Until recently, I’ve done all my “chicken processing” (cleaning, gutting, butchering, etc) on an old table in the backyard spread with newspaper. It got the job done, but was messy and not very convenient.
What I really needed was a dedicated chicken processing station. Here’s the simple design I came up with.
I bought a second-hand stainless steel kitchen sink from a stallholder at the Dapto Markets for $5. You can also get these cheap from recycling centers, scrap metal dealers, the garbage tip shop, garage sales, etc. Sometimes you even see them being thrown out in skips when people renovate their kitchens. The best type of sink is one with drainage racks on both sides, and a single sink in the middle.
I had some 90mm x 45mm framing timber left over from some previous projects, so I used that for the frame of the chicken processing station. To keep cost down, you could pull apart some shipping pallets or scrounge something suitable from a second-hand building supplies place.
I was really happy with the final result:
The nice thing about using a stainless steel kitchen sink is that you can scrub it down with bleach to sterilise it before starting work. Cleanup afterwards is quick and easy too.
No sooner had I built the frame, and it was time to do some chicken processing – our big rooster, who was starting to really hurt the hens with his size and strength, and the massive spurs he’d grown. I’ve got another rooster who is going to step into his place, until my Australorp chicks grow big enough to take over.
The chicken processing station worked beautifully. The height was perfect – I had measured up our kitchen benches and built this frame to the same height. I hung a garden hose over the back of the frame, and put a large bucket under the sink drainhole. It was very handy being able to wash off parts of the chicken as I worked on it, as well as being able to keep my hands and the knife clean.
Even if you don’t butcher your own chickens, this kind of setup is very handy for quickly washing off vegetables from the garden before bringing them inside, washing out plant pots, and cleaning up your hand tools.