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They’ll kill the old red rooster when she comes: Learning to butcher a chicken.

Squeamish Beware:  This post consists of where food comes from.  Animals and they have to be killed in order for you to eat them.  In reverence for the animals, they are humanly raised, and killed in as humane a manner as possible.

This afternoon, the wife and I, went over to our friends place to help and learn about butchering chickens.  He had some older birds that needed to be culled, and I was eager to help so I could learn the process for the future when we are managing our own flock.

The process is really rather easy.  The bird is placed in an upside down cone to keep them calm and from flapping around.  Their throat is slit.  Once they are dead, they are placed in a scalding bath of 140 degrees for 40 seconds or so to loosen the feathers.

The bird is then plucked.  Then we start by taking off the feet and head.  Next a cut on the backside and around the butt opens the body cavity.  Gizzard, liver and heart are separated for later processing.  The rest of the insides, esophagus and crop are removed and the bird is ready for a rinse before being put in an ice bath.  Even as a novice, I was able to process a chicken in 10 – 15 minutes.  My friend does in less than half of that.

All said, it took 3 hours to do 5 birds from start to finish, with him teaching and talking through the whole process.  We came home with some organs, and 2 birds for the stew pot.  It was a great day.

Know where it comes from.  Be in touch with it, learn to prepare it yourself if you like.  Do not let other people do the dirty work for you.
-TM

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