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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:25 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: Victoria
:rofl:

When her teacher first read it he thought she was trying to say we 'made some chickens', thinking we hatched some or something. I would have loved to see his face when she said we murdered them, lol.

That's definitely going to be put in safe place until she's 21, lol.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:20 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Just thought I'd update. I processed 3 more cockerels on Thursday, this time they were the smaller of the four Light Sussex males I had. I'm keeping the biggest, fastest growing cockerel to use as the starting point of my meat line.

At 18 weeks old they weighed in at 1.685kg, 1.866kg and 1.908kg dressed. My guess is the cockerel I'm keeping would be well over the 2kg mark if he was processed.

Interestingly, I tried the pithing+bleeding method, and there did seem to be a difference with how well they plucked and how the meat behaved afterwards. The whole rigor process seems to have been happened a lot quicker than with the Araucana, but that could have something to do with the different breeds, I'm not sure. But they definitely plucked a lot easier, and there was less to no involuntary flapping of the wings like there was compared with a straight bleed. I think I'll keep doing the pith+bleed method, it seems to me a quicker and more humane way to do it, much like iki jime is for fish.

It will be interesting to see how they compare to the Araucana, despite their size and being older, they didn't seem to be particularly 'mature' in comparison; tiny testicles, still hadn't started crowing and so on.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:53 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi Azira
Your daughter's story is a classic
I have a batch of Indian Game and Barnevelder cockerels to kill this week and will try the pithing method. I would be interested in any details of your experience and the tool used.
If pithing somehow causes rigor to occur sooner I will have to be quick with the plucking process as the drum plucker mangles birds once rigor has set in.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:39 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Azira wrote:
So my youngest daughter decided to write about the experience yesterday in class, the topic of the writing session was 'Our favourite memories' ...!

Lol, oh dear. :shock:

Attachment:
Letter.jpg

Haha, wonder what the teacher thought!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:10 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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fuscipes wrote:
Hi Azira
Your daughter's story is a classic
I have a batch of Indian Game and Barnevelder cockerels to kill this week and will try the pithing method. I would be interested in any details of your experience and the tool used.
If pithing somehow causes rigor to occur sooner I will have to be quick with the plucking process as the drum plucker mangles birds once rigor has set in.

I used a short bladed knife to do the pithing, about 6cm long. This one in particular, although any sturdy short blade would do I think. Don't use anything longer than that, otherwise you'll do what I did the first time I did it and go out the back of the skull and stab yourself in the hand. :shock:

Image

Hang the chicken up by it's feet, with a bucket underneath it. Hold the head by putting your hand over the front of it's face, basically covering it's beak and eyes, then a short, firm and quick movement up and in, then slightly wiggle/twist the knife to pulverise the brain. It requires very little force to go in, but you do need to be firm.

I initially tried to go in via the mouth, but holding it's mouth open freaked it out too much, I didn't even want to try sticking it while it was trying to wrestle it's head away from me. So instead I went in quickly through it's bottom jaw and straight up into it's brain. It sounds worse but it was actually quicker and I think more humane, it would have been far more stressful for the bird to go in via it's open mouth (particularly because I was doing it on my own).

You need to aim towards the back of it's eye, but don't aim past it's ear. That way you should get the back part of the brain, which stuns/kills instantly and will keep the feathers loose. If you hit the front of the brain it will cause the feathers to set tighter. These pictures give a rough idea of where to aim, but it's always a bit more difficult in practise.

Image
Image

Pithing alone will bleed the chicken out, but it is a slower process, so I immediately cut the artery/veins in the neck to bleed quickly. Apparently if the blood coagulates rather than flowing freely it means you've missed the mark in the brain, but I'm not sure how true that is, it's just something I read in passing.

It's not so much that rigor set in quicker, if anything it didn't set in as quickly as from when I just bled them, but it seemed to go through the rigor process a lot quicker overall. I put the dressed chickens in the fridge on the Thursday after I did it, and they were well and truly done with it by the time I vacuum sealed them on Friday. Whereas the Aracuana I just bled took a couple of days to fully relax.

You'll be fine pithing and bleeding them and still being able to put them in the drum plucker afterwards. While they were a lot easier to pluck, I'm not sure I'd forgo scalding them before putting them in the plucker, it only takes a few seconds to do really, so it's worth doing just to ensure a nice clean pluck.

While we are on the subject of drum pluckers, did you make or buy yours? I really want to make one, I'm slowly gathering the bits and pieces I need. I want to do it on the cheap so I'm looking for things I can re-purpose rather than just go out and buy all of the bits.

Good luck with it, do post with how you went with it all.

hennypenny wrote:
Haha, wonder what the teacher thought!

Luckily he's got our sense of humour so he found it as funny as we did...and he may have taken a photo to share with his teacher wife also, lol. :rofl:

When I was preparing things to do this latest batch of chickens, she actually asked me to wait until her birthday so I can kill them in front of the party guests, as there are about 6 kids at school that want to watch me do it! Omg, can you imagine if I did that! :shoc :rofl:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:04 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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I can't imagine you'd have a positive reaction from the other parents - or then perhaps you might find a career as a birthday party entertainer!!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:18 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks for those details Azira.
I use a killing cone and nick them behind the ear to bleed them. I have been thinking about pithing them beforehand for a while as it seems to be kinder.
I have a filleting knife which should work but will perhaps make a special tool for the job.
I bought my drum plucker new on eBay. From memory I offered $200 or $250 not expecting that it would be accepted. It does a great job and the only problem has been that the fingers are poor quality and tend to break. Bellsouth have good quality plucking fingers at a bit over $1 each and I have been replacing the fingers as they fail.
If you are making your own machine the plucking fingers would be a large part of the cost as you will need a lot of them.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:57 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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hennypenny wrote:
I can't imagine you'd have a positive reaction from the other parents - or then perhaps you might find a career as a birthday party entertainer!!

My friend sent me these pictures after I told her about it which I thought was just perfect... :rofl:

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:19 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: Victoria
fuscipes wrote:
Thanks for those details Azira.
I use a killing cone and nick them behind the ear to bleed them. I have been thinking about pithing them beforehand for a while as it seems to be kinder.
I have a filleting knife which should work but will perhaps make a special tool for the job.
I bought my drum plucker new on eBay. From memory I offered $200 or $250 not expecting that it would be accepted. It does a great job and the only problem has been that the fingers are poor quality and tend to break. Bellsouth have good quality plucking fingers at a bit over $1 each and I have been replacing the fingers as they fail.
If you are making your own machine the plucking fingers would be a large part of the cost as you will need a lot of them.

I haven't made a kill cone yet but I definitely need to. But the artery/jugular vein knick is what I did first time around, and still do after pithing.

I used a short 4" filleting knife to do the first pith but it was still too long and too sharp, hence it going straight through to my hand. A short, solid blade is definitely easier. I have been looking through the store I got my filleting knife from and they have these short wood carving knives which I think would be good, but I'm not really in a hurry to spend another $50 on a knife when my cheap $7 Victorinox seems to do the trick. However I do like the big fat handle it has.

This is the filleting knife I used:
Image

Even though it's only a few cm longer than the other knife, it's definitely too long.

These two I'm curious about, I'd have to sharpen them up but they do look nice and solid. But I don't really like spending money, haha. I might get a friend of mine to make one for me instead.

http://granbergs.com.au/Products/Knives ... -122#tabs2
http://granbergs.com.au/Products/Knives ... -120#tabs2

Thanks for the suggestion about the plucker fingers, they are the main part that I'd have to buy new, no getting around that. I've read the how-to for the Whizbang plucker and the one thing he does say is most important is getting the right fingers (he uses a US brand called Kent). It's worth spending money on good fingers as you'd never need to replace them, no point doing it on the cheap and end up having to pay to replace them (the poor man pays twice as they say). Are you replacing your fingers with the Lino 60's from Bellsouth?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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This thread is taking a fairly macabre turn.
This brain skewer was made from a worn out phillips screwdriver sharpened at the tip into a double sided blade. It is sharper than it looks.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: Victoria
fuscipes wrote:
This thread is taking a fairly macabre turn.

Things tend to always take a wrong turn when I'm involved, lol. :rofl:

fuscipes wrote:
This brain skewer was made from a worn out phillips screwdriver sharpened at the tip into a double sided blade. It is sharper than it looks.

That'll do the job, it looks like a good iki spike for fish too. :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:38 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I'm pretty sure that the fingers I got from Bellsouth are the Lino 60's as I remember going for the general purpose variety.
Agree that it is false value to get the cheap ones and my plucker was not really as cheap as I thought. The original fingers are an orange colour and are not as 'rubbery" as the Lino's.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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If only our dollar was at parity with the USD like it used to be, it would mean the super duper Kent fingers from the US would be cheaper to get delivered!

Thanks for the feedback about the Lino fingers. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Hatchling
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Just wondering if you still have any indian game boys (alive and) available?

A friend is chasing one... :-/

Please pm me if you do

(Phone number removed as it is usually not a great idea to advertise your phone number on the internet. If you really do want your phone number up, let me know and I will put it in again - NellyG (Mod))


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:23 am 
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Gallant Game
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Chicken murdering??

At least she didn't make reference to a glass of chanti (Hanibal Lecter)


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