Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Harvest time for the meat birds is drawing near

and so I am doing research on how best to go about this necessary thing that we need to do. It seems that everyone has a different method for each step. And so I am collecting information from many sources.

So far, the following links are the best sources of information.

I understand it is best to starve the bird for 12 hours or so prior to slaughter. This will clear a lot of the poop out of the digestive system.

Here is information on setting up. I really want one of these old sinks. Have wanted one for a looong time.

The Deliberate Agrarian also has an entire write up on the subject. But the most useful to me was how to catch the chicken and how to keep it fairly calm while you are preparing to place it in the cone or hang it upside down.

I found this video: and what a small world! This guy, Levi, was a very good friend of mine in high school. I found that this had the most useful information for slaughtering and demonstrating the plucking. Not sure it would have occured to me to start at the top of the bird and go down in a systematic way as he did. I probably would have figured that out after I'd made a mess a few times. (make sure to watch part two of this video)

In this video, Joel Salatin explains in detail evisceration.">
Not many articles talk much about the crop and the gall bladder. Here is a writeup I have found, again on the Agrarian site. I've read that you must be very careful not to puncture the crop or the gall bladder as they contains very nasty flavors and ruins the whole chicken. sure to check out step 8 as well).