Notice: More details added to turkey butchering post.

I’ve added some more photos and more detailed description about certain parts of the procedure that I thought were missing from yesterday’s post on butchering turkeys. These additions should be helpful to those ‘not in the know’.

Butchering Turkeys, a photo documentary


Filed under Animal issues, Chickens, Food Security, How to..., Preserving the harvest, Turkeys

7 responses to “Notice: More details added to turkey butchering post.

  1. Pingback: Pages tagged "duck"

  2. Chris

    I am wondering if the turkey needs any aging after butchering. I’ve been told chickens need about three days for the meat to relax. If so, what time frame do turkeys need and how many days can you keep a fresh turkey?

    • Hi Chris,

      The turkeys do not need any aging after butchering. I have killed them and roasted them in the same day several times. I have also done this with chicken. I used to take days/weeks in between but that was more about being squeamish about it in the beginning. I do not come from an agricultural background and so this journey has taken me on a steep emotional trajectory to get where I am now!

      As for how many days it stays fresh, the answer to this is relative to how cold it is kept. I’ve kept them in my fridge for up to five days before cooking. You have to use your common sense about these things. Just think about how many days it might be in transport between a commercial operation and your garden variety grocery store… a few days in your own fridge won’t hurt it!



  3. Belinda, Australia

    What an excellent website! I am now ready to do my first Turkey! I have done plenty of chickens and ducks, and have always found the plucking to be the most tedious.. – do you find plucking a turkey is easier?
    I have been searching everywhere for the above question regarding time between butchering & cooking… I do agree with you about the squeamish part…I have not done enough birds to be able to get over the smell of the body cavity quickly enough to eat it the same day! So I think I will do him the day before šŸ™‚
    Thanks for a fantastic website!

    • Hello Belinda,

      YES I find the plucking tedious. In fact, the last time I did my ducks I decided that I didn’t want to do ducks anymore because even in death, they are unwilling to let go of their feathers! lol. Turkeys definitely are the easiest and yes, the plucking machine is a godsend. I highly recommend getting one if you plan to do this on a continuous basis. It’s now on my Christmas wish list!

      Kind regards,


  4. Great info. I have several turkeys to process in a couple of days and was debating the best way to dispatch the bird and process. Thank you for the photos as they definitely help better than just reading.

  5. Laura Roberts

    We will be processing our turkeys tomorrow and I am taking the laptop out with me! I am also interested in being as humane as possible and will slit the jugular and let them bleed to sleep. This will be our first time and if we decide we don’t want to do this next year, then I don’t have any business raising them. Tomorrow is sink or swim day.

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