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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
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Location: Tasmania
I've done it!

With thanks to my son who did the actual kill and all the knife work, we have two Australorp cockerels ready for dinner.
The process went well, calm and respectful.
It did take 2 hours but we'll get faster with practice. One cockerel is 1.8 kg and the other a bit smaller. They were 6 months old.
So now they will rest in the fridge for two days and then I'll fire up my wood stove, harvest some home grown organic vegetables and roast up a feast.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:25 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Hi There "Artemis"
It's difficult the first time, but as you said you will speed up...
I find that hanging them to pluck them after scalding really is a time saver...

Being a "farm girl" I do all but I don't like the initial "call" so to speak....

I also don't get too predantic about plucking all the finer feather's out untill I have cleaned them internally.
You have a wood stove Lucky you... :thumbs:

People can argue all they like.... Nothing beats cooking in a wood stove....
I hope they didn't trick you like some of my ducks a couple of weeks ago... :doh
I always check to see where they are with the moult, but these boys had the little cursed "ink feather's' happening... :aaah!
Takes forever to push them out from under the skin....
They smoked beautifully though....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
Oh, well done! 2 hours for two is much better than the 2 hours it took me to do ONE bird - my first one. Roast relatively hot so you get the crackling crunchy skin, the likes of which you won't have tasted before because it's particular to home-grown, relatively mature birds (ie NOT 12 weeks old!).

Don't be ashamed of the deep satisfaction you feel of a job well done, even though that job involved taking a life. It took me a while to reconcile "satisfied" with "killing an animal", but I'm good with it now - it's satisfaction in doing a very difficult job.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Location: Tasmania
Hi fluffychicken :hiya:
Yes, I did hang them for plucking. Scalded them every so often but it still took forever. What temperature do you have the water for scalding? I was trying around 70 degrees..?

fluffychicken wrote:
Nothing beats cooking in a wood stove....

It's my only stove. That and a camp hot plate. :shock: So no last minute dinners here- it takes 4 hours to pre-heat! But everything tastes better...meat is moister, so worth the effort. :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:52 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
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Location: Tasmania
infoaddict wrote:
Roast relatively hot so you get the crackling crunchy skin,

Thanks for the tip infoaddict. How long would you roast for at 200 C? I'm thinking some butter and a little garlic under the skin and some fresh herbs thrown in...baste occasionally.

Yes, it was strangely satisfying to butcher our own chicken. Stress was minimised for the bird- that was a relief. It felt like progress or success in producing ethical meat for us. I was glad the animal was small and it was killed quickly....then my son suggests "we should breed our sheep and eat them" :shock: Nnnooo! No, I can't, I won't eat our sheep. Imagine the noise...that would sure turn me vegetarian.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:59 am 
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Phoenix
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Location: Gold Coast QLD
Very well done Artemis :thumbs:

Next time round will be easier for you.
I like the idea that youre using home grown organic veggies, home grown cockerel...thats the way to live and eat :laughing

cheers


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:26 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:10 pm
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Location: SE Qld
I scald at about 65o. Hotter than that and the skin can tear. Poke them under the hot water till the wing and tail feathers come out easily & do them first when you pull the bird out. I place mine on an old iron frame of an ironing board for plucking. It's a perfect height and you can hose it down to clean.

Sometimes a little detergent in the scalding water can help too especially with waterfowl as it wets the feathers and enables them to come away easier.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:41 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Hi "Andrew'schooks"
Same! I alway's go by wing feather's and hackles, it is a fine line with temp especially on the skin on the wings.
I don't get too phased by the wings though as mine (if smoked or braised are often a tad dry) usually don't present with a lot of meat or they go into soup or casserole.
The ironing board is a good idea...
I have the sink in the feed shed with power, and all I need and use a stool to sit on (have too sit with spinal fusion) but I also use an old grilling tray with the rack on it (from an old unwanted electric stove)
It is great when cleaning internally to allow fluids etc to drain.
Trying to find time to do some ducks, now they can be tricky little codgers with the fluffy feathers.

I also use a spare bucket of warm water to rinse off "Feather fingers" as that can slow one up big time...
I don't buy shop chook anymore, it is soooo boringly tastless... and dry.

If people saw how shop birds were processed too by the way they would never eat them again.
It is barbaric. :dedhrs
Yes! I know it is all RSPCA controlled but I still think its brutal. :hiding
Just my opinion :peece


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
Golden Phoenix

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
artemis wrote:
infoaddict wrote:
Roast relatively hot so you get the crackling crunchy skin,

Thanks for the tip infoaddict. How long would you roast for at 200 C? I'm thinking some butter and a little garlic under the skin and some fresh herbs thrown in...baste occasionally.


At 1.8kg, maybe 40 or so minutes. As they're my own birds, I do tend to undercook rather than over, although the more mature meat stands up to longer cooking better than the commercial birds. Do the usual test on the thigh and if the juices run too red, put back in for 10 or so minutes.

I don't stuff my roasts these days however - not even with a basic garlic or apple or anything. Seems to work fine :)

Quote:
Yes, it was strangely satisfying to butcher our own chicken. Stress was minimised for the bird- that was a relief. It felt like progress or success in producing ethical meat for us. I was glad the animal was small and it was killed quickly....then my son suggests "we should breed our sheep and eat them" :shock: Nnnooo! No, I can't, I won't eat our sheep. Imagine the noise...that would sure turn me vegetarian.


I don't believe there's any more noise in a professionally home-killed large mammal than there is in poultry - there shouldn't be, anyway. I haven't done it myself yet, however, so I could be wrong.

What you can do is get your larger mammals sent away for proper processing and brought back to you in proper freezer-sized bits.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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infoaddict wrote:
I don't believe there's any more noise in a professionally home-killed large mammal than there is in poultry - there shouldn't be, anyway. I haven't done it myself yet, however, so I could be wrong.

What you can do is get your larger mammals sent away for proper processing and brought back to you in proper freezer-sized bits.


Lambs get a super sharp knife and a rapid twist to break the neck. All there is after that is a cough no real noise

Punching off the skin takes a bit of practice you really need someone to show you how to do it, as they say about the untrained "you can skin a sheep, but so can a dog..."

I don't like pigs biting me so they get a rifle shot then the super sharp knife, same deal no real noise.

The big part of pigs is scalding and shaving, get it right and you have pristene white hairless chops, get it wrong and they will be hairy or par cooked

larger animals also need hanging somewhere cool to set the meat and it also helps a lot if you use a bandsaw when cutting them up

So for larger animals unless you know what you are doing its best if you get a mobile butcher to do the work for you.

_________________
Cheers, Milo.
I observe in fascination a worm move by peristaltic action through the freshly turned earth as I plant out my chilies. Grasping the Annelid I toss it to the waiting pack of beady-eyed vultures and watch the ensuing mayhem while laughing like a chook!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:56 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Tasmania
Thanks Milo. Now I really want to be a vegetarian... I won't be attempting to slaughter any large mammals in the near future, or at all. Definitely a job to call in the butcher. :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:40 pm
Posts: 389
On that note... Can you send your own birds to someone to process in a less "commercial" way if you're happy to eat them, but too scared to process them? :hiding

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Now a little less green.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Tasmania
The making of the feast...
The prepared cockerel and our home grown veges.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Tasmania
What state are you in SoGreen?
Unless you know a "farmer" who can do it even some of the commercial poultry processors won't take birds from outside. I think the mobile butchers only do large animals- sheep, pig, cows.
You may find a contact at a poultry club who's willing to do it for a fee.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:36 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:35 pm
Posts: 707
Hi There
Milo is right!! :peece
When you "dress" livestock(not a quote) as in lambs, hoggetts whatever, there should be not vocalism so to speak...
There should be not noise if done humanely
Being brought up on a farm (and having done it tough so to speak), when we dressed a sheep it was bullet beween the eyes.
A cross diagonally from the top of the eye either side to the bottom of the eye either side so as to mark the final blow.

Sounds brutal I know but it was quick.

If you have been brought up from bare essentials and have to dress your own produce it has to be done humanely...
Some may find this offensive I am sorry! :help:
Again It is not a subject to be taken lightly,, I dressed 4 ducks today, struggle with it but at the end of the day, I have given them "homeage" that may have not given them fresh water, fresh grain and fresh lucerne on a daily basis, wormed them nor given them the option of a free range every day.
If you saw how processed poultry as treated I would gaurantee you would never eat it again...


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