Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turkeys - Killing and Plucking

I went back to the turkey farm today, and its their 3rd day of killing the turkeys, they have 600 birds, so it takes a while to get them all done. They have been raised from day old chicks and now is the time when they are killed and plucked.
There was about 6 of us all in a container with a rail running along the top, with hook things on. The turkeys legs are put into either side of the hook, and hung up, and then you start to pluck them. The wings should be done first because if the bird starts to go cold they are hard to pull out because the fat that is holding in the feather turns into a solid. You just hold onto the wing and pull the flight feathers up, they are quite hard to pull out, and sometimes you have to use pliers to get them out. Then you start on the back of the wing with the smaller feathers, onto the breast and up to the legs. The feather 'pins' left behind from some feathers need to be pulled out aswell. Once that is done the bird is unhooked and taken to the big fridge containers and hung up on the racks I painted a few weeks ago.

The feathers are just thrown onto the floor of the container, and then bagged up and sent for incineration as they're classed as industrial waste!

The birds are hung there for a few weeks to let the muscles relax, which gives a better flavour and texture to the meat.

I didn't kill and today, but I think I'm going to tomorrow.

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