18 March 2015

First try at live caponizing

We are NOT having chicken for dinner tonight - they both are still alive.  That's the good news.  The bad(dish) news is they are both still full cockerels.  I did not even get one teste out, but it was quite the educational experience.  Notes:

  • pluck feathers the DAY before.  I intended to do this last night, but was tired and figured I'd do it this morning.  This upsets the birds (they hate when they do it to each other) and sends their blood pressure up, which means more bleeding.  Oh, pluck both sides, with the bird tied down on the table.
  • Alcohol prep pads are a must for seeing the subcutaneous vein.  I definitely hit that one on the second bird.
  • Really tie them down tight.  If he can get a wing loose to flap, he will, and then that sends his blood pressure way up and makes a cut that barely bled bleed profusely.
  • Do this on a morning when hubby is not expecting a friend over, or has plans.  It helps if he can keep the washcloth over the cockerel's head.
  • Get disposable scalpel blades.  Mitzi sent me a scalpel blade handle, might as well use it until we get the hang of putting a proper edge on the permanent scalpels on the end of the grabby-things.
So there we are.  The first cockerel got his wings free when I tried to open up the rib spreader, while I managed to get the second one opened ... I was one rib too far forward and saw lung, not kidney and testes.  This was the same problem I was having on the carcasses last month, and I really need to remember to go back one dip before cutting.

I will take a good look at the weather forecast and try again soon.  One of the cockerels in the small triangle is now trying to crow, at only eight weeks.

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