Turkey Processing Set-up

No graphic description of how to process the turkeys, just photos of what how we set up to get ready.

This is a 55 gallon drum that Myles cut in half with a sawsall. It’s filled part of the way with water and then heated.
After it was heated we were able to skim off all the paint.

We should have started the water heating sooner than we did. It took a long time to heat that much water when it was 37˚ outside.

Myles screwed the restraining cone into an old shelf to give it some stability and portability. There were other families that wanted to borrow it when we were done.
We don’t want to leave it outside in the weather, this way we can store it in the barn the rest of the year.

The garbage can is lined with an empty shavings bag to catch the blood. We have dogs so we wanted to be able to remove anything that would attract the dogs or other animals.

We bought our cone through Amazon (here). It arrived in less than a week. We were so busy with other things that we decided it was best to buy one instead of trying to build one. At a little under $53, it was worth it. Even better because I had some Swagbucks credits on Amazon so it was less than that!

A 4 x 4 post was placed between two ladders with a bucket located below an eye bolt. The garbage pail is for the feathers from plucking.

We knew our turkeys would be big. The 4 x 4 post and the big eye bolt were just what was needed.

Myles brought an old card table to do the final processing and picking out more feathers.
There were stools covered in garbage bags for everyone to sit on, they just didn’t make it into the photo.

I rinsed off the turkeys and picked off the last few bits of feathers in the kitchen sink. We were planning on placing them in turkey roasting bags, but the turkeys were too big for the bags, so we used regular kitchen bags to store two overnight. The large turkey was double wrapped and placed in a freezer.

Are you wondering how big the turkeys were?

We had two that weighed in a little over 40 lbs, and one that weighed 47 lbs. They were just about 6 months old when we processed them.

The biggest one is in the freezer waiting for summer. We’ll cook him in a pit.

We started cooking one of the 40 lb turkeys on Wednesday afternoon, he was ready to eat about 11:30 on Thanksgiving Day.

Home grown turkey is delicious!

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