What would YOU do, if you ran out of time

mersiepoo(6)December 2, 2008

and didn't get a chance to butcher your guineas and chickens? I want to replace my flock 100 percent for the coming year. Due to my procrastination, as well as life in general and cold weather coming on fast, as well as no place to butcher them outside in this cold wet weather, I now have 11 guineas and 8 chickens that I don't know what to do with exactly. I may end up giving the guineas away or selling them really cheap, since they are great for the deer ticks, but not sure if there would be any takers for them or not.

Or I was thinking of maybe just butchering them early next year when the weather warms up soon. I want to clean the coop out and get everything ready for the newbies that I'll be ordering in Feb or March however, Feb is usually the coldest month around here, and march is miserable and cold and wet. What would YOU do, if you were me?

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I would take them to a place where they butcher chickens and bring them home in plastic bags all ready for the freezer.Sure it costs a bit more but is worth every penny---to me at least.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 5:00PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

You have a bathtub, just don;t tell any female who shares your household.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 5:58PM
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LOL! I am a female, ha ha! Uck, the feathers would go all over the place though. That's the crappy part, is the dander from the feathers...yucko!

Hey, I gave birth in my bath tub, so I don't worry about that sort of thing, hee hee! EZ to clean, that is true...but that fluff flies all over the place.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 8:20PM
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Is there another farmer around close to you who have the equipment ie..steamer, feather plucker? A heated Barn!! where you could load them up and do them at their farm. Around here there is no one who does poultry so that you can bring them home in baggies - besides you will never know if you got your chickens or ones filled with who knows what - I got lucky and found through a friend a farmer who is USDA certified organic everything and was allowed to use there equipment-they could not help me because of the rules and regulations - but I was fine with that I just wanted to get my birds done and clean up for the new peeps coming in Feb. I just did the butchering on Friday, 26 of them - boy was I tired. Do you have a farmers market there that sell everything including beef, pork etc. if so, maybe someone there could help.

OR....throw a party invite everybody you know,supply rubber gloves, build a bonfire and lots of "Drinks" LOL!

Where are you located? To far for a road trip I dare say!

If you check out this website, if I remember right he talks about where he got an old bath tub and stainless steel sink with long work area on both sides real cheap!



    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 10:11PM
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mxbarbie pnw BC6 has a friend that does it for $2 a bird (killed/plucked/dressed). is she anywhere close to you - if not maybe she could help you find someone closer to you.

It was on a post - first page - I Butchered my first Bird-

I'm not very good with knowing locations - this was just a thought!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 10:44PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I figured that you were female, but that if you were doing the butchering you would be okay with it. Yes it would be a bit of a mess, but if you haul all of the stuff out of the bathroom or put it all in cabinets it would be fairly easy to clean afterwords.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 11:28PM
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mxbarbie(pnw BC 5)

I'd just let them live till warmer weather and keep the new peeps in a protected area if they arrive before the old birds are done.

I've been watching the weather forcast here for a week waiting for an above freezing day to get my birds done. So far it looks like this saturday is the day.

I'm afraid I am WAAAAY too far away to be of any help - north west corner of British Columbia, Canada... I'm closer to brendan_of_bonsai in AK (who sounds like he doen't need any help with killing chickens! lol)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 3:52PM
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oops!!!!! I said I wasn't very good with location :) but hey it was worth a shot.

mxbarbie, thanks for replying!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 5:21PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I'm actually In CO right now, I'm just too lazy to change my location for four months where I will not be growing anything.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 5:44PM
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Nelda, lol! Thanks for the help, hee hee! I'm in Pa, which is sort of far. ;D OMG, you did 26 chickens at once? Ay caramba!

Our neighbors are sort of 'different', so that option is out.

I think that I do as mxbarbie suggested and just wait till either the weather gets warmer (yeah right, lol!) or till it warms up next year. My DH is *supposed* to build me a brand spankin' new chicken coop for the newbies, so that way I won't have to stick them in the old coops at all. :)

Thanks for all the great advice peoples! :)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Though I have no poultry now, I used to live primitively out in the boonies in a hand made cabin with all sorts of livestock. At times I would get over run with chickens or ducks (the guineas eventually flew away so they were never a problem) and needed to process way too many for a one man operation. My solution was to kill them and just cut out the breast meat. The drumsticks were too tough anyway and I didn't need to make that much soup stock nor did I have a freezer that would hold all of them as complete carcasses. So I ended up with many bags of frozen breast portions and the coyotes and bobcats ended up with fat bellies from eating all that was left over. Easy. No plucking. No gutting. Just bleed and surgically remove the parts you want. Toss the rest. Not all that messy.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Try running an ad. on Craig's List - I've had good success with that. People then just come to the farm, and pick up their birds.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:38PM
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This is probably a silly question, but since I've never butchered a chicken I'll ask... Why can't you slaughter during cold weather? Can you peel the skin off, feathers and all?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 10:31PM
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You can butcher during cold weather - but you better have some where warm to do it in - you will get mighty cold outside especially if you have alot to do - i was in a heated barn, that is after I killed them (humanely), bled them, dipped them and put them in the feather plucker - this was done all outside.... until heat went out and had to quit and bring the rest home to finish in my kitchen. You will be cleaning with cold water and your butchered hens will have to be in a cold ice water bath - you will be fishing out the hens one at a time and your hands get cold fast. A few threads above I listed a site that I found that has great information on how to butcher a chicken and has step by step directions with great pictures. I am by no means an expert - but I can say from personal experience after butchering 26 chickens outside I thought I would never get warm!!! No question is silly - ask away that is how all of us here on the forum learn - we learn from each other, if I had to do it over again I would do what mxbarbie said and wait until warmer weather


    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 11:53PM
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The first chickens we butchered,we did outside with 4 of us doing them.What a job,what a mess.After that I did one or two at a time in my kitchen(with running hot and cold water right there).I dampened a thick pad of newspapers and spread them out on my counter and rolled up the feathers etc. in them and burned all the mess.I scalded them in my big canning kettle and washed them in the sink.This worked lots better for me.We did kill and hang them outside.My husband killed them.I tried to swing one around one time to wring its neck and just swung it around!We did a few this last year and they were so good but it is a lot of work but maybe we all need to do more of this kind of work.The odors inside might require some deodorizing spray too in the winter.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:46PM
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LOL! Yeah, I tried to wring a chickens neck, but stopped pretty fast when I knew that wasn't going to work and didn't want to traumatize it any more than I had to with a learning curve. Now I use my hubby's .22 and it's over quickly.

I'm going to have to just do a few at a time when it warms up, I would have done a few the other day but my DH used the chopping block for firewood! :P I usually shoot them, bleed them and pluck them as much as possible outside, then bring them to the kitchen to eviscerate them.

Next time it's warm and I get a new execution block, I'll have some new stewing birds. ;)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Too cold here to do much now, but last year we butchered our old hens--just killed, skinned and canned the whole bunch. It was a great way to deal withold hens. we still have a few jars. We have ready-made chicken and broth whenever we want!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 5:25AM
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mersiepoo, LOL about trying to wring their neck!! been there done that now I just pierce their brain (sounds gross, but it is humane&Instant)I use what looks like a pr of hemostats that are curved at the end.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 11:30AM
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