First attempt at Processing


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008

i did nt know i was so s tupid and dumb.. cant get a pix into the forum..cannot find the information that tells me..
iwanted to put a pix in here .. graphic to ask someone to help me figure out what i found inside my first processed chicken.
brown stuff grown inside the back and rib area of the chicken and some round ball like things dingles hanging down near that brown stuff.

sorry forget it.

i did not know the pix would s how up when i hit edited..
what is the brown stuff up on the back of the chicken? and what are those dingles white little balls hanging down there.. and
is there an illustraion on how to do this. how do you get the insides out without cutting it open? whew
Last edited:


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008

this is my DH and my DS cant tell them apart can you..? I got to raise the big one tho he is closer to my age than the dh.
anyway.. they might look like old timey farmers and chicken processors but this was the first try.
i thought the rooster was big and ready to eat.. he turned out to be so skinny and slim that he has to wait til we get the nerve to add to the meal with another soon.
He would not make a meal with these fellows waiting for the table to be ready.
I was surprised. he got plenty of good food..the best and plenty of free range and he had no fat to find on him.
I did not know that it was necesary to burn the black roots of the feather off of him and so i ended up skinning him and losing that delicious skin. Im learning.

DH said this was his last attempt..said it was too much work.. he says rabbit is so easy to process he just figured it would be the same. now im out of help.
in his defense he is not in good health.. so he got very tired before roo was ready to go inside.
we did not figure out how to do the cutting. so one wing went with one side and the other wing went with the other side. at least we kept the feet together.
an experienced farmer wife is coming down the next time and show us how to cut it up or how to do it right i guess is the way to say it.
its been a learning experience. dont wnat to do it again today.. whew


11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
Hastings, Nebraska
leslie there is a sticky post at the beginning of this forum about butchering. In the sticky is two links that take you to processing guides. I printed both and kept them handy when we did our broilers this year.

as far as what is in the picture:
Those white things are the testicals ,
the brown stuff I don't remeber for sure but I use an old fish scaler to remove it or just my fingers. then rinse out the bird.

To get the insides out. Once you remove the crop and neck,
Using a fish fillet knife:

I cut off the tail because the oil gland is there
you carefully cut around the cloaca.
depending on how you cut around the cloaca there may be a membrane I use my finger to tare through this an loosen the organs attached to it.

you should see the intestine. I cut up the skin some so my hand fits in.

With the chicken on it's back
I insert my hand up to where I feel the heart. Then curl my finger down an pull.

There will still be some items still in the cavity. the same method applies.

At this point usually the testicals, lungs and that brown stuff is left.
If I can get those with my finger I use the fish descaller to scape those loose.

If the fish scaller doesn't loosen everything I have this little mellon ball scoop that has teeth on it I use.

I then give it a good rinse with cold water from a hose



In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
Thank you both for your responses. They were both informative.
I felt badly that we "butchered" the bird so badly. It felt like an insult to him. but we are going to improve.
Our bird was so small. He seemed much bigger when we picked him out and he had feathers.
I thought we had to pick on that had not crowed yet.. one that would not be a full grown rooster. I was told it would be too tough to eat if he was fully grown.
But the one in the video was obviously a full adult roo.
I cant imagine how the poster got all those black spot feathers from the skin. One woman told me to burn them off under a burning news paper?????????
I scrapped and scrapped til I destroyed the skin and had to remove it.

any suggestions on this?
It sure was a mess. I look forward to doing it right and having a beautiful bird to do justice to its life and purpose.
At what age do you sugges we chose one to process? this one did not make a meal for two people at my house.


11 Years
Jun 21, 2008
I remember our first processing was less than pretty as well. I think partly the reason why the hybrid meat birds are white is because of the "feather spots". They are a lot harder to see on a white feathered bird, so people don't obsess about getting them all out like they do with a dark feathered bird where the spots are so much more obvious. Also, a more mature bird that has the feathers fully in are much easier to pluck IMO.

After the bird is killed and bled out, you first scald to loosen the feathers. I scald at 140-150 for 45 seconds to 1 min. Then pluck like crazy. After you remove all the big stuff that can be done quickly and in clumps, then if you run your fingers down over the skin you will feel the pin feathers and can pull them out one and a time. It can be very time consuming. I only use the fire to singe off the very fine hair like feathers and any down if there is any left. I use a lighter, or burning stick. The idea is to burn the feathers, but not cook the skin at all, so you pass the flame closely and precisely, but quickly.

If you scald too hot, like we did the first time, then the skin tears very easily and makes it more difficult to pluck. The hot water comes out of the faucet at 115-120, so it doesn't take too long to heat the water for it to be ready. I use a candy thermometer to moniter the temp.

I agree with pdpatch. It is easiest to make a slit below the vent, very shallowly. Then I stick my finger in and tear the slit wider as needed so I'm not cutting near the intestines, which are easy to cut into accidentally. Then with the bird on its back, reach up and toward the head end as far as you can. You can kind of scrap with your hand as well in order to loosen the organs, but they are not super attached. Then I just start pulling, until I get everything out that I can get, checking for heart, liver, gall bladder (don't rupture it), gizzard, intestines. Then I carefully hold the intestines out of the way while I cut around the vent and remove the tail. After that, I look inside, and remove the lungs (they are the bright pink organs in the picture). They are hard to remove, which is why people use the melon baller and things like that. I have gotten pretty good and just working my finger under it, in and out of the ribs and then taking it out after.

The idea is to remove everything from one hole in the back, except for the crop and trachea, which need to be removed from the neck end. The crop is on the bird's right side, and is obvious if it has food in it. It doesn't tear easily, so I just pull and disconnect the tissue with my finger.

Good Luck next time.

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