That’s the euphemism for those that don’t like to say “slaughtering and butchering chickens”!
I processed the last two roosters from our first batch of chicks today. We’re keeping the one female from the group to join our layer flock. This photo is from the start of June – I just realised I hadn’t taken any since.
Killing, cleaning and cutting up chickens isn’t very complicated, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Remember, a generation or two ago everyone used to do it!
There are lots of good guides on the internet to help you. Probably one of the best is How To Butcher A Chicken – it has lots of details and explains everything very clearly, in both words and pictures. I also really liked the included video I got when I bought my Avian Aqua Miser chicken waterers.
This time around, I decided to skin the chickens instead of plucking them. It’s quicker, and I was going to be cutting them up for the freezer anyway. It went really well, and I think I’ll only pluck them now when we’re planning to roast one.
Here’s a great video on how to skin a chicken after killing it:
What I like about this method (apart from the speed!) is that the “dirty end” of the chicken faces down. This keeps everything clean as you work your way down, and when you get to the end you can drop the guts and everything straight out. Give it a rinse, and you’re ready to butcher up the bird:
Cutting the chicken up into pieces is pretty easy once you’re watched a professional show you how.
I divided the pieces from the two chickens into bags for the freezer – 1 bag of drumsticks, 1 of wings, 2 bags of breasts and tenders, 2 bags of thighs. I then put the necks and carcasses into a stock pot with some onions, carrots and herbs, and left it to simmer for a few hours. That’ll make a couple of meals of soup or risotto or something. Picking the meat from the bones after the stock was finished gave another serve of tender shredded meat suitable for burritos. That’s 9 meals for our family from the 2 chickens – not bad!