Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Process Chickens

 Yesterday was the day to send some chickens packing. I was really nervous at first, even though DH had butchered a guinea early in the spring and has taken care of several rabbits. But we got the job done thanks to careful planning (tongue in cheek). If you're preparing for processing here's our tips:

1. Check the weather and pick a day that is warm, sunny, and comfortable. OR you could do it like we did-only have one day available to do the job.  Of course our "one day only" deal happened to fall on a drizzly, chilly, dreary day.

2. The night before you are going to butcher, take away all the food and turn off the automatic chicken coop door opener so the chickens will be easy to catch. OR you could do it like we did- which was to COMPLETELY FORGET to do those two EXTREMELY important preps.

3. Wake up early, drink plenty of coffee, and get started taking chickens one at a time. OR you could do like we did- oversleep, realize the chickens are out in the yard, and hurry up to grab the only 3 that are still stretching and waking up on the perch.

 So we spent a few hours chasing chickens before we wizened up and decided to wait until dusk, when the birds would be headed back to the coop. It was a very, very long night. It started out slow but we gradually got a good "dis-assembly" line going. I won't go into the details but I will say-It was a very rewarding experience to see birds we had raised from chicks going into our freezer. They looked a little different than store bought chickens as they had some yellowish-orange fat and I was a little freaked out at that.  But I looked it up and that fat comes from having access to green grass! There's no words to express the deep satisfaction of knowing you grew healthy food in your backyard!


  1. Although probably "unhealthy" for those dieting, that yellow fat makes the BEST chicken gravy!!

    Congrats on your butchering foray!

  2. ...AND that yellow fat is the best part of making chicken broth with a home grown bird! :)

    You done good, girl! Congrats! And I do believe the first couple times we butchered, it ended up going a lot like your first time! :) Don't gets easier. ;)


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