Originally Posted by Proverb31mama
So we are in a bit of a pickle. The processor who did our first batch of chickens closes after Thanksgiving. I didn't know this until I called the Monday after Thanksgiving. so now we have 31 chickens that need processed because we don't want to keep them over the winter. but the closest processor is an hour and a half away and I would have to drive there to drop them off and then again to pick them up because of the way they work. we have never processed chickens before or even seen it done. We are trying to find someone local who can either process them for us or teach us how, but im not sure if we will find anyone. We were planning to ask some friends to help so we can get it all done in one day. I have read about and watched youtube videos about processing but still nervous to do it without someone with experience. any advice?
My brother and I did my 24 CX by ourselves last year without any prior experience. Once you get going, it is pretty easy. We did ours over two days, though. It will wear you out more than you think! Just set up stations. The first station is where you kill them, either hatchet or cone. Then a station with a big pot of water just below boiling, 180-190 degrees. Dunk them a few times to loosen the feathers. Then the next station is plucking. We hung ours upside down off the porch and put a big tarp underneath. I bought a couple pairs of those cheap gloves with the rubber dots all over them. That helped a TON for plucking. Just put the gloves on and rub in a circular motion all over the chickens. If you scalded them right, the feathers will come right out. Then the next station is gutting. Watch a few videos so you can see the proper technique. And the last station is rinsing and picking them over for any left over pin feathers or anything that got missed. Then they go into a cooler of running cold water to cool them down fast. Once they are all done, put them on ice for a couple of days. We would do 3 chickens at a time and get them completely processed, then get the next three and do it all again. It took about 8 hours total with most of that time spent on the plucking.