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Dry aged waterfowl / WTB restraining/killing cones in BC canada

 
Saybian Morgan
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I don't want to resort to using a pilon or slashing up my hands trying to cut metal, I just want to buy or drive to buy a properly sized killing cone for muscovy ducks.
I've been calling around all morning and the internet is showing me no love when it comes to actually getting my hands on one.
I will be dry aging for 3-4 days for christmas dinner and I'm running out of time. Of course if all else fails there are plenty of dispatch methods I can use including my knee's and a towel.

I'm just hoping someone is luckily online that knows of a good place that may just have a poor web presence.

Since I've got your attention, what say any of you about dry aging? I've read countless stories of beef, references to waterfoul and only two articles on pheasants. But no documented step's or photos of actual dry aging of meat, before/after what it looks like when processed. I know with beef the result is unmistakable but I can't even find one photo of aged anything with feathers at the moment.

The problem with the articles is their only discussing shot birds, not that it makes a huge difference but there not exactly bled out, and there's allot of variant opinions between aging fulling intact birds, dry plucking, skinning because dry plucking is hard, gutting with feather's intact pre aging, the degree of gameyness and so on. Nobody has said look here's how I do it, nobody got diareah and if you like this sort of thing come out to the forum's on permies.com

It's going to take me just as long to find a new pilon as it would to cut my hands off bending metal, the drakes are just too big to fuss with in my lap as I can barely reach there head as they claw me in the groin.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Can i change which forum i submitted this to myself or should I wait till it's moved.

I'm not exactly cooking but dry aged is a form of preservation, but then restraining cones is more about critter care.
 
Burra Maluca
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Which forum would you like it moved to?
 
Saybian Morgan
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I have no idea, at this point the killing cone is mute, nobody has one, and I know my ducks wont fit in pylons, i guess the combination of animal husbandry and food preservation is about organic sustainable practices. I even called the guy who does all the killings for all of the local farmers and he said he had no idea where his came from but he presume's its the states.
 
Shawn Bell
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Saybian, I found some killing cones large enough for turkeys on ebay. They are not cheap though.

If this is just a bird that you are doing for Christmas, can you sew a cone out of heavy fabric. I know the cone out of metal
makes mass slaughter easier, but for one or two birds this might work. It also seems like it would be cheap and quick.
Maybe sacrifice an old pair of jeans.

HTH,
Shawn
 
Saybian Morgan
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I saw some on ebay.ca but it's shipping from the states, I'll have to make do and order one from mc murray hatchery or pretty much any of the 20 online options from the states, if only we had next day shipping anywhere in the country for 3 dollar's like in the UK it would be on.

Unfortunately i threw away all my fat saybian jeans year's ago, i'll probably buy or at least "find" a pylon tomorow. I don't mind holding them close to my chest during the process but if the drake is to big I could make a christmas mistake.

Any word on the dry aged duck? most searched just return duck prosciutto articles in connection with the word and a few links send me to a roasted dinner at a fancy restaurant. I'm surprised nobody on the forums has ventured into dry aging.
 
Jami McBride
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Sorry I missed this post, I've been gone.

Try this article on dry aging http://www.wildeats.com/journal/?p=17

As for cones, I use road cones I bought from Lowel's and a $6 press-board shelf, I screw on two 1"x3" wood pieces at the top and only use one of the shelves near the bottom for the bucket to sit on. I duck tape the cones in place. It is inexpensive, and breaks down for storage easily.

Buy the medium size cones, cut a couple of inches off the tip end and try a duck in it. Use a marker to determine how much more you need to remove, and use scissors to cut to your line. Write duck on that cone, because you'll need to make another for chicken's.

I hope this helps ~ The cone on the left is a bit longer, this cone is used for our Indian Runner ducks which are shaped like bowling pins with long necks. The other is used for our chickens and you can see a nice big Brahma in the one on the right. I would use the cone on the right for our Peking ducks too. Cones you can customize and easy clean up, a real help on the homestead. Not bad for a couple of city girls ♥


Edits: had a lot of problems with adding the pictures, arrgggg!


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Burra Maluca
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Jami McBride wrote:As for cones, I use road cones I bought from Lowel's


Well let's just hope you have a Lowel's where you live, Saybian, otherwise I've no idea where you might be able to find yourself some road cones.

 
Saybian Morgan
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I totally didn't find road cones today, canada doesn't have lowes. It's funny you see road cones everyday but you don't see them on a shelf. I'm out of aging time for a christmas dinner at this point 2 days doesn't cut it at all so I guess the big drake will live on to poop down the yard.
I read that article and every other one I could find, that's how I got into the idea in the first place, i've seen the pylon substitute's and at this point id kill for a pylon. It beat's me where the road safety outlet store is around the vancouver area, and I really don't want to "borrow" a used one from a construction crew that's off duty. The bench setup will do, even a pylon in between to chair's over a bucked would be a 10x improvement.

 
Jami McBride
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Of course not 'Lowels' per say, but another home improvement store.... ? The US has Home Depot, Lowels, Handy Man Hardware, Jerry's and the Ace Hardware chains + others. Do you have something like our Yellow Pages - look under home improvement stores and start calling

I live in a very small town and the Lowels here hand 3 sizes of orange cones - I know you can get them through their internet stores too, but as you say it's all to late for Christmas dinner. Sorry about that.

I actually had no idea you could just buy road cones, but I was walking around Lowels one day looking for solutions to the issues that were in the back of my mind (like expensive metal culling cones) and stumbled upon the orange cones stacked on the floor of an isle. I wouldn't have know to even ask for them.....

And you may try calling your local ODOT type agency (Oregon Department of Transportation) and asking where they buy their cones, tell them you need a couple. You never know. I called a local agency asking where they got their surveyor stakes (another issue to solve) and was hooked up with their supplier. Now I pay wholesale, about $10 for a bundle of 50 stakes instead of retail about $45 for the same bundle.

I am intrigued by the dry aging, and will be giving it a go in a few months to answer some of the good questions you bring up. Seems like a worthy project.

 
Saybian Morgan
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I finally found them, there called "traffic cones" around here and I could kick myself they were in a store I was in yesterday but I was looking for pylon's, safety cones, orange cones. Ugh soooooo mans stupid of me.
 
Saybian Morgan
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because of the dry aging I was trying to find evidence of the downside of not bleeding, they seem to be all asthetic but I can't find any real why to it. Meat taint I don't really understand cuzz for all i know it's just people who dont like wild taste. The articles always seem to point to subjective preference as some seem to be all about aging them fully intact and that the poop and all the food increase robustness but of what kind I dunno. I havn't locked down a preferred dispatch method, i have no problem with bleeding but I'm hanging all my stuff now "maybe just to be different" maybe just cuzz anything old world and dirty just appeals to my senses. Has anyone done cervical dislocation? I can't find any proper video's over it just idiot's harming chickens. Does the post neck break bleeding actually do anything? I'm not worried about poisoning myself and i've probably said it before that most of our modern day beleif's come from primitive proviso's written before the age of the thermometer never mind the fridge itself.

So many question's so few drakes left, this is value added product if I've ever herd of it, i just bought my neighbour two steaks for christmas, 30 dollar's a pound! what in the heck are they doing, i've never had those part's of the cow I don't really know what i bought him but i hope it taste good to him. I grew up on the other side of the tracks and corned beef, cow's feet, ox's tail, tripe, cow cod etc is the only part's of the cow i really know. I've had grizzle meat steak before but I don't know any of the cut's of meat ppl talk about, I just never had the privilege of eating that part of the cow. I know mutton and curry goat but I know nothing of rack of lamb etc. I'm feeling a niche comming my way and I wanna really go for it, hunter's usually focus on their own consumption so they've locked up all their secrets. I never knew about things like tender meat vs tough meat, I just ate what was put on my plate and considered tender meat to simply be something beaten with a hammer for old people with no teeth. But I could definetly jump on a band wagon if this is the way the world works. I eat what I get to the bone then I eat the marrow so some could say I eat like a barbarian. But if there's a way to skip the 45 min toothepicking of my teeth I'm for it.

 
Jami McBride
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Hum.... I know I let our birds sit in cold water for hours during the butchering process and clean up. Then I allow them to air dry, and then I bag 'em and leave them in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days before freezing. I then take them out and allow another 3 to 5 days of defrosting slowly in the refrigerator or other cold spot. I do all of this 'aging' to help tenderize the meat. If I'm going to roast a bird, I soak it in a homemade (vinegar, wine or beer base) marinade for 3 days before hand, otherwise I slow cook it in liquid, root veg and spices on low in the crock pot over night until it comes off the bone - this makes the best broth.

I do not split my ducks/chickens (birds) open, I just loosen and pull everything out in one step. I wouldn't leave the guts in myself, and I wouldn't leave the feathers on either - easy enough to do away with both. The duck skin is such a prize! And the skin fat is solid gold for my beans, peas and lentil soups! The feet are blanched, peeled and stored the same as the birds for broth making. I save the organs and feed the rest to the cats and dog.

I wouldn't mind trying to hang-dry and bird wrapped in ACV soaked cheesecloth instead of refrigerating or freezing, but mine would be meat on bone only version.
 
Saybian Morgan
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sounds like your already 90% on the dry aging train, the thing with a regular fridge is it's often too cold, but 3-5 days on both ends of the process is dam near well aged to me!

The traffic cone situation went bust, i got there and the plastic ones where super tiny and the larger one turned out to be an expandable bag with a coil in it. the ducks are gunna claw right through it. I guess i better find an "instructables" tutorial and get to slashing up my hands with some down to earth metal cutting.
 
Jami McBride
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Here's the cone I bought at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/3M-90128-00001-Traffic-Safety-18-Inch/dp/B0017CXF6G/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324707974&sr=8-1-spell
And others listed start at 4.75, but the more expensive 13+ is nice and thick. Gotta love that Amazon.com!

If you can make your own from metal - that's super.
 
David Goodman
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What about a stump and a machete? That's how I kill my chickens/guineas.

I admit, though... I haven't whacked any ducks yet. They're too darn cute.

Perhaps I'm daft, but I'm not sure what the benefit of a killing cone would be over the traditional decapitation method. Sure, it's a bit brutal... but very fast. And no holding the poor thing's head while I slit its throat. One irrevocable thwack and the bird is done.

 
Saybian Morgan
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Everyone lives in different relation to their animals, the downside of decapitation is a matter of shock i supose, damage to the carcass with uncontrolled flailing, and total shutdown of the blood pumping out sufficiently. It's the same reason you don't cut the windpipe but only the veins. There's not a great deal of sensation when we have major rapid blood loss even people can describe it as light headed and then blackout. Decapitation seems instant enough but nobody's lived to tell. I prefer to master the low to no adrenaline dispatch, even being placed in the cone itself reduces stress in comparison to being grabbed by the neck and shoved flat on the stump.

I'm not really after what to do in a pinch, i do fine in a pinch. I'm looking at what I can do for my birds from the start of their life to the end of their life.
 
Burra Maluca
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How long does a decapitated head survive?

"The current medical consensus is that life does survive, for a period of roughly thirteen seconds, varying slightly depending on the victim's build, health and the immediate circumstances of the decapitation. The simple act of removing a head from a body is not what kills the brain, rather, it is the lack of oxygen and other important chemicals provided in the bloodstream."

I tried decapitating a duck, having failed to break it's neck. I wasn't very good at it. I hated it. It was brutal and I'm positive the head, when I finally detatched it, was still watching me. Next time I sat the duck on my lap and cut the artery in its neck. It flinched for a moment, then carried on looking around, apparently quite contentedly, as it bled out. After what seemed like a disconcertingly long time (probably about half a minute), it stopped looking around and let it's head drop as it lost consciousness. On balance, I think it's a whole lot less stressful for everyone involoved to sit them on your knee and slit the artery.
 
David Goodman
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Saybian, Burra... good thoughts.

I've never enjoyed the process of butchering and hate the taking of life, though necessary. Thanks to this thread, I did some more reading and may try killing via bleed-out next time around.

I treat the birds well while they're with me - killing them humanely before they get sent to Freezer Camp is one of my aims.
 
Saybian Morgan
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So I finaly found a pylon cost me 20 dollars, and as soon as I paid for it I felt like ugh how did I end up here. The cones I made from sheet metal failed as they were to small for the drakes, so I cut an opening in the extra large pylon and thankfully the drake did fit. Bad news, the drake who had been clawing me to pieces walked backwards out of a 3 foot long cone and left while I was getting ready. Maybe chickens are different, but with the claws of a muscovy the rubber of a pylon is like sticky boots.

I just mentioning this for posterity in case 5 years from now someone reads a post on pylon's for waterfowl, it doesn't work without a sheet metal lining........
 
Lance Wildwood
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Greetings:
My first post is on...death...go figure. Anyhow a humane way to kill rabbits and ducks and chickens is this device The Rabbit Wringer My friend just bought one for his smallholding and swears by it. I'm going to get one made locally even if it costs more. Cheers.
 
Joe Skeletor
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Just wanted to mention that this book has some information about dry aging lots of different meats, including waterfowl. Check it out from a library or buy it if you get a chance. Lots of information -

http://www.amazon.com/The-River-Cottage-Meat-Book/dp/1580088430/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346025908&sr=8-1&keywords=meat
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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