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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Girl on Turkey Action

Sometimes it is fun to title something from a browser search that lead to your blog.

No pictures, but this will be wordfully violent, so my wonderful vegan friends, and those that prefer to believe that meat grows in packages in grocery stores, I would suggest you skip the rest of this post.

I don't kill things. I just haven't got to that point in my life or this homesteading deal to actually do the deed myself. Husband has a talent for it, and I would never want to steal his thunder by doing it.

I few days before Thanksgiving it was time to butcher. We decided to butcher 4 turkeys. As they like to sleep on the back porch, it was simple to do to grab one and carry it to slaughter. Husband works during the day, so this had to be preformed in the evening. Did I mention it was 20F degrees?

Husband scooped up one of the ladies and I wrapped her wings tightly. We need a cone. That's all there is to it. Husband needs to either create something that will replace me. Here is some soap, spiff up that dirty little mind of yours. We took her over to the block and as I partially laid on her (oh the google hits from that) husband got her to bleed. It was difficult for me. I am a wussy, and I cried a bit. I could feel her fighting death, I could feel the life draining from her as I kept her from jerking about. The blood gushed for an eternity, before she sighed, and was gone. She took it stoically though, no desperate screeching came from her.

She was hung and allowed to bleed out.

At 20F degrees, we decided to only do one more bird that night. She was easier on me than the first. I just don't kill things. Don't care if it makes me a hypocrite, I just don't have the emotional fortitude to do it.

Husband had made me a hanging box out of privacy fencing. I love it! It works wonderfully. This spring he says he will fit it to be a smoker. I digress, cleaning the birds is more my style. Because of the lateness of the evening by the time I got around to cleaning, I forgone the defeathering for the night. Merely degibblitizing the insides. This was the first female turkey I have done. The books say that at this age you will have to deal with eggs. Not so with mine, they seemed to be woefully immature. The eggs I found was a finger length of fabric/flesh with tiny little balls covering it. No egg cycle system in broad colors as it is with the chickens.

We hung the birds overnight, and I tackled feathers in the morning. It was even colder by that time. Morning found frozen water and heavy frost settled on the ground. The hung turkeys did not freeze thanks to the box. I spent the morning thawing water out, lighting fires and making sure I had all my equipment. Plucking seemed easier this round then it has in the past.

The process was repeated that night with 2 more turkeys. And may I suggest that if you are doing more than 1 turkey to have a little help with the plucking part of it. My hands were killing me by the time I moved on to the 4th bird. They were cramped and I swear I could feel the beginning burns of blisters from the pliers.

The remaining 2 turkeys have decided to now sleep on the front porch.

The birds hung in the box dry aging for 24 hours. The first hen that we killed made it to our Thanksgiving table. She was light at about 19lbs. And delicious! Well worth the emotional trauma I had to suffer for my meal.

Thanksgiving dinner was almost entirely homegrown food stuff. The rest was local grown.

So how was your Thanksgiving?


Angelia De Los Santos said...

Well, see now, that kinda alters my image of you...I could swear that you are a cold-blooded killer, LOL ;) While I have contemplated killing things, errr, animals..I think it would have to be one that I did not have to see daily prior to butchering it. SO, I may still let my brothers talk me into going deer hunting with them, but first I think I need to stop putting my Jeep in the ditch everytime I try to avoid hitting fuzzy critters that wander in to my path (I live in the country now)before I can manage to bring down Bambi's mommy. Anyway, I am rambling...glad your turkey was tasty and no emotional ill-effects were suffered :)
Talk soon,

Phelan said...

I know what you mean, the other night on the way home I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting 6 deers. As I stopped a 7th ran into the side of my car! Then more tan I could count came bounding across the road.

SkippyMom said...

Sounds delicious - my grandma had a chicken farm and I miss all the fresh poultry. Although I didn't have to be involved in the killing/bleeding [too young] I plucked a few in my time. :)

I hit a deer once, in broad daylight, while 8 months pregnant, driving a sub compact. When the cop [who happened to be in front of me] stopped to help he asked why I was crying. Was I sad I killed the deer? I said "Hell no the damn thing totaled my car." Then he noticed how pregnant I was an freaked out. I was fine. Just mad.

When I called my husband after the accident - instead of asking if I or the baby was okay - he said "How's the car?" I hung up on him. ;D

Darren (Green Change) said...

Cool title :-). Although, pictures (and possibly a video) would have sent your Google traffic through the roof!

We've been breeding and eating our own chickens for a while, and I'm planning to give turkeys a go later this year. Are they any harder to process than chickens?

Phelan said...

The only difficult part is the pulling of tail and wing feathers. If you don't use the tail, I highly suggest cutting it off without removing the feathers.

My first time butchering a turkey an be found here Butchering your Turkey

It has a few pictures as well as what not to do. :D

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