How To Raise & Process Chickens for Meat - Tips & Pictures

This is an index of pages for information on raising and processing meat birds. Some of the links have graphic pics.
By BYC Support · Jan 12, 2012 · Updated Mar 31, 2014 · ·
  1. BYC Support
    This is an index of pages for information on raising and processing meat birds. Some of the links have graphic pics.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. ronott1
    "good article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 23, 2018
    The article could use a review to see if there are newer threads or articles to link to
  2. mrs_organized_chaos
    "Nice index"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 29, 2018
    This is a good index for multiple article concerning raining meat chickens. It allows the reader to decide what they want to read as well as what they can handle reading.
  3. Molpet
    "nice set of helpful links"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 22, 2018
    A set of helpful links for those of us that want info on processing chickens


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  1. gypsychicken
    I learned on my own, and now I teach people how to humanly butcher their own chickens. It so wonderful to share our knowledge with each other and reclaim what belongs to us!
  2. mhimmel1
    Thank all for the ideas. Hatching my own eggs will give me a lot of roosters and extra hens. We brine our turkeys and soaking the chickens in brine will tender them up.
  3. LightningTFarm
    If your bird is older and you think it might be tough, you can either soak it in a brine solution or you can soak it in buttermilk overnight. Either one will result in a much more tender bird.
  4. Yukonchick
    I like the bleach bottle idea. I've got a friend who works for highways and he's going to try to get me a couple of those orange highway cones.
    To process our chickens, we used a bleach bottle with the bottom cut out. Cut the neck of the bottle large enough for the head to come through, nail the container to the tree. With the chicken upside down they seem to be calm and do not have room for movement.
  6. the1honeycomb
    Every where I look when people are talking about butchering a bird noone mentions soaking the bird in a brine water to finish the process I processed 3 birds and was very disap-pointed that the first one that i cooked was tough and stringy!!!! This is a very important step and it truely makes a difference in the taste of the bird, why is it not mentioned!!!
  7. mdfaz26
    i like the idea of a kill cone. you can buy one, but a construction cone could be modified.
  8. sue ragan
    thanks a lot if he goes into a trance it seems more humane,if i get many cockrels i will have to do this i still dont know if i can,but this way seems humane,,,thank you sue
  9. Hydo
    I tend to hang the chicken on a line when it is alive this appears to put him in a trance. Then with a sharp knife I cut his throat. he bleeds out and does not flop around, bruising the meat.
  10. blessedacre
    here is a great video..........the guy is quick and the chicken never even flinches. It is a two part video he shows you how to completely process a bird. I understand that you want to cut the main vein with out completely cutting through the spinal cord so it bleeds out completely. The lack of blood pressure and lack of oxygen puts the bird to rest very quickly but the with nervous system intact then the heart will help it to bleed out completely. Hope this is helpful. It is a sensitive thing and we want to be as respectful to the animal as much as possible. Blessings.
  11. adiclepcea
    Just as an add on. Usually I do not sacrifice a chicken before it is 4 months old, but my neighbour sacrifices them earlier (at about 2 months sometimes). The broilers can be sacrificed at about 50 days if they are big enough, so it depends on you. Just keep in mind that the meat of a 1 year old chicken is anything but tender.
  12. adiclepcea
    First of all, what I am about to write is not quite pleasant, but I consider it the better way to process your food, so if you are offended by the thougt of killing an animal, please do read any further.
    Well, there are many ways to kill a chicken.
    Some prefer to use an axe, some a knife, and some even a rifle.
    Also some prefer to give some brandy to the chicken (although this is more of a habit for turkeys) before killing them, they say that this makes the meat more tender. I don't do this because I consider it a stress for the chicken.
    First of all, you have to catch the chicken, it is easier to catch them at night, after they go to sleep, they tend to be slower then, but you have to take care not to scare them all. After you catch it, you must take the chicken to the place where you will sacrifice it. I prefer to do it in a place not very far away (so that the chicken goes fast trough this, but not in a place that is visible from the coop (so that the others will not get scared). After you arrive there, you imobilize the chicken. You can do it in several ways. I have a neighbour that prefers to use an axe, as such, he must imobilize the chicken using just one habd (the other one must hold the axe. He puts the chicken on it's back and gently touches it's belly. After just a few seconds, the chicken enters in a trance and then my neighbour acts quickly and i just one move, the head of the chicken is off it's body.
    I do not do it this way as I find it hard enough doing it even without caressing the chicken before killing it. So I just put the chicken between my legs and hols it well, be careful to hold it's wings also, otherwise you might get some scratches and the chicken might get a brocken wing. I held then it's head backwards so that the neck comes forward and with a very sharp knife I kill it by cutting it's througt. Afterwards I tend to keep it firmly as otherwise the chicken will keep on struggling even without it's head for about 10-20 secs and I do not like to see it like that.
    You could also use a bucket without the bottom part. You hang the bucket in a tree or in a high place (at about 1 m or 3 feet or so high). The bucket should be with the larger hole in the upper part so that you can easily put the chicken inside with it's head down. The bucket must be the right size so that the chicken can fit inside it, but not fall through it. When you put the chicken inside the bucket, the chicken should be head down and with it's wings restrained by the body of the bucket. Then you can proceed an cut it's throught. This way the chicken will be restrained and you can use both you hands freely.
    Good luck
    I hope you will be braver then I am as I keep having nightmares after each such an experience
  13. sue ragan
    we want to know if someone can tell us how to humanely kill and dress chickens if we get to many cockrels and at what age?thanks,sue

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