Turkey Butchering Day 1, Wood Chipper Running And Chipping, Fire, Grilling Turkey - Saturday

Quite the busy day yesterday. It started rather late after our rather light night following the party, so it wasn't really till about mid day that everything got going.

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I got 7 pounds from the summer squash and got them in the cooler. In the next days I have to get the freeze dryer going so I can run a bunch of it.

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I am rather happy with my improvised restraining cone. I have a pile of planting pots and this 5 gallon pot is the perfect size. I cut a hole in the bottom and screwed it up to the support and the birds fit perfectly. I used the line on their legs to hold them up so not all their weight was on the plastic. The birds were all over 20 pounds each.

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I had forgotten to get the water basins setup so while @stryeyz worked on the first bird in the house I got the 4 basins setup, the hose run down to the basement and then the basins filled.

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I don't have propane yet so we skinned the first 3 birds.

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Around noon I selected the second bird and bled it out before taking it to the house. I really like the turkeys, their temperament and their inquisitiveness plus the amount of meat from each bird is great. The turkeys are all super mellow and at 17 weeks old they are getting just a bit big as judging by their tendons.

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The battery charged I ended up having to pour a little gas in the top of the carb to get the thing to fire up but once it did the wood chipper got quickly put to work. It is really nice to have it up and running again.

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I backed it up to the corner of the garden at the base of the hill right next to the tree I recently cut down. It is at the base of the trail and below the tree that was dropped on the hill. All of it is going to get put through the chipper.

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I ran for a while and got a nice little pile built when I heard a rattle as I fed branches. I saw a bolt on the chute was loose so I shut it down and got it tightened up before getting running again.

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I didn't even run for an hour but got the one tree chipped and a bunch of the saplings that I had cut on the hill. I then bled the third bird for the day and carried it to the house.

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I couldn't help but laugh at the warning sticker on the chute of the chipper. The severed finger tip is a nice touch.

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Our cherries are still coming in and while getting a fire going in the pit I had a handful to munch on. I need to go out and pick them again today as there is probably a half pound or more.

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With the 3 birds skinned and gutted we both got to work on breaking them down.

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One turkey breast at just shy of 3 pounds. Each of them was over 2 pounds.

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Breasts got cut to steaks and some larger pieces left. The thighs got boned and the legs got put aside for today.

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We ended up with 12 pounds of breast meat alone from the 3 birds. It got packaged into one pound bags and put in the fridge for finishing today.

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With everything we got our dinner set aside and I eventually got it marinated and then on the grill.

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We made it a nice and early soak which was really nice after the busy day.

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Another later than normal morning today which will be finishing the turkey processing, hauling branches down the hill to the chipper, harvests, and grilling turkey again this evening.


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We never had turkeys, so I wondered how they were to butcher....

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They are easier than chickens. Gutting them is a good bit easier since there is so much space. The only hard part is the plucking when they are so big.

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We have to tub plucker, so that wouldn't be an issue. We never did turkeys because we just aren't that fond of the meat.

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I like the meat better than chicken myself and I love their temperament. The roosters are so filled with raging hormones, they have testicles the size of eggs while the turkeys have them the size of peanuts.

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