Today, my husband and I joined forces with our neighbors and butchered 25 of their meat hens and 25 of our own! We raised Cornish Rock meat chickens for eight weeks. I love raising my own chickens and knowing what I’m feeding my children.
Butchering isn’t pretty, but my chickens live a very good life in my backyard for eight weeks and when it is time to do the hard task, I make it quick.
Most of us eat chicken. Perhaps, you’d like to raise meat hens. This post will help you. Perhaps, you never want to raise chickens. This post will give you an appreciation for those who prepare them for you.
Today, I’ll take you through what our day looked like. And yes, there is some blood in the pictures.
Above is a picture of the the butchering camp: evisceration station, boiling pot, plucking machine, final plucking table, and gutting table.
Step One: Evisceration- This was one of my stations, along with my neighbor’s husband. The bird’s head goes down into a cone and the artery’s are sliced.
Step Two: Dip bird into boiling water for thirty seconds to loosen feathers
Step Three: Pluck feathers by hand or if you have a machine, run it until the birds’ skin is clean.
Step Four: Final plucking table- Check the bird for any little feathers that you missed. Blow torch off the little hairs on the birds’ skin. At this stage, I also cut off the legs and pulled off the heads.
Step Five: The Gutting Table- A lot happens at this station. The oil sack above the tail must be cut off. The craw located by the neck must be pulled out. An incision is made under the breast and the lungs, heart, and organs are scraped and pulled out of the bird. The inner cavity must be completely clean and rinsed with a hose.
Step Six: Bag the finished bird in freezer bags. I double bag them. You can also use vacuum seal bags. Put them on ice until you can get them into a freezer.
Step Seven: Bake that beautiful bird!