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 Post subject: We are going to do it!
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:40 pm
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Location: Boronia, Vic
My step sister has chooks, one was broody, they decided to get eggs for her. Surprise , surprise, three out of 5 are cockerels!

I have nominated my partner to do the deed... I'm happy to do the rest, just not the first bit.

I have read ruffs sticky note, but hubby wants to know what is the best way to start. Chopping or breaking the neck or another way? How do you break the neck?

Any help with the whole process would be appreciated. We are hopng to do it on the long weekend. We need to pick them up and keep them here to de- stress them. Would overnight be ok?

Cheers in advance.

Anke

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:32 pm 
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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
Ideally you'd gently catch them in their familiar pen then chop their head off with a minimum of fuss.

Are you suggesting that you'd catch, transfer them to your place, hold them overnight in a strange environment then despatch them the next day? Seems more than minimally stressful to me.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:49 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
I wouldn't recommend trying to dislocate the neck unless you have someone to show you. It is VERY distressing to all concerned (especially the poor cockerel) if you get it wrong. A chop with a sharp hatchet or axe is quick. I use a bone cleaver as I like the longer blade and super sharpness, but as long as you can handle the axe one handed it will do the job.

The most stress free way to kill them would be to do it at your sisters place. You could then bring them home to process. But if you have to take them to your place then I would pick them up after dark to minimise stress.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:59 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:40 pm
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Location: Boronia, Vic
I know ideally it would be better to do it at their place. But 3 kids that are very precious about things makes it a bit hard.
So dispatching there and processing at home would be ok? We live about 30 min apart?

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Location: SE Qld
Yes 30 mins is fine.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:35 pm
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Hi There
A touchy subject I know.
BUT A very well balanced tomahawk rather than an axe is quicker, kinder than than an axe.
"Far too brutal to use an axe"
IF you are not experienced it is messy and cruel to say the least....
Always and I reinterate "always make sure the bird is relaxed by covering its face and eye and hold the lengthened flight feathers of the wings and hold them with the upper thighs...
It is not :SOMETHING TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY" i

IT MUST BE HUMANE AND QUICK :hug


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Agree with all of the foregoing. Killing poultry is one of my least favourite tasks but the process of producing your own top quality food can be very rewarding.
It does get easier the more you do it. As long as the act is quick and certain it matters little what weapon you use.
It is worth planning the exercise in advance to make sure it goes smoothly. involuntary post mortem antics can be stressful for people rather than poultry so it might be an idea to constrain the birds well such as by placing it in the sleeve of an old garment. A couple of well placed nails in the chopping block will avoid the bird lifting its head and eyeballing you just as you swing the axe.
Good on you for having a go.


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Fluffy, as long as the axe is sharp and is not too heavy for the user it is as quick and painless as any method. I personally prefer a bit of weight to the weapon, hence why I prefer the bone cleaver over a hatchet. I think it is down to individual choice, but it is not correct to say and axe is brutal. It isn't.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Phoenix
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Location: Gold Coast QLD
Good on you Anked for giving it a go, home grown chook has so much more flavour than supermarket chook.
We use an axe here to do ours, we sharpen it beforehand, one swift chop and its done, very quick and humane.
And as Fuscipes says it does get easier with time.
Let us know how you get on....and what recipe you will be using to cook them with :biggrin:

cheers


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Ol' Bustard
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Location: MIRBOO in Gippsland, VICTORIA
I use a humane killer and then pop them into a cone and bleed them out by cutting the throat. After about two minutes, hot water and plucking (machine). Trim, gut, wash and pack. Ten minutes, tops.

Linz :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
For the larger birds, we use a sharp (REALLY sharp) knife, rather than an axe. It's more precise and accurate, and doesn't require you to hold the bird with one hand and swing a blade with the other. I have arthritis, and that's a physically impossible action for me.

For younger birds, I use a specially-designed set of "poultry pliers" that break the neck. Linz's tool is even better - I'll be getting one myself, I think, before too long.

Sharpen the knife to the sharpest possible blade beforehand. Make sure all your knives are sharp when processing - it's much, much harder with blunt blades. I made that mistake for years until I sussed it out.

Warning: graphic description below.

1. Tie legs together and tie the other end of your twine to a tree branch, clothesline, or similar secure item at about head-height. You want the bird to be at a comfortable height for you to deal with.
2. Gently lower the bird until it's upside-down.
3. Gently hold the head in one hand and stretch the neck a little.
4. Firmly draw the very, very sharp knife across the neck, just under the beak. You're aiming to slice deep. Practice on salami first - you really want to have the salami cut at least in half in that first single slice. Two slices at the most - one out, one in.
5. STEP BACK. The body will jerk and spasm and spray blood everywhere. The bird is now NOT alive. These are nerve movements only. It will occur regardless of how you kill the bird - breaking the neck, chopping off the head, cutting the throat. This is the worst part of the whole exercise. You can go away and prepare the hot water for 5-10mins.
6. When the bird has stopped moving, you can pluck and gut.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with other posters above and suggest that as long as you catch the birds at night, transport them and keep them in a relatively confined, comfortable dark place until you're ready to process, I would do everything at your place. If they've been hand-reared, they shouldn't be too stressed by the cage, and it makes it much easier to catch them when you're ready to process. You'd be wanting to catch and confine them the night before anyway - you do NOT want to be running around chasing a rooster just before you process it! That'll stress it more than anything else.

Another reason is that 30mins between killing and plucking/gutting. The bird will probably go into rigor mortis ('the stiffness of death') in that time, and a bird in rigor is much harder to gut than one that's still soft and floppy. If it's the first one you've done, you don't want to add any more difficulty to the exercise.

Good luck. The first time is scary and intimidating. You will be right to be proud after you've done it, because you will have done something that is very, very difficult to many of us in this modern society.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:05 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:40 pm
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Location: Boronia, Vic
Are you saying Info that you cut its neck?
They would be about 15week old. By the look of them smaller birds, silkie x's.
We can do it at their house tomorrow. Have asked for them to confine them tonight to a smaller area so we can grab them easily.
Is there a particular order to do things? Was thinking we should gut them there as well due to bacteria in the gut. Then pluck at home. Might just do everything there!!!

Anke

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 4:02 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
Yes. The only difference between using a knife and using an axe, tomahawk or cleaver is that you're not aiming to take the head off entirely - the knife may not be sharp enough to go through bone (sorry to be so graphic, but there's no other way to discuss it), so you're cutting the windpipe and - most importantly - the big blood vessels that run just under the beak.

The general order is kill, drain blood, pluck (or skin), and then finally gut. The reason for this is the feathers - it's difficult enough to open them up to remove the middles without having to try and deal with feathers as well. I have killed and plucked, and then gone back and gutted a couple of hours later, as it's the task that can be done inside the house. Plucking MUST be done outside, or you end up with feathers everywhere.

Some people say it's easier to skin than it is to pluck. I admit I haven't found it to be so, but your experience may vary. One advantage of skinning is that it makes gutting MUCH easier. I still think the feathers get in the way, regardless of what you're trying to do ...

A heads-up - if they're Silkie crosses, the skin and bones will probably be black, and the flesh a sort of greyish colour. Don't be disconcerted. They taste exactly the same as any other chook.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:36 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:00 pm
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All the killing methods suggested are OK. I use a similar method to Infoaddict in conjunction with a killing cone but I suggest that you go with whichever method you find least confronting for your first effort.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:40 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Boronia, Vic
They all sound confronting, but never done them before so of course they are, but it is part of raising them.
I did warn the hubby regarding the black / grey bones etc.

thanks for the clarification Info.

Anke

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