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Butchering

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smartinholm
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« on: March 17, 2009, 09:33:10 pm »

Last year was my first to process Muscovy (or any thing, for that matter).  I did a few chickens before I started the ducks.  I had read everything I could find on killing and butchering and tried a few methods before I settled on one that worked for me.  I'm going to describe it because I don't remember who gave me the tips to begin with, and some of them turned out really handy.
I didn't feel confident with neck-wringing, and I think not killing before bleeding is cruel.  So I had to find a way to kill that I could stand.  I'm a softie so this took some trial and error.  And holding the bird still for all this was a huge challenge.

I got the tip to cut off the end of a leg of jeans.  Use women's jeans for ducks and men's jeans for drakes.  Stuff the duck in head first, so then the head is sticking out the small end, and the wings are held snug by the pant leg.  The duck will usually lie quite still; sometimes I rest a foot on it's back (not hard) if it's struggling, and this will quiet it.
(Catching and handling a Muscovy that's not wanting to be caught and handled is a whole 'nother post!)

I have a .22 rifle.  My husband calls me the Executioner.  I stand over the duck that is held nice and snug on the ground and shoot it in the head.  This is probably the epitomy of the chicken's way out, but it works for me.  Bullets are cheap and go straight into the ground since I'm shooting down.  You never miss or mess up this way.

I have a rope with a loop that I slip over the duck's feet, and hang it now from a handy fence or tree.  If you leave the pant leg on the duck for this, it makes for much less flapping and mess.

Once hung up by the feet, I slit the throat and let it bleed out.
The rest of it's nothing special...head off, feet off, wings off (since I skin them).  Use a very sharp knife, resharpen it often, and be careful.  I'm a klutz and rarely make it through a butchering without a cut or two, but it's getting better.

Things go faster with practice.

Sharon in E. TX
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Kats
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 01:55:40 pm »

That's very helpful. The jeans legs sound like an excellent idea. The guy at our feed store said hang them by the legs and pull some sort of sack with a hole in it up over the bird so that it is trapped and the head is sticking out. Then he kills them by destroying the brain. Use a thin knife, push into mouth, up through palate and wiggle around. Then slit jugular to bleed out.
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Cathy
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 09:50:42 am »

Good post.  Some things my grandma mentioned about butchering ducks.  If you're going to pluck them, rather than dipping them by the feet as you would a chicken, dip hold them by the head and dip them; the feathers are designed to prevent water from getting to the skin from the head.  Also, a lot of people recommend adding Dawn dish soap to the water to break down some of the oils to help the water saturate the feathers.
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The information I have provided in this message is based on my own personal experiences, the experiences of others who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me, and a dash of opinion thrown in for extra flavor.  Your mileage may vary! Shocked)
VIMduck
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 12:50:33 am »

This sounds like a great way to do the dead. Unfortunately for us it is illegal........
My hubbie and I  do a double act and chop heads off. This enables me to collect the blood in a bowl - with a little vinegar to prevent congealing and ensure a swift dispatch - just like the .22
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