Processing Chickens - How Long Does it Take You

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CalgaryFarmer, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. How long does it take to process 4 chickens once you get set up and start to get proficient at it?

    I did my first 4 and I am sure it took me at least 6 hours.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    There's no one answer to that. Like everything else, as you do it more the better and faster you'll be at it.
  3. Sherol

    Sherol Songster

    Apr 7, 2015
    San Antonio Tx
    That seems a long time. I found some one local to clean my birds and they taught me while they did it. It took maybe a couple hours and I had three. Had them up side by side and cut throats and let them bleed a bit. Water was at proper temp and he dipped them a few times then pulled feathers. Removed the insides and hosed them with garden hose then we bagged them and put over ice. Then on to the next one. I did have some time at home to soak them a bit and rinse some more then bagged for the freezer. Maybe an hour per bird from butchered to in the freezer. It does take some time.. I'd hate to think about a bunch of birds if I had to go it alone.
  4. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    Sep 2, 2014
    Canton, Ohio
    I process my 15 week old rooster Sunday morning few weeks ago before my kids woke up. I didn't want to upset them. It took me 35 minutes, with boiling the water ahead of time. Plucking feathers and cutting it up and clean up. It was a breeze.
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Without counting set up and cleanup(which can take about 1-2 hours each)....
    .....kill to chill takes me about 20 minutes, after the first few......
    ....that does not include the final rinse before setting in fridge to 'rest'.
  6. Thanks everyone.

    I had to reheat the water between each and that added quite a bit of time. As well, I include setup and teardown/cleanup.

    What do you use to scrape the cavity?

    What do you do about all the tiny feathers? Someone told me you can burn them off with a match.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    We use a camp stove to keep the water hot. I just use my fingers to clean out the cavity and rinse very well. We use a small propane torch to burn off all the tiny feathers. It's been a couple of years since we've processed birds (didn't have any cooperative broodies last year an didn't want to mess with raising chicks), so I don't remember exactly how long it took us. Like I said, the more you do it, the faster it will go. My husband and I do it together, so that helps the process go more quickly, too.
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Practice makes perfect, Calgary. I think in time you can cut that time in half and then in half again. I remember my first go round. Tried to do 10 birds solo from start to finish. Was some time before I could even look at a chicken again after that loooong day!! But eating them made me give it another (and another..) chance. Prep seems to be my biggest friend. Sharp knives and having all of my works stations ready to go ahead of time takes so much work and time out of the process. Good luck to you!
  9. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Crowing

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    About 5 min each
  10. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chirping

    May 14, 2015
    North Carolina
    Set up and tear down take the same amount of time no matter how many birds you are doing, it is much easier to do 50 at a time than just 4, of course, you have to have the freezer space for it.
    If I had to do just 4 it would probably take 3-4 hours if I set up all of my big equipment. Usually when we have a few random roosters to do though, I just skin them instead of setting up the scalder and plucker. Takes just a few minutes to skin one. Much faster per bird to use the plucker, but not worth the set up.

    I use my fingers to scrape out all the goodies, when you get to the lungs I use my three middle fingers, and one finger goes between each rib and perfectly scoops the whole thing out without breaking. Kidneys are kind of fun to pop out with a finger. And then if there is any connective tissue left after all the organs come out, I use a knife to "score" through each area and then my fingers can pull it out more easily.

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