Turkeys are leaders in poultry production. From one pure breed you can get twelve kilograms of pure meat, and in crosses this figure can reach eighteen kilograms. However, to extract the maximum amount of the final product, certain slaughter rules must be observed. Before you hammer the turkey, you need to fatten and cook it, and after that – pinch and cut it. There are several ways to kill a bird, and they require certain skills from poultry farmers.
- Cooking turkey for slaughter
- Killer turkey methods
- Internal slaughter method
- External slaughter method
- Pinching a bird
- Gut turkey
- Meat storage
- Bird freeze
Cook turkey for slaughter
Turkeys of different breeds are usually killed at the age of eight months. By this time, the bird weighs about twelve kilograms when properly fed . Broiler lines grow faster than ordinary breeds and can reach this weight in six months, and carrying and breeding males are slaughtered at the age of two to three years. Usually by this time the birds are already losing their productive qualities. If you do not withstand such time limits, then the meat loses its taste and becomes coarse. If a turkey is grown for slaughter at home, this requires a large number of concentrates.Usually, special precocious crosses are purchased for this purpose, which practically do not need walking, this will facilitate their cultivation several times.
Slaughter of turkeys at home should be carried out before the molting process begins. If the bird has changed its plumage, then it cannot be successfully plucked. Dark spots will remain on the skin, which reduce the cost of meat during the sale.
Immediately before the slaughter of turkeys, a set of measures must be taken. Preparatory work includes:
- Before slaughter turkeys can not be fed for a day.
- Birds should be planted in a dark room with free access to water.
- Glauber’s salt is added to the turkeys to drink for better bowel cleansing.
- Two weeks before slaughter, the birds need to be given rye flour and wet bran.
Remember that one turkey eats several kilograms of grain, so a complete bowel cleansing may take some time. If you do not carry out such procedures, then when gutting, you can stain the meat. In addition, if the carcass with dirty intestines is not timely treated, then the remains of feces can poison the product.
There are different recommendations when slaughtering turkeys, but the size of the feathery by this moment should be at least twelve kilograms. If the required weight has not been reached, then the turkey content will not pay off.
Methods for slaughtering turkeys
There are several ways to slaughter a bird at home.On many farms, poultry farmers use an ax to kill a turkey. However, this method of killing is suitable for those individuals whose meat will be instantly processed. If the carcass is put up for sale , then decapitation is not suitable as a way to kill. Dirt and harmful bacteria can get into a lacerated wound, and the appearance of a turkey loses its commercial quality.
Decapitation with an ax or a cutting knife is acceptable for old turkeys, since holding this bird is quite difficult.
Another indicator of meat quality is maximum bleeding. So the closed slaughter method is considered the best way to kill a feathered bird. In this case, the meat very quickly loses excess blood, and the final product retains a neat appearance.
Internal method of slaughter
For this method, use long thin scissors with sharp blades. First, the beak is opened, after which the veins are cut over the tongue. In this part of the palate, the turkeys pass two important arteries – the jugular and the pavement. If their integrity is violated, the bird will quickly die from blood loss. After this procedure, the turkey is suspended by the legs for a while, so that the excess liquid flows through the wound.
During the cutting of the veins, the bird’s cerebellum should also be damaged by an exact injection. In this case, the turkey will paralyze, and his muscles will relax. If this is not done, the plucking procedure will be much more complicated.
After the bulk of the blood has drained out, you can remove the feathers and down. The males are plucked while the body is still warm, and the females are processed by cooling.
External method of slaughter
This method of killing a bird does not preserve the quality of the final product very well, however it is suitable for a bird over three years old. The jugular vein is cut with a sharp slaughter knife on the outside of the neck, after which the turkeys are also suspended by the legs for draining blood. The blade of the killing device must have the shape of a cone.
Farmers answer differently to the question of how to hammer a turkey properly, since each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The method of slaughtering poultry mainly depends on how much the turkey weighs and how old it is. Beginners are advised to consult with experienced poultry farmers or watch training videos.
Plucking a bird
The procedure for removing feathers and plumage in turkeys is the same as that of chickens and ducks . Some breeders prefer to pluck the bird dry after slaughter. This allows the meat to stay fresh longer. However, if several turkeys went to slaughter, their carcasses are plucked with a half-ball.
To do this, first fly and tail feathers are removed, after which the dead body is poured with boiling water.It is important not to cook turkey skin, otherwise it will affect the cost of the product. Water temperature should not exceed sixty degrees. Large feathers are removed in the direction of their growth, so the skin does not tear. Fine feathers and fluff can usually be pulled out in any direction. After the plucking procedure, the turkey is prepared for cutting. To do this, excess blood is removed from the mouth, the legs and head are washed and wiped dry.
Gutting the turkey
To cut the carcass, I use a special knife with a thin blade. They cut the stomach of the turkey, after they get the stomach, liver and heart. There are two types of turkey gutting:
- A complete butchery is cut off the neck along the second vertebra and the joints of the paws, the internal organs are removed.
- Incomplete butchery – the neck remains, the internal organs are washed and returned back to abdominal cavity.
Turkeys are cut in different ways depending on age and breed. Full gutting is most often used for young individuals with soft and dietary meat. Such individuals are usually used for roasting in its entirety.
Incomplete cutting is suitable for adult birds, whose meat is used for broths and for minced meat. With incomplete gutting, the turkey is stored for no more than four days.
Storage of meat
There are several ways to store turkeys before eating or selling:
- cellar or glacier;
- vacuum packaging;
- freezing containers.
The storage method depends on how much the final product was. A large amount of meat can be kept in glaciers or in the cellar. Chilled, the product is stored for a week. If there are no places on the farm with a temperature not exceeding five degrees, then the carcass can be preserved by wrapping it in a cloth soaked in a bite.
Salt solution will help to extend the shelf life. It is poured inside the bird a week after slaughtering the turkey, filling the carcass by half. Four hundred grams of salt is used per liter of boiling water. Before processing, the liquid should be cooled. After the throat hole is pulled together with fishing line or thread, and the solution is kept in the turkey for about a day. Twenty hours later, the thread is cut and the liquid drains.
In this case, the carcasses of turkeys can be stored in the cellar for another week. Vacuum packaging is considered a good storage method. With the help of a protective film, the carcass is preserved from bacteria and dirt, and the vacuum does not allow the meat to rot. In this form, turkeys are often put up for sale. In addition, vacuum packaging allows you to save as a whole bird, as well as individual parts. However, if the carcass is too large, this storage method may not be suitable.
This procedure is mandatory for long-distance transport of meat. Usually freezing carcasses is combined with vacuum packaging of goods. Freezing as well as slaughtering domestic turkeys requires strict rules.
Before cooling the turkey, the carcass should lie down for a while at a temperature of ten degrees, this is done so that the meat ripens and when the body cools, the bird freezes completely. In this case, only the upper part of the turkey will freeze, and the lower one may begin to rot in a few days.
The temperature in the refrigerators should not drop below zero, since in this case the muscle fibers after defrosting, such meat will crumble and disintegrate.
When frozen, the turkey is stored for two weeks and can withstand prolonged transport in special freezers. Defrosting should occur gradually, as the meat can easily lose its structure and nutritional values It is forbidden to use boiling water when defrosting meat, this will make it dry and tasteless.