Butchered chickens for the first time today

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by FutureChickenMan, May 10, 2008.

  1. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2007
    Well I went out to check on the chickens today and noticed two of my cornish x rocks were starting to have difficulty walking. They didn't come running to the feed dish when I dumped the feed in. Usually they're at the dish before I am. I watched as they labored to "hop" to the feed dish. I made the decision right then and there that today was their last.

    I headed back to the house and got my industrial cleaver I bought at the restaurant supply store. (Nice heavy one) Sharpened it and my fillet knife. Went back to the coop, grabbed the two birds and took care of business. Whomp! The cleaver worked great; nice long blade so a "miss" was nearly impossible (blade is 7 inches long).

    I thought I'd be all grossed out when I lopped their heads off, but it really wasn't that bad. (watch youtube videos they give you an idea what to expect) I didn't pluck them, since this was a right now kinda hurried thing I just skinned them and found that to be pretty easy. We don't eat the skin anyhow.

    I would say probably the grossest thing was holding the still warm body while skinning it. (after a 10 minute bleed out)

    Other than that, it wasn't much different than disections in high-school. The only difference was I had to kill it first.

    Tommorow (after 24hr brine soak) they go in the crock-pot.

    They were about 10 weeks old. I'm planning to do the other two next weekend unless they start showing signs of failure.
  2. paisleycj

    paisleycj Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2008
    Good for you! My hubby has decided we're butchering our own this year. I told him if he could gut them, I could pluck them. Let me know how the skinned chicken turns out, maybe that would be easier! I'm not sure if I'd miss the skin or not in cooking.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Wednesday will be the day for me, and my first time too. How was it cleaning out the innards? From what I've read you're supposed to withhold their feed for a day to make sure everything's empty. Doing it on the spur of the moment, did you have any problems?

    I have 13 all in one coop and will probably only be able to get the roosters done Wednesday. The hens aren't quite ready (8 roosters, 5 hens) so I'm worried about not feeding the hens just to be sure the roosters are empty.
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We looked into getting meat chickens but not ready for that quit yet. Maybe next year! You made it sound pretty easy
  5. lexapurple

    lexapurple Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 8, 2008
    Quote:I am not FutureChickenMan but I have just butchered two of my broilers. I withheld feed but gave them water. One of them was fine but with the other one I was not careful and cut an intestine while gutting it and there was poop inside of it and it spiled out. Yack.
    I have butchered a rooster on the spur of the moment before and had no problems.
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Good job. We process our own.

    We had BBQ chicken this evening. It was sweet and tender meat.
  7. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2007
    Quote:One of them hadn't eaten so that one wasn't an issue. The other one did have a full crop and poop. But I saw a trick for getting the poop and pee out of a rabbit when you feild prep them. I used the same trick on the chicken, it worked. You hold them with their vent area facing away from you, vent side up. The vent should be lower then the head. You then use your thumbs to push down on the abdomen about 2 inches up from the vent. Then slide your thumbs down toward the vent. You know, like pushing tooth paste out of the tube. The poop should come out on it's own.

    The full crop wasn't much of an issue, when you skin them, the crop pretty well stays stuck to the skin. Just go slow so you don't bust it open. If you do, grab the garden hose and rinse it off. I found that I was rinsing every couple of minutes just to try and keep the dirt/feathers off the meat. Then once it was all skinned, I cut the vent area tissue with the fillet knife (fishing knife that's really sharp). Then I stood the bird up and let gravity assist the guts out. Give it a couple little bounces up and down and most of the intestines should start falling down on their own.

    Then hold the bird over the waste bucket and start tugging on the guts. Once you have all the guts execept the lungs out rinse it over a couple of times really well. Then cut off the wings, breasts, legs and thighs. This can be tricky finding the joints the first time. Was for me anyway. Then I junked the rest of the carcass. Hence no need to go lung hunting or trying to get the rest of the neck out.

    Anyway, that's how I did it, not that it's the right way, but for a first timer, I thought it went alright. Practice makes perfect you know.

    Oh, I almost forgot.. I whipped up a little rope doo-dad that I looped on to the legs before I whaced them. Held on to the rope, then whack. The flailing began but I just took the rope and hooked it on a stick that was stretched across the top of a garbage can. That way all the flailing around and bleeding was contained inside the garbage can. Of course, if you're doing a lot of birds at one time, this wouldn't work so well as you could probably only hang 3 birds in the can.
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Great info - thanks!! So many people use so many different methods. Great to get a first-timer's way. Will definitely try what you did.
  9. lynxpilot

    lynxpilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2008
    I've got about 80 to do next weekend. Probably end up splitting it between 2 weekends. Not really looking forward to it.
  10. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2007
    i hope you have a helper, or some machines to make it faster

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by