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Country Discussion Topics
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How do you butcher chickens?
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Tom A    Posted 11-20-2001 at 05:12:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Really just curious.
Do you send them to a slaughterhouse or do it yourself.
If you do it yourself, do you cut the heads off, shoot 'em, or use a killing cone and cut the juglar vein and let 'em bleed?
Do you pluck by hand or have a machine plucker?
What do you do with the innards?

If you send them out, what's it cost?

Next year is going to be the first we'll raise a few chicks for "other than eggs"...the wife finally given in. I want to hear what the pro's and con's of each way are.


June    Posted 09-03-2002 at 10:07:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
To kill a chicken:
And step 1 is as important as step 6.
Boil a canning kettle full of water.
1. put about a 4 foot section of a 7 inch dia log at the bottom of your garden near a sturdy tree. Screw a 1 to a 1-1/2 inch enameled hook into the tree. Place the pan of boiling water next to the log. Get a 2 foot piece of string.
2. lean a boy scout hatchet against the log.
3. This is the hard part. Catch the chicken.
4. pick up the chicken holding both feet in your left hand if you are right handed, then hold the chicken upside down.
5. gently swing the chicken to and fro while walking back to the log. This kind of hypnotizes the chicken.
6. when you reach the log, pick up the ax in your right hand and smoothly, still holding the chicken by its feet, drape its head onto the log and immediately chop its head off. This should be a smooth operation.
7. As soon as it stops flapping dip the chicken into the boiling water still holding it by the legs. While it is in the boiling water tie the twine around its legs. By the time you get the twine tied around its legs it is time to take it out of the hot water. Hang it on the hook on the tree.
8. Pluck the chicken. If you want to save the feathers, put them in an old pillowcase. Fancy rooster hackle feathers can be sold (once they are cleaned) to a bait shop for fly tying fishermen.
9. Using a heavy pair of sheers, cut the chicken's stomach, starting at the vent. (a-hole to those who don't know what a vent is) DO NOT STICK THE SCISSORS WAY IN.!!! You don't want intestinal spill in the cavity and you definitly don't want the gall sac (which is right under the liver) ruptured. If you do, you might as well throw away the meat. If you are careful, you will have very little salmonella contamination. Salmonella is an inhabitant of the intestinal tract of chickens and other poultry.
10. Refrigerate immediately. Always slaughter a day ahead of cooking.
If you want to incubate your own eggs, get some banty hens, they are cheaper, more dependable( you never hear about their thermostat slipping a few degrees) and will fight to the death to protect their young. They will teach them how to scratch for seeds and bugs. Some make better mothers than others, just as humans do, but most banty hens are good mothers or a least good brooders. A cochin banty would be excellent, but we had a turken banty (a plain jane if there ever was one, but she would willing set a dozen eggs and wait patiently for them to hatch perhaps even a day over the gestation time (21 days). A hen who will do this you can depend to set other fowl species eggs. Even tho they are small, they will try to fit as many eggs as possible under them. We had one mini banty, the size of a pigeon, who would try to set 6 full size hens eggs. You would swear that she had a tire pump inflating her feathers. And the turken banty had a love affair going with the big silver laced rooster we had. If he was moved to another pen she would call to him and he would crow back at her with the most pathetic crow you ever heard.

totoo    Posted 03-06-2007 at 16:53:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
your so sick u freaks nasty what did that poor chicken ever do to you meanys

Wes Rohrs    Posted 12-07-2007 at 08:03:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Get a life. Have you ever seen the conditions of the chickens lives that you buy at Wal-Mart?? You would appreciate how we Home Growers do it!!

Theo    Posted 04-22-2003 at 05:49:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I want to see some streaming videos or photos with a woman who butcher a chicken.


Wingnut    Posted 11-22-2001 at 19:10:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OW, $4?! Wow! When I was a kid, we hatched chicks, so saved those $$ (but did spend a bit more work ;-). Also, we free-ranged them (had the luxury of enough room to do that), so would feed 200+ birds (not just chickens, but also peacocks, geese, ducks and guineas) for a month on 50 lbs. of scratch grain (and crushed egg shells for the chickens, maybe the occasional gallon of oyster shell, too). Then we figured out that banty hens are GREAT mothers, so let them do the hatching for us. That's the lazy way to do it ~ and the ONLY way to go now! LOL!

Okie-Dokie    Posted 11-22-2001 at 17:35:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hope this don't get too wordy! You need 2 t-posts, some clothesline wire & some gallon bleach bottles with the bottom cut out & part of the neck of the bottle cut off (about so the chicken's head will barely slip thru). Pound the t-posts in the ground 6ft. apart. String the bottles between the posts upside down on the wire & secure the wire ends to the posts. Dig a trench under the wire. Put the chickens in the bottles upside down & poke thier heads thru the neck of the bottles. They will settle down immediately. Slice the heads off & let drop in the trench. They will bleed out perfectly without any mess. When you are done processing the birds throw away the bottles, roll up the wire, pull up the posts, cover up the trench.

Judy V.    Posted 11-20-2001 at 20:25:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tom, I used to butcher my own chickens, but was up to 200 at 1 point. Found a state inspected place run by a woman in N IN. She charges .65 per bird, and jumbo birds (10lb) I believe are .85. She has the equipment to do a lot of birds, and they come out clean as a whistle!

Lew    Posted 11-20-2001 at 19:53:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Have not done chickens for the past 10 years. When we did though, I would hang them upside down by both legs and slice their head off with a hunting knife. This way all the flopping does not damage any meat. Once bled, I skinned them (no hot stinky feathers), skin and feathers. I field dressed them outside also and buried the entails deep in the garden. I would do 5 chickens each morning before I left for work and the wife would cut up, package and store (freeze, can, make soup) them so the next day we could do five more. Usually had about 30-35 to do so it took a week but it was spaced out so it did not dominate any one day. We preferred this type of chicken since we knew what they had to eat and how they were handled before we ate them. Yes it is work, but it results in very good clean chicken.

LarryAJ    Posted 11-20-2001 at 13:58:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I can remember my Grandmother "wringing" their necks. She would grab the head with one hand, chicken being held in other hand/arm, then in one motion drop the body while spinning the hand holding the head in a small circle. On the other hand, my Uncle would hold the head under his foot with the left hand and the legs with the right. Again, in one motion he would step down on the head and jerk the legs/body which was released as his arm reach out straight throwing the body out in the yard to flop around and bleed. Then Grandmother would pour scalding water over the chicken so she could pluck the feathers. When the feathers were off she would singe off the hairs on the body over the coal-oil stove.

I learned to love the hearts and gizzards, but NOT the liver! :-)

I sure do remember the squawking when she caught a hen for dinner. There was perticular sound that you didn't hear the chickens loose in the barn yard make at any other time. I got so I knew a lot of the sound meanings like the sound they would make when they had laid an egg. That was some of the best times in my life! I was in grade school and got to spend some of the summer on the farm.

IHank    Posted 11-20-2001 at 10:58:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tom- Years ago my sis-in-law raised a big flock of broilers each spring. Come butcher time they crated 'em up and took 'em to a small town butcher shop that was good with chickens.

They got 'em back nicely cleaned, frozen, and in plastic bags. Considering time, money, hassle, and mess, the fee was a bargain. Suggest you look into possiblities to do this in your area. Good luck, IHank

brian    Posted 08-25-2009 at 16:10:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You should be in politics, They wanted to know HOW to butcher a chicken, not Who butchers chickens

Tammy revels    Posted 05-17-2009 at 14:31:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
At What age do you butcher them?

Hilltopper    Posted 11-20-2001 at 10:23:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
We cut of the head. Then drop them in a bucket of scalding water. (stinks though) Makes the feathers come off easier. Guts make good fertilizer, but keep them away from the house. Chickens will pick up the guts sometimes and chase each other around... Weird. I pumped a bat out of a well pipe one day and the chickens played catch with it!!

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 11-20-2001 at 06:59:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The easiest way is to raise a few more than you really need, and find someone who will do the butchering in exchange for the extras.

OW    Posted 11-20-2001 at 06:32:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Be careful you don't rupture spleen or too many internal things - some of them taint the flavor of the meat. I suggest getting some experienced help or advisor the first time. My brother-in-law used to raise them but chick & feed cost alone ran them up to $4 and butchering took all day. We could have got same weight store birds for $2.65, no hassle. Live & learn ...
Gardens haven't paid for decades. taste good tho :)

LazyHorse    Posted 11-20-2001 at 05:19:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
We kep chickens mostly for the eggs. But when we butcher which is rare, we do it ourselves. We hang em up by the feet, cut the heads off and let em bleed out, then pluck by hand and gut. Save the heart, livers, and gizzards. Really not a bad job except for the plucking, which I let the wife do.

george m spenneberg,sr    Posted 07-17-2004 at 14:03:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i need help on how to butcher chickens not just blab blab thank you george

Darrick Carson    Posted 10-15-2007 at 23:51:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
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Hogman    Posted 11-20-2001 at 19:26:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mighty kindly of Ya LH ta let tha little woman have tha special pleasure. Maw hog's too kind'n considerate of My pleasures ta take such pleasantries away from Me. She goes on tha belief as "You killed it You clean it" I gets all tha fun stuff.

blueboy    Posted 07-03-2004 at 11:01:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
well how do you butcher chickens

blueboy    Posted 07-03-2004 at 11:01:59       [Reply]  [No Email]

Aleta Stark    Posted 10-16-2007 at 07:49:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
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