how to cut a bird

Cutting a Whole Chicken, Pheasant or Grouse

Naturally, begin with a while of quail, partridge, turkey, pheasant, or grouse. Cornish game hens are comparable to these last two, which are constructed similarly to chickens but are so tiny that not many people bother to cut them into their component parts.

A good pair of poultry shears and a sharp paring or boning knife are required; I like shears that have a bone notch that splits into two pieces for ease of cleaning.

Important information for hunters: This method works for both plucked and skinned birds.

Start with the legs. I push as much skin toward the thigh as I can by applying pressure to the space between my legs and breast. The key is to slice down into the gap until you notice that you have only sliced skin and not muscle. Once you get to the ball-and-socket joint where the leg is attached, carefully slice downward.

how to cut a bird

To release the leg/thigh, snap the leg back toward you and pop open the ball-and-socket joint.

how to cut a bird

Cut the leg free by tucking the knife behind the ball. The best part is to arc the knife around the little pocket of meat known as the “oyster” in birds as you cut past the socket joint. For grouse, the oyster is small, but for turkeys, chicken, and pheasants, it is large.

To remove all of the meat from the thigh, arc the knife beneath the bird’s back as you slice downward.

Bend the leg several times to determine the precise location of the joint if you wish to separate thighs from drumsticks. When you position the blade there and cut downward, the cartilage should be cut through rather than the bone. To get this right every time, it takes some practice.

Should I have my bird’s wings clipped?

The term “wing trim” or “wing clipping” describes the act of cutting or trimming the wing’s feathers, not the wing itself.

A bird’s wings are clipped to ensure that it cannot achieve or sustain upward flight, which prevents escape, unwanted roaming, and exposure to hazardous situations, rather than to totally prevent flight.

When released from their cages, birds—especially those left alone—may come into contact with various hazards or gain access to areas of the house they are not supposed to be in. They could fly into mirrors, open containers of hot liquids, and open windows and doors. Pet birds with unintentional trauma are frequently seen by avian veterinarians (e g. slammed feet or legs into a doorway, struck by ceiling fans, and thrown into boiling spaghetti sauce)

A wing clip is intended to prevent birds from falling free and injuring themselves on the ground by allowing them to flutter to the ground instead of crashing. They will quickly realize they can’t fly far after a few failed attempts. With their wings clipped, some birds are less ostentatious or cheeky, more dependent on their owner, and less aggressive. When owners are trying to teach their bird to walk or step on a hand, they frequently use wing clipping as a means of training it to become less independent and more receptive to hand training.

Is wing clipping cruel?

Regarding wing clipping, different people have different ideas, and what works for one bird might not work for another. The bird’s safety in its surroundings must be the top priority. A bird with its wings clipped can still exercise by flapping them while clinging to a perch or cage, and it can walk and climb anywhere. However, a proper wing trim can prevent your bird from flying out of open windows or doors, into ceiling fans, windows, and mirrors. Therefore, this easy procedure could save your bird’s life.


How do you break down pheasant?

Cut parallel to the pheasant until you reach the joint. Use your knife as a pivot and pull leg and thigh away from the pheasant. Repeat on the other side. To remove the breast meat, lay the pheasant on its back and cut as close to the sternum as possible and follow it down where the breast meets the wing.

What is the tender part of the bird?

The tenderloin of a chicken is the long, innermost muscle of the breast lying along the breastbone. It is the most tender meat on the bird.