29 March 2015

Live caponizing take two

I still do not have a capon.  I don't even have a half-capon.  I do have one full cockerel and one dinner.  (*Sigh.*)  On the first try, I broke the poor cockerel's fixed rib so badly, I could not get the rib spreader in to try one rib down, and that one is now chilling in the refrigerator.  I couldn't even get the rib spreader in the right spot postmortem.  So, I put him into the carrier and set him in the shade while I took a smoke break and regrouped my thoughts before hubby brought out the second cockerel.

On the second cockerel, I initially cut in the right spot, but then he jumped when I first tried to insert the rib spreader, and after that I could not locate the cut in the muscle wall.  So, I made another cut ... and you guessed it, I was looking at lung tissue when I spread the ribs.  The good news is not only did I initially find the right spot, but I got the ribs spread without breaking any of them.  He's back in the rabbit hutch, has eaten and drank and now sunning himself.

Now, about that first cockerel, one of Luanne's Wyandottes although not the biggest or even second biggest.  He has a lovely carcass for only being about 11 weeks old.  Of course he is nowhere near as meaty as a Cornish-Rock cross, but he isn't supposed to be either.  The only oddity I noticed was that it appeared he had fluid around his heart.  The gizzard was surprisingly small on the inside, but with a lot of muscle.  What pieces of the liver I managed to salvage after nicking the bile duct look excellent.  Overall, a decent little dinner.
11 week old Wyandotte cockerel carcass

11 week old Wyandotte cockerel carcass
inside one gallon bag for scale

The scalpel helped a lot.  This was "just" the kind one can buy at Tractor Supply, but it is sharp and holds an edge well, and also does excellent for cutting the jugular for slaughtering.  When using it on the organs ... watch the bile duct by the liver.

I keep hitting the upper forward edge of the thigh muscle, which is getting downright annoying.  I know it's there, and now with the alcohol prep pads I can see the subcutaneous veins to avoid, and the shallow between the thigh and ribs is easier to see and feel with the birds stretched out more than before, yet I still hit it on the first cockerel.

The next two, the larger red broiler cockerels, will be going into the isolation crate tonight, for another round on Tuesday morning.  They'll be nine weeks old and the squabbling out in the two cockerel tractors is getting louder.  After I try on them, I will get back to the BLR Wyandotte cockerel, then the Ideal Poultry Wyandotte cockerels, most of whom are smaller than the red broilers.  After that, we will be eating either full or half Wyandotte cockerels for quite some time.


Me said...

The "mishaps" you're having are all the same ones everyone has. The difference is you're winging it alone without a teacher at your elbow. Brave woman you are! I took me about a dozen birds before I finally felt comfortable with the initial incision and locating necessary organs.
if you had 12 birds already deceased and laid out in front of you I think you'd be surprised at the success you'd have. Truly-you're doing awesome and you have the guts of a cave woman :-)

dfr2010 said...

"the guts of a cave woman," oh now that is amusing! Especially since I sometimes call hubby "caveman." No one was here to guide me on slaughtering; I learned that through pictures, posts, and videos online as well. My back would not hold up to 12 in a row, so I guess I am stuck with trying twosie-threesie to learn. Hmm ... four last month and four now this month. Maybe next month it will "click?"