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Skinning a chicken...WARNING! Graphic Pics!

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

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!

"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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post #2 of 48

thank you buster and salamander for the info. It is very helpful.

Do all you can with what you have, and give thanks for gifts both big and small!!
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Do all you can with what you have, and give thanks for gifts both big and small!!
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post #3 of 48

Great job Buster. You make it look so easy. Come help me with my extra roos. big_smile

Enjoy the little things in life...for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things!

My greatest blessings call me mom.
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Enjoy the little things in life...for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things!

My greatest blessings call me mom.
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post #4 of 48

i have a guy process two roosters for me and he left the neck on. i had no idea how to properly take it off so i just chopped it with a cleaver. thanks for the pic on how to properly cut it off.

michele

post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 

For some reason this chicken had a lot more fat on her than I expected.  It was a little different experience for me.  Maybe because she was the top hen in the coop.

"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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post #6 of 48

Nice job!

Next time you might want to tie her legs and find something to hang her from. You can cut the circle around where the leg meets the feet and at the top around the neck then pull and you can strip it clean in a couple good pulls. All that is left is to open the cavity and remove the innards.

I like that nice fat on her. Means she is eating well.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
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post #7 of 48

I would like to add when you cook her down slow in a big stock pot really long and slow that fat on her will make some rich broth. most likely enough to freeze or can to use to make easy soup later and have your current meal.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissPrissy 

Nice job!

Next time you might want to tie her legs and find something to hang her from. You can cut the circle around where the leg meets the feet and at the top around the neck then pull and you can strip it clean in a couple good pulls. All that is left is to open the cavity and remove the innards.

I like that nice fat on her. Means she is eating well.


Thanks MissPrissy!  For some reason that never occurred to me.  I guess I am just used to field dressing wild birds.  I will try that next time and see how it goes.

"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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"Live like you ain't afraid to die, and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride."
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post #9 of 48

Ms. P is definetly right that fat will take the place of some of the flavor you lose from removing the skin.  I've done it both ways and this is an easier way to clean a bird, but I love the flavor and juciness keeping the skin adds.

Great job and pics.  skinning btw!

post #10 of 48

what a great tutorial this is my first year to do chickens im hoping my husband will do it for me but this tutorial makes it look not so bad Thank you

Gina N  10RIR 3 barred rock 2austrolorp 2americaunas 2cookoo murans 1 wire haired terrior named pepper
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=5534-my_coop
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Gina N  10RIR 3 barred rock 2austrolorp 2americaunas 2cookoo murans 1 wire haired terrior named pepper
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=5534-my_coop
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