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First Chicken Slaughtered!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by crenees, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. crenees

    crenees In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011

    Thought I would share my first ever cleaned chicken carcass...I have to say that without this site the process could have gone horribly wrong but thanks mostly to the information and advise gained here the process went without a hitch and I ended up with an approx 4 pound Red Broiler (1 of the 3 remaining broilers we were able to get to weight due to predation...stupid raccoon!)...in any case if anyone is curious I thought I'd share my experience...

    I decided to go with the cone method...definitely a keeper...I'd ordered some scalpels from Amazon a few weeks ago that I used for the throat cutting (to me, well worth the $5.00 since it cut through the two arteries so cleanly that the chicken didn't even flinch when I was cutting and passed out in a matter of seconds). Advice for any newbie, as myself...walk away from the chicken during the draining process as I was able to avoid watching the poor thing flail around (not to mention I was out of range before the blood started spraying :).

    I let the carcass drain for a few minutes (five to be exact) and then set about scalding the chicken in a pot of water @ 142 degrees...after a few dunks (I added dish soap to the water, swirled the chicken each time I was dunking and brought it up every 10 seconds or so to check if the wing feathers came out without resistance...I'd say all in all it took about 4 dunks @ 10 seconds each) I transferred the carcass to a cooler filled with ice water to avoid the skin tearing while plucking the feathers.

    I plucked the old fashioned way which was surprisingly easy, at least to me, cut the head off at the top vertebrae, loosened the crop, extra neck skin & esophagus....and cut it all off (I know some say to loosen the crop & pull it through with the guts but in my case just cutting it off was the easiest option).

    Then cut the neck off and added it to my stock pot of ice water....next the feet...cut them off without any problem, degloved and added them to the same pot.

    The next step was the one I was most nervous about...gutting...since I opted not to withold food prior to butchering but on a hunch I held the carcass upright and massaged, gently, around it's tummy/backend area and was able to evacuate most of the stool matter (to be honest not much stool was in the little thang). I made a small incision right over the, ahum, anus and slowly cut a hole big enough for my hand to fit through, after that I was able to reach in, cup the innards and pull them out without much problem.

    After the intestines were out I slowly cut the, ahum, anus off and proceeded to remove the heart & lungs...I didnt have a lung scraper but found they came out easily enough with me just sliding my fingers underneath and pulling them out chunk by chunk. Then I cut off the tail, rinsed off/out the bird and threw it in a clean cooler filled with icewater where it is currently "resting" for the next 48 hours until dinner time.

    Sorry for being so long-winded but the whole experience went so smoothly and the guilt I thought I'd have in taking the bird's life was negligible when I compared it to the pros of sustaining myself and family without having to depend on mass-, inhumanely raised, mass-slaughter chickens. So proud of myself right now :)

    Thanks so much for all your help and I look forward to interacting with you all in the future...I'm definitely addicted now :)

    Just as a side note, I let the chickens grow for 14 weeks after hearing others saying the breast meat wasn't as big as the Cornish X...the breast on this one still may be a little smaller but they're still a good size to me...I was thinking of trying Cornish X next time just to compare...

    Thanks again!



    Me proudly showing off my bird's carcass to my husband who didn't think I'd be able to go through with it when it came time...hah, showed him...ladies rock! :)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
    1 person likes this.

  2. Azriel

    Azriel Songster

    Jun 19, 2010
    Good Job! I'm sure it will be very yummy.
  3. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    Awesome job! Can't wait to do mine in 5 more weeks!
  4. FarmTillURdead

    FarmTillURdead Chirping

    Jan 31, 2012
    Centerville, KS
    Great Job! It's an incredible feeling of accomplishment to make yourself independent! I felt funny about it the first few times I did it for days after when I thought about it. It does go away and it gets easier the more you do it. Always thinking about the "chicken in the pot" always helped me through on days I wasn't hyped up enough to do it. Congrats on doing what many people never gather the courage for!
  5. mxpres

    mxpres Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    [​IMG] Good job,Makes you feel good when you tell someone you process your own poultry and they slap their hand over their mouth and say,,,really!!!!!!!!!!
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Yay! Another convert! Isnt it an amazing feeling to know that you raised that chicken start to finish, and dispatched him quickly and quietly? Be sure to rest that bird in the fridge for a few days if you plan on eating him now. If you're going to freeze him, Id still rest him a few days.

    Once you taste that home grown chicken flavor, you'll never go back to a supermarket chicken again. You really did a great job, be proud!!

    Edited to say I re-read and see you're already resting 48 hours and plan on cooking him then. Let us know how he turns out!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. crenees

    crenees In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    Thanks for the kudos :) I was extremely nervous about how I would feel afterwards but I think I've hyped myself up so much that now that it's been done I feel alot more at ease about doing it again (thankful for that since I already rec'd a new batch of 25 from Ideal :).

    As a side note, hello to a fellow midwesterner :) My whole family lives out there in Kansas and Nebraska (actually I cant say this was my first butchering experience since I used to help my aunt dispatch her broilers around age 12 by breaking the neck...a method I probably wont be repeating now that I've gotten a bit older :)...my grandmother actually lives in Sabetha, KS a little north of you (I say little but it's probably hours away...ah, the one thing I dont miss about the midwest...driving two hours just to find a Walmart, haha).

    Thanks again!


  8. crenees

    crenees In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    You have no idea :) I've had so many people try and discourage me from it saying I wouldnt be able to live with myself but I just kept on telling them that if I want to continue to eat meat I feel I need to live with the consequences of taking that animal's life...I just think too many people have gotten completely disconnected from what the reality of where our food comes from!! Great feeling of accomplishment and surprisingly little guilt!!
  9. crenees

    crenees In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    Hey Halo!

    Will do, I'm excited to taste my first home-grown chicken tomorrow evening...have him resting in salted ice water right now with a splash of vinegar to slightly brine him before cooking...can't wait!! Heard so many of you rave about how much better their meat is when compared to store bought that I almost cooked him right after slaughter :) Did I say I cant wait?
  10. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Songster

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    EXCELLENT job Courtney! [​IMG]

    No need to apologize about being long-winded, either - I'm sure at least one person is taking copious notes to duplicate your success!

    Enjoy your healthy, humane, delicious, and well-earned chicken dinner with your family! (I think a final show of respect for the animal is to make an interesting, restaurant-quality dish out of it. No pressure though!)


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