some things CANNOT be taught via you tube!!! 1st time processing!


9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
Oh mygosh! Some things just cannot be taught via you tube!!! My hubby's boss had an agressive rooster that he wanted taken care of. We went and got him last night and put him outside in a dog crate in our chicken run while the hens slept in the coop. He woke us up at about 6 am crowing! Rushed outside and brought him in the laundry room and put a thick blanket over him to keep him quiet! Meanwhile praying that the neighbors could not hear this rooster crowing!! He was LOUD!!! We had to process him immediately! My husbands boss knew that we were considering getting meat chickens and wanted to learn how to process our own chickens so he gave us his rooster to process for him. WOW!! No one in our house has EVER processed any animals. It was much more difficult than I thought it would be. NEXT TIME I will get someone to teach us step by step! Plus the fact that we live in a neighborhood I was worried they would see, hear or smell what was going on. Oh my goodness, the smell! Yes, I would do it again with instruction, but it was just much different than I expected. The feathers were not too difficult to pluck, but gutting was much more difficult than I anticipated.

I knew my fellow BYCer's would understand! THANKS for listening to me ramble about our morning.
ohh Dear, good ordeal to go through first thing in the morning...

I haven't processed anything yet, this fall though I plan on processing about 40 or so birds, big job I suppose for one day. I have seen it done before, my grandmother had a chicken farm and a rabbit farm so I watched her when I was little process the birds before being served for dinner. I am not worried about anyone around where I live, I got plenty of land and good privacy but then again those who live anywhere close to me know this is a farm, and they too got farms so , it wouldn't be a big deal to them. Anyhow, the inexperience bothers me, I know it doesn't matter how many youtube videos I watch, I am still going to be second guessing everything and likely will mess up a few times. I plan on getting someone who has done it before to come help with the first few birds to get me started. Guess we will see how it goes after that.

I hope you are not planning on doing tehm all in one day. If you have three or four people you can do it but not by yourself. The hardest part for my was killing my first turkey. After the kill it is just a chore that has to be done.
I recently did my first birds ever. I was surprised by how easy it was but it took a LONG time.

Ema- sorry no way your going to be able to process 40 in one day unless you have A LOT of help and they know what they are doing!
So far, I cannot bring myself to dispatch my birds. We just had 2 roosters processed - a local lady does them for $3.50 each (hens are only $3.00) I picked them up in nice plastic bags, all done. You cannot buy a free-range healthy chicken at the store for that amount. I am glad I found her.
Have faith !!! The husband and I processed our first 40+ last summer in a few hours. Packaging took more time, I think. Neither of us is a pro butcher by any means, but I've done some rabbits, and he's done fish and ducks he's hunted. Just look around you tube (Joel Salatin has a pretty good video there), and read what you can find. I agree with Emma that you should expect some mistakes, and just keep at it. Most importantly, using equipment can make a HUGE difference. In my area we managed to rent equipment for the day (not too expensive at all) with scalder, plucker, etc... included. Check the Featherman website.....maybe there is someone in your area renting, if you haven't already looked into it?
Good luck, and happy eating!!!
just after the part where I said, big job I suppose for one day, I meant to write I would likely do it in a couple days ahahaha...I forgot to write it in. No way I could process that many birds with 2 kids running around ahahaha.

I know it can be done, but still, not something I would embark on with just dh and I and still having to watch the 2 kids. Probably would drop the kids at a friends to play for a couple of hours and then do the rest the following day or in a couple days.

I am so sorry that was your first experience. We learned from youtube and we printed out someone's directions with detailed photos. We still have that book available when outside in case our brain fogs.

Our first time processing we were running about 45 minutes each. We are to about 15-20 minutes each with 2 of us working it. The first few are always the slowest til we get into a rythym. By the time we are done they look like they came from a butcher. We do have a homemade plucker that we made after the first batch. Cut our time incredibly.
How do you make a homemade plucker? We want to try meat birds sometime and know we are going to have to process one sooner or later and it is the plucking that is holding me back.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN PLUCKER- We made one that connects to our drill. Tried to just use parts we had here so only the plucking fingers cost me. Sorry the photo is not the best but it gives you an idea. The PVC pipe is a 3" pipe with the plucking fingers put in the holes I made with a circle drill. Both ends have a PVC cap with the metal rod inserted in the drill through the PVC pipe caps and through the wood frame. (Sorry the terms I use are not proper. I can go into Lowes get the pieces and make it work but I do not know the terms. ) The drill on button is taped down. I have the drill plugged into an electrical line like you would use for your Christmas tree with a push button on/off. I put that on the ground to press with my foot. The plucker I put on the graden wagon with a cement block on the bottom of the T piece of wood to hold it steady. The right side with the plucker I hang off the end of the wagon so it is suspended. It is knee height so I can dangle the birds as they are usually heavy, I hold them against the plucker and turn the bird around. The plucker gets about 95% of the feathers and saves us tons of time. My arms get an amazing workout holding the chickens against the plucker as well.


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