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Author Topic: Butchering Chickens  (Read 2682 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: June 20, 2011, 04:16:18 PM »

I spent Thurs, Fri, and Sat, killing, skinning, and dismembering 13 chickens.  I went with skinning because the birds are going to be cooked and home canned as part of our food storage.
My wife had arranged for the husband of one of her friends to help me butcher chickens and I'm handicapped and don't have alot of stamina for lengthy chores. 
The friend's husband came over at 10 am, I had the chopping block and hatch ready but he preferred to use his hold roffing hatchet for the job.  I caught the chickens and he lopped off their heads.  When that was down, he put his hatchet back in his vehicle and left.  I was stunned.  Some help...I still had 13 chickens (12 roosters and an egg eating hen) left to skin and butcher.
Well, I picked up the 1st dead chicken to find it still had the head attached, the job had only been half done.  As I checked each chicken I found 11 with the heads partially attached and only 2 wher the heads had been completely severed.
Since I had a 50 gallon water trough I haven''t installed yet I used it for the water bath to soak out the blood that might remain in the chickens after I had skinned and gutted them. 
That took all of the 1st day, Thursday, for me to complete.  I finished the day with all the chickens soaking in said water bath.
The second day was spent dismembering the chickens into their various edible/cooking portions. 
Day three was spent cleaning each part of the chicken to remove any internal organs, remaining pin feathers, dirt, etc so that each piece was totally free of forgein matter.  They were then placed in 1 gallon freezer bags for temporaary storage and placed in one of the chest freezers.

Each day was grueling work for me, I hurt so bad at the end of each day that I could hardly walk.  It's now monday and I'm setting here at the computer in by bare feet because my ankles are so swollen I can't put my shoes on.

What makes me upset was that the man had agreed to help me butcher the chickens, they when he left, what would have taken the 2 of use the remainder of the day to do, took me that day as well as the next two days to complete.

On the bright side I fielded 5 phone calls from 3 of the 5 beekeeping students I'm mentoring. 
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
VolunteerK9
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 04:36:21 PM »

I dont lop heads off anymore. I buy disposable scapels from a farm store and just place a small nick in their jugular and then put them in a killing cone for bleeding. Its a much better bleed out and doesnt cause the birds to jump all over the place after they have lost their head.

Sorry about your help bailing on you..
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 04:44:25 PM »

Just about anyone can chop a chicken's head off (except for that guy).

Look on the bright side, you'll have this event as ammunition to get back at your wife for the rest of your life!  grin

What's for dinner, chicken?  Wink


...JP
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 06:30:32 PM »

I support the chicken with my left hand and hold the head and neck in my right. I toss the chicken about head high and pull it down toward the ground. Then I snap my right hand upward. The chicken continues to the ground, leaving it's head in my hand. Quick, clean, and the head never stays attached. The jumping chicken pumps the blood out thoroughly.

Next time, plan each step and who will do what before starting. Don't give them a chance to back out once you begin.
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 09:23:45 PM »

I pulled 5 roosters out to butcher one day a couple of years ago.   After all afternoon plucking and skinning I decided if just was not worth it any more for me.   For me that is.   Still have chickens.   Nice to look at and love the eggs, but not for me to skin them any more.   Way too much work if you are not set up for it.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 11:48:43 PM »

When I was 12 I spent an entire saturday hiding out back in the weeds while my family did the job of decapitating and dismembering the 26 chickens that I had taken care of for a long time rolleyes.  They weren't happy with me but I just couldn't face that just then.

Sounds like your help was no help at all, that was the easy part!  Hope you feel better soon, I heard that chicken soup helps.... tongue

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 11:50:20 PM »

It sounds a bit ghoulish, but we sort of make an event of it.  Two friends of ours come over and we butcher about a dozen birds.  We wring their necks, hang them upsidedown, and skin them immediately.  A thorough wash, double-bag and into the freezer.  We do about the same number a few days later.

Two evenings spent chatting with friends goes much faster than a long, hot day.  Our friends take a couple birds with them and have willingly returned several years in a row.

Did I mention the homebrew?
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msblackwolf
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 11:16:45 AM »

Butchering chickens is an annual event here with family and friends. We have a decent set up that makes it go pretty well. We pluck both chickens and waterfowl. Everyone brings the birds they want to slaughter and of course food and beverages. It may sound rather gruesome to many, but it provides great tasting meals for the winter.
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 12:51:44 PM »

Butchering chickens is an annual event here with family and friends. We have a decent set up that makes it go pretty well. We pluck both chickens and waterfowl. Everyone brings the birds they want to slaughter and of course food and beverages. It may sound rather gruesome to many, but it provides great tasting meals for the winter.

Do y'all ever eat chicken when slaughtering chickens? Now that would be ghoulish!  grin


...JP
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bulldog
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 12:42:10 PM »

every summer, starting when i was about 5, my dad used to have us help him kill and clean the chickens. we'd get two at a time ( me, my brother and cousin would all be standing in line at the chopping block ) hold them upside down by their feet a while before the beheading and continue holding them upside down till most of the blood ran out, then go get more. of course we'd dunk them in hot water and pluck the afterwards though. i knew we'd be having chicken for sunday dinner, the rest always went in the freezer.

the big pot of water boiling on the stove on saturday was always a dead giveaway, we knew we'd be plucking chickens all afternoon.

sorry to hear about your predicament. seems your helper only helped you get in over your head a bit, otherwise some of them chickens could have waited a while. perhaps he's one of them squeamish types around blood and guts ??
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oliver
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 01:40:36 PM »

We raised 100 cornish X every year up until about 5 years ago, just for butchering..Lard kettle open fire several tubs of ice water, 4 adults as many kids as we could bribe, and away we go..generally did this in 3 days, it was hard to cool more than this at on time. Everytime I bite into a store bought one with the black bones, generally not that good of a taste, get the urge to do it again, but my wife nips that in the bud..Have a good day..dl
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 05:25:08 PM »

Turns out I developed Gout while standing there skinning chickens.  Seems I've develped a reductiion in kidney function which contributed to the development of Gout.  Been having X-rays, ultr-sound, and lab tests all week.  Plus more medication to take and a ban on all anti-inflamatories.   

Talked to my "helper's" wife who thinks he was a big help, they both talked about the time he butchered 5000 chickens when his father (broiler grower) died.   Well, he did help, a little.

Next time around I'll resort to doing 4 chickens a day, that's all I can handle by myself.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
msblackwolf
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2011, 09:49:26 PM »

Butchering chickens is an annual event here with family and friends. We have a decent set up that makes it go pretty well. We pluck both chickens and waterfowl. Everyone brings the birds they want to slaughter and of course food and beverages. It may sound rather gruesome to many, but it provides great tasting meals for the winter.

Do y'all ever eat chicken when slaughtering chickens? Now that would be ghoulish!  grin


...JP

I plead the 5th ........ grin
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KC9TOB
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2011, 12:25:27 AM »

Thats weak Brian, I work for beer but I'm too far away.

Cheers
Steve
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