And I just want to tell someone about it! I was nervous to do it... one of them was my absolute favourite. He would run to us as a chick and even as he got older. Of course he was a he, and not a she. Such a bummer. They were both RIR x EE mixes, and were handsome guys. I will take a picture tomorrow before we put one of them in the oven. Well- it definitely didn't go super smoothly. First, we separated them in a big cage last night with just water as I've read to do so. I went out to check on the chickens at noon and found one of them in terrible condition, his head all bloody and his back plucked. I felt so absolutely terrible, we never should have put them together, I just stupidly assumed since they were not showing any aggression and were hatchmates they'd be fine... Yeah, dumb move. Didn't even cross my mind that they might hurt each other. I broke down shortly after that and gave them both some treats. I couldn't send them off to their deaths with nothing in their bellies. So it's time. The BF has nailed two nails into a tree to hang the chickens feet on. We had done the same thing on a large block of wood. We got the chicken and he was calm as I held him and tied his feet. We put him on the block of wood, hooked his neck between the nails and I ran around the building to wait for the deed to be done. I hear WHACK and then CAW and I see the bird running off towards the chicken coop with my BF right after him. My heart almost stopped a beat, I thought for sure he had missed and the poor bird was injured. Nope, he was fine, running around with the string still around his feet. We finally caught him and I held him for a moment or two to calm him down. Finally when he was calm we hung him on the tree. To prevent his head from moving and risking an OOPS, BF tied his head down as well. The bird was quite calm ( I dont want to use his name, it's upsetting) and there was no flopping or anything, until his head came off. Then BF said his wings flopped a few times and stopped. We skinned them, and the first time took awhile. Bf did the work, I read from the instructions I got online. It was pretty gross but not as bad as we both expected- I thought I would puke or sob. I did cry for the first chicken, but after that I felt like I should buck up and be supportive. BF was the one doing the gross stuff. And you can't help feel a certain sense of comfort in knowing these birds lived a good life and that you respected their lives and take it seriously. The meat is not nearly as nice or big as the ones you get in stores, but I think for 17 weeks they came along pretty well. I will definitely upload pictures so y'all can tell me if it's a good carcass or not. We kept tailfeathers from both birds, this is going to be our tradition. Then we can always have a part of them. I cared a lot for those birds and it sucks they can't stick around forever living their merry little lives, but unfortunately that's just not doable so we did what we had to do. At one point I reallly considered giving them away for someone else to take them and do it, but thats unfair to the birds. They experienced no stress (I think) and lived a good life. You're hanging out one minute, the next your head is off- not the worst way to go when you think of all the alternatives we all face. That is my little story about our first ever butchering experience. We will definitely be doing it again, perhaps invest in or make a plucker. Oh- We put the bodies in the fridge to sit, do we need to put them in a brine or something??