Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fall Butchering Set-Up

We had 6 rabbits and 6 chickens to process this fall. It was a chilly day so we decided to do it indoors. We have a nice commercial stainless steel sink set-up outside but it's too heavy to move so we improvised. DH does all the set-up of the tools needed. He worked many years in food prep and restaurant management when he was younger so I leave that part of the operation to him. It takes him about an hour to get everything lined out the way he likes it. While he's doing that, I stick something in the slow cooker because I know we're going to be too tired to fix a meal at the end of the day. This time it was a mess of green beans with onions and potatoes and little sausages.
After I got that started, I went out to the garage/workshop to get some pix of DH setting up for butchering.
First, he filled up the turkey fryer with water and got it heating up to dunk the chickens in- to make plucking easier.
While that was heating, he filled up several buckets and coolers with ice water to put the cleaned animals in.
Then he placed a clean board on his saw horses and lined up his knives. Beside this he put a bucket of hot soapy/bleached water to clean the knives and the "table" top.
Once he was satisfied he had everything he needed for butchering, he stepped outside and set up the killing cones for the chickens. He used a piece of shelving turned on its side with the cones hanging through. We ended up using 2 cones because we were processing older hens and younger roosters so we needed 2 different size openings.
Then he went back inside and set up a hanger for me to pluck the birds on. He uses one we bought for deer processing and ties rope with slip knots on the ends to place the feet in. We put a big trash barrel underneath to catch MOST of the feathers and make clean-up a little easier.
I didn't get a picture of the rabbit killing box. He uses a cardboard box, slightly larger than the rabbit with a little bit of hay or greens in the bottom. 

And there you have our butchering outfit. Mostly homemade or re-purposed items make up the whole set-up, which is perfect for small scale home processing! 

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  1. Oh how I HATED butcher and slaughter day. I still do. I think one of the reasons I stopped hunting was because I dislike the cleaning and butchering part so much. It is my plan to avoid that job as long as I possibly can.

    Nice set up though. Brings back memories and reminded me that I need some type fo cone myself for the day I have o do it again.

    1. It's not my favorite day either although there is a satisfied feeling when it's over. The goats go to a processor. We can (and have) do them ourselves but the end result was less efficiency+ more backache.

  2. Great set up, will some of those ideas when we have our next kill day :-)

  3. I like it too. Our next butcher day won't be until spring, but I may be coming back to look at your set-up when the time come.


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