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First time butchering turkeys- any advice? Set up, method, tools, etc?
What have you learned from your past experiences? Things you wish you would've known your first time, anything you learned the hard way?
I've been reading a lot of info online but honestly, I'm quite nervous. Okay...more than nervous. I think their size is intimidating, they're really ugly which certainly doesn't help the squeamish factor and besides, this will be the first time I've ever killed anything.
Any tips appreciated!
 

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I made a rope about 12" long with a loop on each side. We caught the turkey, held it upside down, made a lasso with one loop and lasso'd the 2 legs together. The other loop was used to hang it from a hook.

Once the turkey is upside down it will be calm. After that we slit the throat and let it bleed out.

Turkeys can be heavy. It's a 2 person job for us.
 

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I'm getting ready to do my first turkeys also. I've done hundreds of broiler's, and I'm thinking it's about the same just larger.

I've been trying to figure out a kill cone. I bought a round laundry basket I'm going to try and see if it will work. I'll let you know.

Bought freezer bags from the guy who created the whiz bang plucker. Again I'll let you know.
 

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Yeah, it's about the same as chickens. Their throats are tougher and a little harder to cut, use more force. When you pick the bird up to bring it to your kill cone or butcher block or baling twine loop, watch the wings. Those wings can break your face.... learned the hard way. I like to scald turkeys a few extra seconds too, the primary feathers REALLY are stuck on them.

That's about it, I got nothing else
 

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Here's the laundry basket I made into a kill cone. Did 1 hen today. Worked good, but I'm not not sure how the handles are going to hold up with a larger Tom and more uses.

The shrink bags I ordered from the whiz bang guy worked great. I got the large turkey bags.

The hen was 18 pounds dressed. I need to get the Tom's done next week.

I scalded her in a turkey frying pot. When I stuck her in water went everywhere, which I figured would happen. It took longer to scald than a chicken, but the pot worked ok.

I have a Yardbird plucker and it worked pretty good removing must of the feathers. I did have to pull her out a couple times and unclog the machine.

After she was plucked I thought cleaning her was easier than a chicken.
 

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First time butchering turkeys- any advice? Set up, method, tools, etc?
What have you learned from your past experiences? Things you wish you would've known your first time, anything you learned the hard way?
I've been reading a lot of info online but honestly, I'm quite nervous. Okay...more than nervous. I think their size is intimidating, they're really ugly which certainly doesn't help the squeamish factor and besides, this will be the first time I've ever killed anything.
Any tips appreciated!
First time butchering turkeys- any advice? Set up, method, tools, etc?
What have you learned from your past expin eriences? Things you wish you would've known your first time, anything you learned the hard way?
I've been reading a lot of info online but honestly, I'm quite nervous. Okay...more than nervous. I think their size is intimidating, they're really ugly which certainly doesn't help the squeamish factor and besides, this will be the first time I've ever killed anything.
Any tips appreciated!
We tried several methods before we came upon one that works. We took a road construction cone and cut the top out of it to make a butcher cone. Put the turkey in the cone head first and pull the head out the end. You can then chop the head off. The turkey will automatically flap it's wings when this happens, with them inside the cone you will not be injured and the bird will not bruise itself.
 
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Cones are great if you have one. I just hang the bird by it's feet and do not restrain the wings because I have had a bound bird break it's own wing bones in the after cut wing beating attempt. Very sharp knife, empty hand pulls the loose neck skin tight by pulling it down over the birds eyes. The knife is inserted into the neck blade out from in front of the bone and pulled out slicing the veins and windpipe while at the same time(as the knife exits) the hand grasping the head snaps it backward breaking the spinal cord. This is a fast no hesitation two hand process because you must duck and move back from the failing wings asap. Turkey wing feathers(especially broken ones) can cut bad. The birds heart is still beating and you can get a good bleed out.
I developed this method because cutting off a turkey head is no mean feat..loose skin moves and the bones are hard to cut between..even if the bird is restrained in a cone. You can start with a smaller bird for practice. For me this method is quicker and kinder. It is faster to do it than explain it. No sawing or trying to chop off heads.
 
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