Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Polyface Knives

I have had a lot of inquiries about the kind of knives Polyface uses and how to keep them sharp. The knives come from Victorinox (same company that makes Swiss Army knives) and we sharpen them by hand with sharpening stones.

Here is the link for Victorinox butchering knives. Below I have listed the knives we use and their purpose during broiler processing.

Butcher Knife (heavy stiff blade) --- Used for killing.

Skinning/Lamb Skinning knives --- Used for cutting up processed chickens into pieces and parts.

Here is the link for boning knives that we use for evisceration.

Any of the small straight narrow blades --- evisceration.

The straight back wide knife --- cutting off feet.

Narrow curved blade --- also used for cutting up processed chickens.

As for sharpening we just use a technique that Daniel has shown us. Any way will work and the internet is a great source for videos and articles explaining different techniques. I recommend getting a book or DVD or both and practicing. There is really no easy way that I know of.


Jedidja said...

Wow - what timing for this post .. was just slaughtering chickens over the last couple days and was really disappointed with the knives I was using. Will definitely take a look at the Victorinox models :)

Marci said...

Thank you for this information!!!

Anonymous said...

So if you had to buy only ONE knife for the whole Chicken/Turkey killing and evisceration, which would you choose? I've got a few options here on the farm, none of which I'm happy with.



Zechariah Stover said...

I just ran into your blog a few days ago while reading some online articles about Mr. Salatin and Polyface. I am working on getting into poultry and just finished reading Pastured Poultry Profits. I was just wondering what ration mix(es) and additives Polyface is using for their different poultry right now?

Thank you for your willingness to answer questions for us.


Brie said...

Hi Grady, I have a question that’s off the topic of knives. I am fascinated by Polyface and the Salatin’s ministry and am very interested in seeing it up close by way of the Real Summer Experience. However, I have absolutely no experience when it comes to farming. Although the website does say “no experience required” how would you advise someone like me who isn’t sure what she’s in for? Thanks for your time!

Anonymous said...

My friend uses a garden shear to snip off bunny feet -- but I use a cheap larger sturdy knife and a hammer -- I'm fairly weak so the shears are no good for me and the hammer trick is safer and more precise than a cleaver and also less umm, rustic too.

But with your industrial amounts of butchering work, have you considered getting a guillotine type tool for those kind of tougher cuts(like the feet) to save time and to avoid RSI?