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need advice for de-feathering chickens

17 years ago

We butchered our first four cockerels last weekend. (I swore I wouldn't cry, but bawled my eyes out after the first one) They were still small but had started the nasty habit of cannibalism :-(

We used a home-made restraining cone clamped to a tall sawhorse with a trash barrel underneath to catch blood, feathers, etc. As soon as bleeding pretty much stopped (took just a minute) we tried plucking with feet tied to sawhorse (head down). What a mess! I could have probably spent an hour getting out feathers and pins on each small bird. Ended up skinning them all. This went well enough but then put the meat into fridge for a couple of days to age (as I thought should be done - ???) but it seemed dried and some whitish discoloration on areas. The exposed tendons were a translucent dark yellow. They are in the freezer now. Haven't been able to bring myself to eat them yet.

Any advice on plucking or is it supposed to be so difficult? Should the meat be 'aged'? We have 30+ more to do, so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks

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