Doing it yourself as opposed to sending them away?

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
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We have a butcher 20 min away who takes live chickens, for a fee....and you receive them back vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer. Has anyone ever sent their chickens away to be butchered or do you prefer to do it yourself? Why?
Thanks!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Apr 9, 2016
15,225
21,749
932
California's Redwood Coast
I have done it myself and had it done. :sick

I like having the skill and knowledge to do it myself as sometimes sending to the butcher isn't always an option. Say in the instance of an injured bird... with no need to be wasteful of the meat... eliminating any suffering and harvesting is preferred to senseless waste or misery. And to have a TRUE understanding of the process really brings you that much closer to appreciating where you food comes from and that something dies for us to live.

However... it's a terrible JOB. And I am willing to pay someone I TRUST to do it correctly and quickly. My family still enjoys the fruits of our labor, knowing how the birds were treated every single day. And the other family get's to use their funds received to further feed theirs. They are faster (or more efficient if you will) at processing, so can do 10 birds in the time it takes us to do one or two. But not willing to spend their time doing only 1 or 2. And I don't always have a "batch" so if I wan't processing done and only have a boy or two who are ready (either meat or ATTITUDE wise) then I need to be able to do it myself. Mine are all heritage breed, so no 8 week turn around super batches here. Just what I hatch. :cool:

To me time is money... and my time is more valuable than gold! It's the only thing I know of that once it's gone you can't get it back and aren't able to make more of either. That's even though I'm a housewife. ;)

I have done it enough that I am very confident I will be effective when needed, and that's the important part. It isn't fun but at least it isn't scary anymore.

I might not prefer to have it done if they were being processed at the same time as someone else's birds... some places I found go as far as spraying the inside and out with some sort of disinfectant, then I might pass. :hmm We keep it very simple just a water rinse afterwards and our chickens stay fresh in the fridge with NO rot (or sliminess) for easily 2 weeks! :eek: There's something to be said about not having birds from multiple locations (and bio-security practices) all processed on the same equipment.

But yes... you bet I will pay $5/chicken all day long everyday, to not have to process myself. I can afford to and I raise chicken for the overall everything of it. In no way do I feel less than because I choose to pay and have it done instead of taking every life myself.

I had to choose to process before I could choose to hatch. Without having found someone... I would probably be enjoying this hobby a bit less. But I'm thankful to have the option!

Best wishes whatever you choose. :)
 

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
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Thanks!
We have processed 2 roosters ourselves - we had no choice....and we HATED it. Everything about it. Taking the life, plucking, worrying constantly about if we are being clean enough or if we are going to contaminate the meat. It was stressful! I love the idea of having a freezer full of chicken we raised ourselves, and the fact that they will be 5-7lbs is great too. The idea of butchering 20 birds is daunting. We can do it if we HAVE to, but I'm totally willing to pay someone else to do it for us unless the cost is ridiculous.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Apr 9, 2016
15,225
21,749
932
California's Redwood Coast
Close to $5 is my breaking point... Too far beyond that and I would have to reconsider. Anything close to $5 is a great price for processing chickens. I found a person who would do it for $4, but was 90 miles from me. Turkey and ducks were MUCH more than that.

If my guy can do 7-10 per hour... he is making $35-50/hour... tax free. Win, win for both of us.

When my daughter and I do it (hubby will NOT participate in culling)... we just skin them instead of dealing with heating water and plucking and especially for just a couple of birds. And yep, my guy will process Silkies all the same... and we eat them all the same. :drool

And yes... we have contaminated the meat by popping a bile sack or nicking an intestine. All part of the learning process. :barnie
 

Folly's place

Enabler
11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
25,674
47,135
1,196
southern Michigan
There's a very good poultry processing plant twenty miles from here too, and it's so worth it! For $4.oo each, live chickens in the morning return chilled and vacuum packed in the afternoon. No mess!
We have done it at home too, and much prefer this instead.
Mary
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
8 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,163
12,504
702
N. California
Although we greatly dislike the task, we do it ourselves. It's not just about saving money for us -- although that's a plus. It's about knowing that they got the swiftest, less stressful ending possible. There is no stress of loading them into cages and driving them somewhere, to sit in a strange environment without food and water for who knows how long.

We do ours first thing in the morning, so they really don't even miss a meal, as they don't have access to food overnight. They know a few minutes of stress as I catch them and carry them over to the butchering area. My husband them holds them until they are calm and relaxed and then he does the deed with one axe fall. After they are dead, its just work, and I can do that.

They other thing is that I don't have any fears or doubts about the cleanliness of the butchering job, or that fact that the chickens in my freezer are, in fact, my chickens. I've heard stories about people paying for butchering and concluding after opening the packs that the animal they got, could not have been the animal they sent in -- due to many/few or certain cuts. If you totally trust your butcher, this would not be a problem of course.
 

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