First time done, planning for next time


8 Years
Mar 15, 2011
This weekend we butchered 10, 1 yesterday and 9 today. We learned a lot of what we could and couldn't handle. We're planning on doing again in the fall. Here's some items we learned just in case:

- Make sure your knife is sharp. We did only 1 yesterday because the knife wasn't sharp enough, so we had to stop and get a new knife
- First one was rough due to the knife problem, the others went smoother.
- I tried using a makeshift cone, but it was too small so I ended up holding the birds instead. This felt oddly easier to do as it felt like I was helping it through instead of it sitting in a cone alone.
- We had our scald water at 145, that worked very well at 30 seconds in the water. We sometimes had a little bit of torn skin in the breast area, but it's for us and my wife doesn't eat the skin anyways.
- I did the killing, scalding, plucking, and beheading, my wife took care of the rest.

We'll be placing an order to do a batch of 25 in the fall. All of our friends at church have been begging us for "organic chicken meat", though our city lot can't handle much more we feel (in addition to our 8 egg layers)...
Very Brave! I don't think I could do it myself.
We are going to take ours to an Amish lady that lives close to us. She will do it for about $2 a chicken. We only have 5 white pearl leghorns m. Mc. sent as packing peanuts, but if this goes well and if they are tender and taste good, we may get some more in the fall.
Great job! Yes ... sharp knife lesson learned here as well; but we had our knife sharpener equipment right there and just put a better edge on it before we did the others.

It feels very .... successful I guess is the term, doesn't it?

Congrats and much success for the future.
Yes, I was wondering if I would be able to do it. At the sight of human blood I get weak knees. We're working towards being more self-sufficient, so this was one more successful step towards that.
It's good that you could do that. I keep my chickens for eggs/(pets) cause I love 'em! But I'm considering rabbits for meat - they reproduce and grow faster, I hear. Do you think you could kill bunnies? Darn things are so cute - - - I would like to be more self-sufficient, too. I could handle dressing out the body, once it's killed. It's the 'making it dead' part that I don't like!
My mom's husband has done both and we discussed this after our successful experience with the chickens this weekend. He (and he's a retired Ranger) says the rabbits are much more difficult. That cute factor, you know. I've never tasted rabbit, but have heard it tastes like chicken, so I think I'll stick with the chicken.
I am the same way! That's the main reason I raise cornish X, not because of the good feed conversion or the quick turnover, but because I don't love them. They have no personalities, don't do cute things, and they all look the same so you don't find yourself giving them little names when you refer to them individually. And I don't have any apprehension about plucking or dressing, but am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the killing.

I've thought about doing rabbits for meat, too- they say you can raise 3 litters (and litters can be up to 10 kits) each summer, and each is around 3 lbs dressed. BUT I gave it a lot of thought and I don't know if I could kill a rabbit, even an ugly red eyed one. Same with ducks, I thought about keeping ducks for eggs and meat, but I don't think I could kill them, because they'll either be too cute or too friendly. Dang my bleeding heart!

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