line and the chickens feet just slot into them and they hold the bird upside down securely. I haven't managed to find any where that has them for sale. It would make the plucking and gutting so much easier. ATM I tie the feet up and hang them from a nail (after killing)


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Last Edit: 11 Oct 2018 18:30 by Anakei. Reason: spelling

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15 Oct 2018 13:42 #542813 by tonybaker

looked at those neck breakers and it seems quite brutal to me? Just as much flapping as when you cut their throats. I use a killing cone, home made out of scrap sheet metal and pop riveted together, quite easy. You put the bird in the cone, cut its throat and bleed into a bucket. At same time tie the legs together with simple noose and when the bleeding has stopped, hang the bird with the noose from a large nail higher up the post and eviscerate.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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15 Oct 2018 16:38 #542815 by Anakei

It doesn't flap because I'm holding it securely. I do like the cone idea though because it leaves both hands free. I'll look into it....


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15 Oct 2018 21:34 #542818 by tonic

I do not really like any of the ways we are able to cull chickens at home but decapitation or broken neck seemed a faster and hopefully less painful death than bleeding out. I am assuming that they are conscious for a shorter time but don't know if that is true.

I see in the new welfare code that neither neck breaking, decapitation nor bleeding out are considered an acceptable death in commercial processing unless the bird is stunned insensible beforehand. This code does not apply to homekill but probably indicates that all the options available to us cause some degree of suffering unfortunately.

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15 Oct 2018 21:42 #542819 by Anakei

I agree Tonic. I understood neck breaking to be quicker but I don't really know. I just try to get it done as quickly and as stress free as possible.


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