Hey folks, this is my 5th summer raising meat birds, mostly for the family table. I've always followed the butchering method that has me cutting into the chest cavity below the bird's breastbone, sticking in my hand, trying to loosen all the innards and then pulling them out. Sometimes this works really well and sometimes it is a struggle and a mess. If the liver comes out "pretty" it is saved for a variety of tasty dishes, but if it gets mangled it goes into the stock pot or to the dogs. Once the bird is fully processed it is rested for three days in the refridgerator and then I decide whether it will be kept whole for a roaster, halved, pieced out or even butchered down for sausage and stock. This Christmas however, my husband gave me a pair of poultry shears (yes it was on my Christmas list). When one of my chickens had to be butchered early due to an injury I was trying to figure out how to get my hand up inside it to remove the innards and just decided to try to use the shears to cut through the breastbone and open it that way. The result was such a clean, easy, tidy process that I decided that I'd do this with most of my chickens and only go back to the old way for those I wanted to save as whole roasters. Perhaps this is old news to many of you, but it was a cool discovery for me: First photo shows the whole chicken (10 wk old Freedom Ranger Rooster), plucked, neck and feet removed: In the second photo I've used the poultry shears to open the chest cavity (note how clean and tidy everything is): In the third I've used my fingers to loosen all the connective tissue holding everything in place. The whole package comes out in one shot, including the lungs. A simple cut down one side of the anus and around and up the other side and the cavity is perfectly clean inside. No digging around for missed bits. It is very easy to separate out the kidney, lungs, heart and gizzard without risking damagine the intestinal tract and releasing fecal matter into your carcass. Anyway, thought I'd share my "new" butchering technique. I found that having done it this way a few times it actually made the old way easier because once I knew what it looks like inside, where the tougher connections are and was able to get all the innards out with less mess and stress.