BackYard Chickens › Member Pages › How To Skin A Chicken

How To Skin A Chicken

Ok, there have been several people who have asked how to skin a chicken rather than pluck the feathers.  I had a mean lead hen in my coop and after all the chances I gave her, she had to go.  So in order to help those who have never skinned a chicken, I had my wife take pics as I went.  I skinned it the way I have always skinned the grouse that I have taken hunting although it is a little different because chickens have more fat and thicker skin than grouse.  Yes I did it outside, mostly because I've done the same with  all the birds I've hunted.  You may choose to do it inside or in a plastic tub but this is how I do it.

After dispatching the chicken, pull the feathers out from the belly area, between the vent and the breast bone.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0288.jpg

Then slice across like this, being careful not to cut the innards:

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0290.jpg

Make the opening big enough to slide your hand into to be able to pull the innards out.  Reach all the way up into the cavity and pull out.  Make sure to pull out the wind pipe and also to run your fingers down each side of the spine along the ribs to pull out the lungs, heart and kidneys.  Cut the vent out of the back as well, being careful not to get fecal matter on the meat.  It helps to not feed the bird 24 hours before culling.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0291.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0292.jpg

Next, cut the skin starting at the breast bone up towards the neck just enough to get a hold of.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0294.jpg

Then pull the skin off and peel it almost like you are taking a jacket off the bird.  Pull the wings and legs as far as you can through it, Then break them at the joint and cut the tendons with a knife. 

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0301.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0302.jpg

Grab hold of the base of the tail and twist it off.  The wings can be done before or after you peel the skin off the back but you should look about like this (in this pic I have one more wing to take off)

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0306.jpg

You may choose to leave the neck on or take it off.  I choose to take it off.  Cut along either side of the neck down the spine and pull the neck off.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0309.jpg

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0311.jpg

Just about done:

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0313.jpg

At this point, I wash the bird outside with a hose to remove any dirt or feathers and check for any remaining innards and pull off whatever fat you can.

Now it is ready to do whatever you choose with it.  We decided to soak ours in salt water for a couple of days.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa154/jareds44m/DSCI0318.jpg

Good Luck!

Comments (2)

Thanks! Good tutorial!
Have you ever skinned a duck? Is is more difficult to skin than a chicken?
BackYard Chickens › Member Pages › How To Skin A Chicken