Questions about your order?….. Don't hesitate to e-mail us….. Herrick@PlanetWhizbang.com


Feedback & New Ideas
For Successful Shrink-Bagging

Dateline: 15 July 2012
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 "The shrink bags we bought from you worked great and the birds look professionally packaged, even with my hand-written labels." (Todd Stevens, Oregon)
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It has now been one year since we started selling our Planet Whizbang poultry shrink bags online from this web site. We have sold a LOT of shrink bags and we’ve received a lot of great customer feedback. 

All the feedback has been entirely positive, with the exception of one person who said the bags would not shrink like I show in The Tutorial. The problem in that instance was a malfunctioning thermometer (if you get the temperature of your water up to 200 degrees, the bags will shrink).

The best feedback is, of course, when people who tried one of our “Easy kits” discovers how great the bags work and order more bags. A 25-bag Easy Kit, with zip-ties and freezer labels costs less than $20 (and that includes Priority shipping).

Sometimes, our customers pass on a good idea and this web page is dedicated to sharing those good ideas. If you have any tips, techniques, or advice that you’d like to share with fellow shrink-baggers, please contact me by e-mail at: Herrick@PlanetWhizbang.com

Good Idea #1

Loop the twisted bag end and zip-tie it.

Herrick,

I wanted to send you a thank-you e-mail for finding/selling the shrink-wrap bags for chicken processing.  The bags simplified our post-processing step and allowed us to get the birds into the freezer quickly.  They were simple and easy to use.  After we got the process worked out, I put our 12-year-old daughter in charge of packaging and labeling and she did a great job managing that station.  The only step I added differently than your tutorial was to double-over the twisted end of the bag before applying the zip tie which made a better seal.  It worked great.

This year we called our chicken-growing project "Meat for Missions" and donated all of the proceeds to a foreign missions project.  Many people who bought chickens came to participate in the processing day.  Including all the children, we had 26 people and processed 150+ birds in 5 hours.   It was hard work, but everyone had fun!  Talk about a community-building activity!

George C.
Ohio


I have used George's idea of twisting the end of the bag into a loop and zip-tying it (as shown in the picture above) and I think it's a great idea. Here are pictures showing the result.

The zip-tied loop after shrinking.


Another view of the zip-tied loop after shrinking.


Good Idea #2

The Sharpie-circle on this oven-shrunk bag of wings makes finding the air-vent-slice easy after shrinking.

Sometimes, after shrinking a bag, it's hard to find the small air-vent knife slice. This is especially the case when shrinking small bags of chicken parts (as discussed in Good Idea #3 below).  My friend, Pat Gorham, told me he solves this problem by drawing a circle on the bag, around the vent slice, with a Sharpie marker. It's a great idea that I wasted no time putting to use.

See how easy that was!


Good Idea #3

Our shrink bags can be used to shrink-package smaller chicken parts 

I'll take credit for this idea. I discovered that, by using an inexpensive ($30) impulse heat sealer, you can make smaller shrink bags out of our standard chicken-size bags.  And I've discovered that it is also possible to oven-shrink smaller bags. I explain it all at This Web Page.

Good Idea #4
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"That little hole you poke in the bag is not really necessary, in my opinion. It’s a problem. I realize that I probably wasn’t dunking fast enough but we got water in most of the bags, until I quit poking the hole. Try this: Don’t spin the bag….just twist it once and put the tie wrap on loosely…about 6 clicks to closed. Then hold the bag by the neck above the tie wrap and dunk to the wrap. Have a pliers or a tie wrap tug ready to go. As soon as the water reaches the tie wrap, yank that sucker closed and remove the bag from the water. Voile’! No air, no hole, no water. Just a well-shrunk bag with a very tight tie wrap." 
(From Jaye Bergamini, Eaton Rapids, Michigan)

Good Idea #5
My husband Dave Conway recently built one of your whizbang chicken pluckers. We processed 23 chickens today and it worked great! We purchased shrink bags and looked to your site for assistance on how to do this. We tried as suggested by Jaye Bergamini (Good Idea #4) but we had big chickens and it was hard to hold onto the bag while dunking. Dave took a piece of spaghetti tubing (used for drip irrigation but you could use any little tube) around 10” long, inserted it into the bag and twisted the bag around it with a zip tie. Tightened the zip tie snug. After 3 seconds in the water we pulled tube out and tightened the zip tie all the way. It gives you more to hang onto and really worked well. Pictures are attached! Good day to you and thank you for a wonderful website. 

Tube in bag.

Twist bag around tube.

Fasten zip tie

Finished product

Good Idea #6
(10-pound Birds in a 6-pound Bag)

We say that our standared 10" x 16" chicken shrink bags will hold a 6-pound dressed chicken (7 or even 8 pounds if you put some effort into it). But it so happens that Jeff Byrum has managed to get 10-pound chickens into a 6-pound bag. I'll let Jeff explain it ...

Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the great stuff you have.  I built a Whizbang chicken plucker a couple of years ago and could not imagine doing more than ten birds at a time if I had to hand pick the chickens, but with the plucker I easily raise and process 50 at a time.

Anyway, I butchered birds this past weekend at just under 10 weeks of age.  I knew they were big birds, but the 48 straight run birds averaged over seven and a half pounds!  The largest bird was a touch over TEN pounds!  I was a little concerned about getting the bird into the shrink bag since the largest I had ever had to put into a bag was less than nine pounds and I knew that was a tight fit.  But, with a little pushing and wing tucking I got that 10 pound bird, and the other half dozen 9 pound plus birds, into the bags, zip tied, and shrunk.  There wasn’t any excess bag to cut off, but they are in there. 

With so many large birds to fit into the bags, I developed a technique that worked very well for me to get the chickens into the bags in just seconds.   You start by holding the chicken by the sides, head down and wings under your hands, with the breast away from you.  Next, you slip the head end of the chicken into the bag up to the wings with a little bit of scrunched up bag on the bird.  Then, with your first two fingers holding the bag, put your thumbs in the last joint of the wings and tuck the wing tips into the bag.  This leaves the base of your thumbs just about right on the next joint of the wings and you can continue pulling the bag up with your fingers and shove the rest of the wings into the bag.  Once you have the wings in, it is all down hill from there and the rest of the bird easily slides into the bag.  Those bags are very tough; I never tore a single one.  I wish I had been able to take pictures of the process, but I haven’t figured out how to graft another arm on yet.

The whole time I was shoving birds into bags I kept thinking, “Boy wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of a compression sleeve that you could slip the bag onto the bottom of then just shove the chicken in the top and right into the bag.”  I’ll have to do a little thinking and looking around on that one, but if I come up with something that works well I’ll let you know.
(Jeff Byrum, Greenville, Wisconsin)



Good Idea #7

I did some looking and found the industrial version of what I was thinking about for a sleeve.  I’ll have to see if I can reverse engineer something that will work.  Here is a link to the website I found, and a picture of the device [see below].  It doesn’t look too complicated. I think the method and tension holding the sides in is the key parameter to figure out.
(Jeff Byrum, Greenville, Wisconsin)

A manual bagging funnel (for getting big birds into small bags). Click Here for web page.


Good Idea #8
I'm waiting for someone to send me Good Idea #8. Don't be shy..... Herrick@PlanetWhizbang.com