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First Turkey Processing *Graphic Pics*

Turkey Processing

I have this addiction to buying birds. If they go on sale, watch out! So one year it got a bit out of hand. I bought 5 Giant White turkeys. Unfortunately only 1 lived. We named him Lucky. One of the only birds to ever be named on our property. Shortly after that we bought 9 bourbon red turkeys from a 4Her. After that I was buying food and there were broad breasted bronze turkeys on sale. I bought them all, 10 in total. Feeding time got a bit crazy!

the kid is surrounded!

We suffered some deaths. The Bourbon reds kept flying into the dog run and getting eaten by the dogs. I had one broad breasted bronze die from an unknown disorder. Otherwise they did well and grew quickly!

Gobble!

I really loved the turkeys. I just enjoyed having them around. They were funny and slow. Our Son could pet them like puppies. Just enjoyable birds. Unfortunately they were food and it was the weekend before Thanksgiving. We gave most of them away but sold a few. We invited friends over, had my parents watch our kids and got to work killing.

First we got the scalding pot ready. Our scalding pot is an extremely large tamale pot that we got at a flea market in Denver. We heat it with this Bucket Heater. This is the actual bucket heater we bought and use. It is an affiliate link. It was extremely cold the day we did this and it took some time to get the water up to temp. We finally elevated it off of our freezing cold concrete on some blocks. After that we did not need the heat gun to help. The bucket heater heated it just fine.

water check

In anticipation of this day we bought a plucker. Boy am I glad we did! Now I have hand plucked birds. It’s not bad if you are just doing 1. It is bad if you are doing more than that. It takes a large amount of time and can really make a persons fingers ache. So while this plucker was mondo expensive I’m glad we have it.

plucker

We caught the bourbon reds first. I thought it would be wise to do smallest to largest. The men were killing, scalding and plucking and I had a friend inside who was helping me gut and bag them.

hanging

We hung the birds up and slit their throats. Not pretty but effective and imo, humane.

Ivan and BBW

Here is my beautiful husband holding our large broad breasted bronze Tom. He had a processed weight of 35lbs.

plucked

Yup, that’s him.

35 lb

Doesn’t that plucker work fabulously!

“Lucky” was last. He was 60lbs live weight. Quite the bird to catch and haul.

Lucky

Took 2 men to hold him for scalding.

scalding Lucky

cooked Lucky

Took our entire oven and 1/2 a day but Lucky tasted fabulous!

 

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