I've been reading a lot about processing my Cornish X chickens. There are many details that we are just figuring out, such as "resting", "icing", brine and not filling your freezer all at once due to temperatures. Honestly, I didn't realize it was so complex when we started this venture. I thought - kill and freeze. I also didn't realize how icky it would be to "muck" the coop and area all the time. We have a 8' x 40' area for 40 chickens. Of course we've had rain at least 1/2 the time we've raised these birds so it's pretty gross. But I digress... We live North of the DFW area and there are not many options for processing chickens if you don't want to do it yourself. My friend and I have raised 40 birds (20 each). They are 7 weeks old today and really big. Those darned birds are drinking 9+ gallons of water per day and so much food you wouldn't believe - even in just 12 hours per day. Those birds are panting even though it's only in the 80's here in Texas, although the humidity has been a little higher than usual. At first my friend's husband was going to do the "deed", but we heard so many horror stories that we decided to find someone to process for us. She is going to Hayes Farm in Mansfield, TX for $1 per bird. But they don't cut off the neck or the legs for you. You have your own coolers for transporting and you bag yourself. Plus they like you to stay onsite and you can watch. I can only imagine the smell at a meat processing plant - yuk! So I chose to use a woman who does 4-H birds and lives in a small N. Texas town. She charges $3 per bird and when she is done you simply carry them home in coolers and place in the freezer. Which leads me finally to my question as my lady has never heard the term "resting" the birds. And she's been doing this a long, long time. In fact she processes over a fire the old-fashioned way. Do we really have to rest the birds for 24 hours or even 4-6 hours? If my birds have been cooled in ice in a cooler, do I still have to be careful about putting 20 in the freezer all at once. What about this brine business? Final questions: Someone said we need to feed chopped corn this last week. If I do will they need grit then? Because someone said you don't need grit if they only eat Chick Start. Thanks for any help and/or encouragement you can offer. At this point I'm saying never, ever again...but then I do like the idea of raising our own meat. Maybe I should try in smaller quantities like 15 birds at a time?