chicken butchering day 2010

August 30, 2010

Not our favorite day, but once again it was time for chicken butchering. We did half of our flock (the big ones) and will do the other half in a couple weeks, after they’ve grown a bit. Warning, there are photos with this post that some people might not want to see. I’m going to post them, though, because… this is a farm blog. Don’t read further if you don’t want to see blood and guts.

We put the chickens in killing cones, and they become much calmer when they are upside down. We slice their jugular vein and they bleed to death. This is slightly less traumatic than chopping their heads off, but killing chickens is no fun no-matter what technique we use.

Next we scald them. We dunk them in 140 degree water for about 2 or 3 minutes, or until their wing feathers pull out easily when tugged on. Now they are ready to go in the chicken plucker.

Always our favorite part of the event, the Whiz Bang Chicken Plucker does its magic in 20 seconds. Not your grandmother’s chicken plucker, this state of the art contraption whirls the chickens around and rubber fingers pull all the feathers off the bird. Ain’t technology great.

Our super awesome crew: Trevor, Caitlin and James demonstrate the Whiz Bang’s wondrous result. We’ll pull the few remaining pin feathers off by hand.

Dad showed us the finer points of gutting a chicken.

We all gave it a try. It gets a lot easier with practice. There’s actually a lot of finesse in gutting a chicken, we discovered. Rule number 1: don’t bust the gall bladder or gross green stuff goes everywhere (we all did at least once though).

We buried all the guts and feathers in the garden, where they will become fertilizer. Then Dad took the chickens inside where he cleaned and washed them. We will keep the birds in the refrigerator for a couple days to allow them to tenderize before we freeze them. There will be enough for us to have a chicken a week for close to an entire year. Of course we won’t need to start using them up right away because the idea of roast chicken is somehow unsavory just now.


2 Responses to “chicken butchering day 2010”

  1. Annie said

    AWESOME POST! I LOVE THE WHIZ BANG CHICKEN PLUCKER! and i’m really sad to have missed chicken butchering day. you should make brandon go to the second one so he can get experience for when we have a flock some day. awwww doesn’t that sound homey. don’t tell him i said that.


    p.s. i had corn the other day. WORST CORN I’VE EVER HAD. what the fuck. and i’m sure that they won’t be able to beat the pig we made, which pretty much makes Iowa the most useless state in the union. oh well. god loves a useless state. and me. hopefully.

  2. Erica said

    I miss you, too ANNIE! I’ll definitely give Brandon a call for the next go-round. He seems like a chicken-a-minute kinda guy.

    C’mon, bad corn in Iowa? My view of the midwest is shattered. Been to Fairfield yet to meditate in the golden domes of the Maharishi? I want to hear that you’ve levitated to the platform up at the ceiling. And I want some frickin VIDEO of it, too, ok? Sweet.

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