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I have 7 birds that will be processed, all the be used to Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the guy that we use to process our Turkeys can only do it on November 6th. So they will be frozen for a week or so before the holiday. Will this be ok? It's our first year raising turkeys and I'm nervous about them being frozen first.

Also, does anyone have pictures of their 18-25 lb birds before processing? Trying to get an idea of how big mine are.
 

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they sell frozen turkeys in the grocery stores .
Yours shouldn't be any different than those ..
just weigh one of your live ones and divide by two.. that should give you a reasonably close estimate of their hanging weight..
 

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Do you have paying customers waiting for the birds? They might mind if they were frozen if they were expecting fresh.

For my personal consumption - I don't particularly care if they've been frozen or not.
 

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Nope, 4-5 of them are for our very large Thanksgiving dinner and the other 3 will definitely be frozen. Just didn't know if frozen/fresh would make a big difference taste wise for Thanksgiving.
 

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sounds like a good time to learn a homesteading skill , butchering is not hard at all. but even freezing them will be far better than anything bought from the store. maybe even do just one of the birds to build experience . I learned to butcher from a book many years before the net . plenty on youtube to teach you how. as stated above rest the birds in the fridge a few days before cooking or they will be tough .
 

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When I raised them for other folks, I scheduled my processing a year in advance so I could have them processed a couple of days prior to Thanksgiving. My customers wanted "fresh". This year, just did the turkeys for our family. We processed last weekend since the weather was decent. My birds taste awesome whether frozen or not. You'll be fine.
 

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A store bought frozen and genetically altered corpse of a bird call Turkey is not even comparable to what comes from the typical homestead. I've found most folks are going to prep/smoke/season/flavor/etc anyway to their own taste but having a farm fresh Turkey is the key. You are way ahead frozen or not.
 

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Last time I did broad breasted whites I really kept track of feed and weights. The chart on this was surprisingly accurate. I let them eat as much as they want (restricting feed would obviously effect their size). My birds free range, and given their walking ability (or lack thereof), their size comparison to this chart wasn't effected.

https://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=BBWTS


Males can get massive if you let them grow to their full size.
 

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How do you wrangle a bird that size to butcher him? The only time I've seen a turkey slaughtered was on Alaska: The Last Frontier when Eivin snuck up on his turkey with a samurai sword and chopped his head off. :) I would think it was a bit different grabbing a 30-40 pound turkey vs. grabbing an 8 pound chicken.....
 

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I place a bucket of feed in the corner of the pen , when the turkey puts its head in to eat I grab him by the wing and scoop him up.

hang from feet with rope , it will relax at this point. then cut under jaw with a very sharp knife to bleed out .

scald , pluck and gut.
 

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wonder if a larger turkey plucker could work? I have never processed a turkey, have done a oit of chickens with my chicken plucker I made myself. no way I'd ever go back to doing it by hand and not using it. no thanks. But turkey I would guess just out of the blue with absolutely no idea or experience might be easier than a chicken, due to the larger feathers/etc?
 

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Back before I started using killing cones, we'd cut the bottom corner out of a feed sack and put the turkey inside with it's head sticking out. Helps to control those big wings while you do the deed.
 

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to contain a turkey or a chicken. hold them by the base of the wings as close to their back as you can.
practice with a chicken for a few times until you get the idea..
I have built 5 whiz bang type pluckers. I have used them for chickens, ducks, large male muscovy ducks, geese and turkeys.. all the same .
the largest turkeys dressed out to about 18 pounds.
if we do just 4 chickens, I drag out the plucker. I wouldn't butcher any birds if I have to pluck by hand.
after plucking ducks, geese.. I do wax them..
use real dux wax, candle wax does not work..
it is expensive initially, but it is recyclable and a 20 lb block of it lasts a life time..
.....jiminwisc....
 

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haha, after reading this I remembered my retarded brother asked me how to pluck a chicken, so I told him to scald it first in hot water for a few seconds to loosen the feathers and pull back on the feathers/etc....

STOP READING NOW IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO non intentional ANIMAL CRUELTY by stupidity.


and so that is what he did...a bit unsuccessfully even after a few attempts as the chicken put up one heck of a fuss when you tried dipping it into the hot water....roflol....that still cracks me up.....he was saying the water was burning him as it splashed all over the place and knocked the pot over/etc, scratching him,....omg.....ya...I suppose it was my fault not telling him to actually cut and drain the thing first...oopsie....roflol...really wish I got video of him trying this....but that isn't all either....I did after of course call him a idiot and tell him he needed to dispatch the thing first, but once again didnt explain to him how to do it, so, he decides to do it by the ole 'ax in one hand chicken head on the stump method.... which works fine, once you actually understand and get used to doing it, which he wasn't... The chicken didn't seem to 'like him grabbing it by the legs and trying to swing it onto the block while simultaneously bring the hatchet down and cutting his head off.....and with a not really sharp hatchet at that....he kept missing as the chicken fought him, he cut part way through...and the chicken fought him even harder...and ya it still fought him after he cut the head off too.... omg...."What not to do when processing a chicken"
 
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