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Butcher and dressing a Goose

 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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Speak now or forever hold your peace! One of my birds is going to die in the near future. I have at least 2 male geese and I am proposing to kill the larger, louder, 'friendlier' one as he is by far the most annoying. The slightly sleeker other sure male is the dominant one who is constantly esqorting the little goose and lady duck
and he will totally chase the larger on off with malice intent is the ration is smaller than normal. Dude almost broke one of my hand bones. Nastier, but quite and shy.

Now two males do for sure make a good guard squad and I am going to kinda miss that - they'd always sit in triangle formations and form phalanxes with the duck on the inside. I hope I don't make them more vulnerable to predation. So far there was a threat of a raccoon but they decided three geese was too much more them and went off to murder chickens.

I've killed and cleaned chickens but never water fowl. I've read up a bit from a couple places both on line and from the Country Living Encyclopedia. To scald or not to scald?

What about dressing them? Should I take the wings off at the elbow? The feet off at the joint or where the orange ends? Pinfeathers? Plucking tips? Tips on saving the down until such time as I have enough for something useful?

Thanks
 
Landon Sunrich
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Also on how I was planning to kill the thing.

So this goose will let me pick it up just fine. Often it will sidle up to me when I'm working and get pesky and I'll tell it to fuck off and things get a little nasty. I've picked it up by the neck on a few occasions briefly to fling it.

I was thinking of tying a noose from an apple tree limb, picking up the goose (who is calm when I carry him) putting his neck through the slipknot, dropping him, and immediately slitting his throat with a very sharp knife (one I've used on roosters before). Thoughts? Alternatives?
 
Renate Howard
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OK, I'll preface this with the fact that I've never killed a goose before - but, you'd need to be able to flip it so the blood drains out, and won't the wings beat you during the death-convulsions? I'd say put another noose on at least one foot and be prepared to let the neck noose go and have the foot noose pull it so it flips upside down, while at the same time stepping back away from the flopping wings.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Yeah, I was kinda thinking about grabbing it by the legs as I slit the throat. I'm pretty sure I could decapitate the thing in one or two good cuts. The roosters head came off in one. Its a really nasty sharp curved serrated knife. But it would still get blood all over the feathers and less importantly my for arm. Open to more suggestions. I just think that trying to hold its neck down on a chopping block would be lots more stress for everyone involved. Thanks for pointing out the flaw in my plan though. Idiot checks are always nice
 
Mike Cantrell
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Landon Sunrich wrote:Also on how I was planning to kill the thing.



I pick them up by the neck, then hold the whole body between my knees (to control the wings), and cut off the head.


I very much prefer to just skin them. Plucking is a huge, huge chore for really no benefit. Geese are so fatty that you don't need the extra fat from the skin to keep it moist. Roast it covered, or cook in a crock pot. You'll have cups and cups of fat, even from a lean wild goose.

(Hang on to that fat- green vegetables braised in goose fat are wonderful!)
 
Burra Maluca
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I've never done a goose, but when I do muscovy drakes, which are the biggest critters I feel up to dealing with, I have a chopping block near a tree with a noose set up tied to the tree trunk. I use the noose to keep the duck's head roughly in position so I get a good swipe with a hand axe, which is as much as I can manage when I have a critter in the other hand.

Here's a photo of my current set-up so you get some idea what I mean.



You can just about see the loop of black baler-twine around the lower part of the trunk, and if you look closely there's head (in a sock - I'm a coward) to the right of the chopping block.

The block is a bit of oak, sawn along the grain so it doesn't keep splitting when I whack it with the axe. It's cut quite long to allow for the length of the neck and the fact that I want the main body well supported. I keep more baler twine on the branch of the tree so I can hang them to bleed out.
 
Amy Woodhouse
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We breasted our geese, then took the legs and the wing meat and called it a day. Until we invest in a plucker doing it by hand is too much work. As far as killing any bird, we cut the the entire head off on a big locust stump with a large cleaver. Have a bucket next to the stump and create a wedge in it so when you stick the bird in upside down the neck stays off the bottom. One person holds the body and the other person stretches the neck out across the stump and chops. Tip... Hit harder than you think you need to the first time through and make sure your knife is razor sharp. My husband does this by himself when I can't help but I would not recommend doing that your first time.
 
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