Thursday, 9 November 2017

Meat Birds At 10 Weeks Old

Really hard to get a good picture of these birds but you can see the growth they've had in just ten weeks

I think I'll be processing a good amount of these at the weekend as they seem to have reached a good size now.

I think for now I'll just be dry plucking by hand as I have very little equipment to help me, unless anyone else has any advice? 
I have been looking at the pluckers you can add to the end of a drill and using a hot water bath before hand. And by hot water bath I mean camping stove and a saucepan...

Depending on how processing goes I can see no reason why I won't be doing more birds like this next year!

16 comments:

  1. we do them in two's or three's over a couple of days starting with the big ones which we jointed up into usable sizes for us we chicken last night and one breast did dinner for 4.

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    1. That might make it more manageable to be honest, until I get a good set up.

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  2. Can't WAIT until we have our own meat birds.

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    1. I shouldn't have waited as long as I have really, but I try something new each year if I can.

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  3. I built a 'Whiz-Bang' chicken plucker with plans from the internet. It works like a charm! Completely plucks a chicken in about 30 seconds. Wouldn't be without it. With your skills, you can build one, too. I used a wooden bottom plate covered with plastic from a disposed barrel to save money, instead of purchasing a metal one.

    We like our birds to go about 10 to 11 weeks as we like them bigger. We saw them into halves to put into the freezer. Wonderful meat and great to know the birds lived well and entered 'freezer camp' as gently as possible. Don't scald too hot. 145 to 150F is right for us.

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    1. We dunk them in hot water then grab a handful of feathers. Use the feathers in your hand to rub against other feathers they cause other feather to adhere and you can work faster. Large feathers are slower. Singe over a fire (burning paper or burner) to get any you missed. Your hand picked ones will be much tidier than machine plucked birds.

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    2. How Ane describes it is exactly how we used to have to do it as kids. The hot water made it easier.

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    3. Tim- I like the look of those wizz bang pluckers, I might have to add that to my project list. Looking around the fingers aren't too expensive anyway. Does it ever bruse the meat?

      Ane - I think the hot water this weekend might be my way forward, everyone says how much easier it is.

      Sol - My kids will be telling stories like this when they're older!

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    4. Kev, Look up proper water temp -too hot and it damages meat. Nephews use their Home made plucker but someone must "touch up" to make them tidy. Plucker is very fast when doing several. There is just something wrong to me about putting a chicken on "spin cycle". Sorry I'm squeamish.

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    5. No bruising ever. Why? Because all the blood is gone from the meat when you use the plucker. Very rarely a broken leg if the bird is really huge. No skin tears unless the scald is too hot. Better to use 145F water and keep the bird in a little longer than too hot and cook the skin. We add a little Dawn dish detergent to the hot water and it really helps get better water penetration. Good luck!

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  4. My husband simply skins them like a deer. True you don't have the skin on to cook with but soooo much easier and still delicious.

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    1. I'm tempted by that but I do love the skin!

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  5. Like Dawn, we despatch usually three at a time. We also dip into hot water and then pluck and find that this makes the task so much easier. We end up with a very clean bird. You just need to be careful that the water is not too hot and that you don't dip for too long so that the skin 'cooks'. I find 40 seconds is about right. After evisceration we then freeze whole. From setting up to clearing up three birds takes us 2 hours.

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    1. Great to know your time scale as well, The one I did the other day seemed to take ages but then I was explaining it to my daughter and it had been a while since I'd processed a bird. Do you leave the birds to set before you freeze them?

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    2. Great question. We refrigerate the cleaned birds at least overnight to allow the rigor mortis to go away. Do this before freezing and the meat will be much more tender when you cook it up.

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