So in essence its aging the same time its brining? Or kill it sooner and age it, then brine it?
wayne fajkus wrote:Its that time of year, and a first for me (raising a thanksgiving turkey) Any tips would be appreciated. Butchering advice is great, but also looking for the preparation/cooking side of things if different than store bought turkeys.
Michael Polera wrote:You may want to consider how it is best to kill the turkey. I have been a part of three seasons butchering with different people, two of them extremely experienced organic farmers, all of whom I respect. All of them choose to NOT chop heads off, which I guess sends stress into the muscles and nerves as the turkey spasms to death, making for less tender meat. The more humane way I have seen practiced three times now is to use some sort of a cone - a traffic cone hung upside down with the top cut off will work - and stuff the bird upside down into the cone so the head sticks out the bottom. Then without cutting the esophagus, slice the main neck artery firmly. This sends the bird into shock so it is not feeling anything from that point on as it bleeds out and dies. We always thank the bird also for its sacrifice.
wayne fajkus wrote:This was pretty good:
Watch "How To Butcher a Turkey (at home)" on YouTube
wayne fajkus wrote:
Only dissappointment was the size. They weighed about 6 pounds gutted. They hatched late.
Erica Colmenares wrote:With both the chickens and the turkeys, they used the typical metal cones to hold them upside down with their heads sticking out. What she did differently than anyone else there had seen was that instead of making two cuts, she does one cut that gets both arteries. She holds their heads, putting her fingers at the edge of their cheekbones, then feels up the neck to find the space between the windpipe and the neck/vertebrae. The photo below shows where she inserts her knife, all the way through, with the blade up (away from her hand). Once inserted, she swivels the knife blade so that it points toward the beak and slices downward toward the cheekbone.
Andrew Mayflower wrote:
Wow, that is small. My broiler chickens averaged 5lbs at 10 weeks. How old, and what breed, were the turkeys? I realize, especially if heritage breeds, they're slower growing but that seems almost too small to want to harvest. After the fact would you have rather let them go until Thanksgiving next year, or do you like them being relatively small?
Andrew Mayflower wrote:
I'd love to see a video of that cut being made. If you or anyone else that was there took video and could post it I'd appreciate it. I might go with that next time I slaughter chickens. I like the idea of cutting both neck arteries, but don't like doing a secondary cutting operation as I worry the animal will feel that too much.
Timothy Markus wrote:I saw your post in this thread that you had heritage turkeys again this year as well as broad breasted. How did you find the taste of the heritage birds?