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DIY Chicken Processing Station

20 February 2011 7 Comments

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:

A home-made chicken processing station

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.

Organic food growing for beginners manual.

7 Comments »

  • Missing Hen Returns With Chicks said:

    […] The hen is a cross between an ISA Brown mother and a Barnevelder father. She turned out with a very pretty brown and cream banding, and lays lovely chocolatey-brown eggs. The father of these chicks was our Light Brahma rooster. The cunning blighter managed to sneak in one last clutch before we dispatched him! […]

  • Processing Roosters said:

    […] again, the chicken processing station proved a winner. The two of us had plenty of space to work […]

  • Nick Ritar said:

    Nice one 🙂

    Just been thinking about setting up a similar system ourselves. You might like to consider adding a kill cone so you can dispatch your chickens a little more easily. http://www.flickr.com/photos/86571141@N00/sets/72057594112493787/detail/ http://www.multiquip.com.au/searchdb.php?search_terms=Processing%20Equipment

    Nick

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Nick: Thanks for the link! I actually got a sheet of scrap metal from the recycler’s a little while ago, but haven’t got around to making the cone yet. I’ll probably screw it to a tree up the back, though, since the processing station is right next to the house (for the running water) and I’d get in trouble if I sprayed chicken blood everywhere :-).

  • Rooster Processing Day said:

    […] butcher the birds, I used my backyard sink workstation. Besides chicken processing, this is really handy for scaling and cleaning fish, and washing vegies […]

  • Processing Meat Rabbits said:

    […] is my small animal processing setup. I posted about the sink stand a while ago, and it’s still working great. The top is all stainless steel, and I scrub it […]

  • Skinning A Duck said:

    […] block. That went to the dog as a special treat. Once he’d bled out, I hung him over my processing station, with butcher’s hooks through his […]