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The Dead Duck - uh- Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Royal Chicken, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Royal Chicken

    Royal Chicken Hatching

    Oct 18, 2012
    I don't have any chickens............yet. Is it true that a chicken will run around with it's head cut off?
    [​IMG] What do I do then?

    Also, what is the best way to kill a chicken - the fastest, least bloodiest, and cleanest way. The thought of bloody work like that doesn't exactly appeal to me...[​IMG]

    And, last of all, what is the best way to pull the feathers off after it is killed? Should I pull it off by hand; should I use the wax method; or should I use a feather-pulling machine?

  2. Royal Chicken

    Royal Chicken Hatching

    Oct 18, 2012
    Another question.... what would be the best kind of chickens to raise? Which species? [​IMG]
  3. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    This might be beter in the meat birds section, since it's mostly about processing.

    Least bloodiest way to kill is the dislocated head pop, but I don't think I'm strong enough for that one, so we tie them to a tree branch by the legs and (quickly, you don't want to leave them in this position long) slice both sides of the neck just below the jaw bone, careful not to get the windpipe in the slice (though this sometimes happens). You can also just slice the head clean off. Some people use a killing cone so that there is no flapping.

    By the way, a duck also "runs around with its head cut off." Meaning, the nerves in the spinal chord go crazy as the bird is dying and it flaps its wing vigorously, bouncing around the yard. This tends to bruise the meat. You just let it go for a minute, sometimes longer, and collect the body when it stops moving. I've heard stories of chickens actually running, but never seen it.

    To do feathers, if you're only doing a few birds, you can pluck by hand. Boil a huge pot of water with a drop of dishwashing liquid in it, then turn your heat off and let it cool awhile. Dunk the chickens all the way in for 30 seconds, 1 minutes, however long it takes to get the feathers loose. Then take it out and start plucking. Don't forget evisceration, that's the fun part. I wouldn't use the wax method. If you're killing and processing on a regular basis (once every few months or more), invest in an automatic plucker.

    Some people like a broiler meat bird like a Cornish Cross (slaughter 6-9 weeks). Others prefer a meat bird that is more active like a Red Ranger. Still others love the taste of a heritage breed or even just hatchery quality or mutts (slaughter at 4-5 months).

    There is plenty of this info and more on the site, just use the search bar, or you can browse the meat birds section. There's a lot of great info on BYC.

    Good luck!
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    There is a step-by-step picture tutorial in the meat birds section. Its great for someone who's never butchered before. You should totally check it out.

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