Woo-Hoo! No more chickens until spring- I even butchered the layers, so I'm FREE all winter! Here are pics of my butchering day this Saturday. We did 75 Cornish X's in about 7 hours, including filleting/cutting them up, which we found to be easier and faster than leaving them whole, since you don't have to gut them. Next time, I'll post a step by step of that process. I charge the same, whether my birds are delivered live, whole, or cut up, and this year, most people wanted them cut up. I had my usual crew- me, my best friend Andy, and my father in law, Dan. Here's the birds, happy in their tractor at the beginning of the day. I put them on my gravel driveway the day before, so that their crops will be completely clean. An occasional rock isn't bad to deal with. A little further out, showing the outdoor section of the processing area. For those wondering about the size of my cones, here is the turkey cone and two chicken cones, in the setup I use. All are loaded with 8 week old Cornish X's. The turkey cone will work, as long as they're BIG. Note the shoulder coming out a bit. (Sorry for the shameless plug here!) Here's the setup as we were getting started. Dan and Andy getting the scalder lit. That's me dunking a bird- the Whizbang "inspired" scalder keeps the temp really well. Whizbang Plucker. Seriously... build one! Dan and a naked chicken. Never will I pluck by hand again! Filleting Pics of Andy and I This is what's left of the bird after our filleting method. It's quicker than leaving them whole, I swear. All the guts are intact, as is the crop and head. Leaving the wishbone in makes it a little tough to get all that shoulder breast meat... that and the fact that we were doing 75 of them made getting every speck of meat off a low priority. We burn our carcasses in a barrel. Once the fuel burns off, it literally just smells like you're cooking chicken, and you're left with nothing for the dogs to dig up. Here's why I cool them in ice water. All that blood would have been in the meat otherwise. Plus, cooling 75 birds in the fridge would take WAY longer than what is a safe cooling time. This was taken right before a water change. Birds being bagged. Here's a few pics of my shrink bags from Cornerstone, using their recommended bagging method. My label Here's what about 50 shrink wrapped chickens looks like in a good size fridge. We got aout 20 pounds of JUST feet!! These are all wings. I'd say 25-30 pounds.