Well - Life happens. I still have a bunch of my meat birds left that are way overdo for processing. There's so much going on over here, that I thought it would be quicker and easier to have someone else do them for me. I found a local place that does them for $1.50 per bird. Dang - I was paying more than that for ice! My bf and I brought 4 roosters to have done, even though I have more to do than that. What an operation. Here I am thinking my house practices could be more sanitary. I'm so picky retentive about touching things at the house, where blood goes....all of that newbie stuff. WELL - you stop thinking that when you go to one of these places. I'm not saying they're dirty....but it was VERY DIFFERENT than what I expected. They've been in business over 30 years, so I suppose it's clean enough. Either way, it made me not worry so much about how clean things are here when I process birds. I was a little surprised about how they killed the chickens, though. There were a ton of dudes who didn't speak English, and I wanted to ask them questions, but they barely understood me to begin with. They kill the chickens right side up, slit their necks while holding them between their legs, and then throw them into a large garbage can. The garbage can was all bloody. They then take the chickens out and all go into a scalder at once. Nothing fancy, their legs aren't strung up on anything. They then pluck the chickens in a whizbang type plucker and gut them. It's a very quick process and not as neat as I do them at home. He asked me if I wanted the heads and I said no. He saved me the livers and the feet though, which he left attached for some reason. He also left the necks on. There was miscommunication for sure, because he took the legs off of the last batch of chickens and put them in the body cavity for the last person. When I got home, I just took them off myself. The farm itself is very interesting. They have all different breeds of chickens in pens, but they didn't have any broilers at all. They had goats, sheep, pig and rabbit. If you don't bring your own meat to process, you go to the pen you want and pick their animal. They were selling many chickens for $10 each or $2.00 a lb depending on the breed. You pick it out and the price includes them processing the animal right on the spot. They do it for everything there. I was tempted to buy a rabbit, but the experience was slightly traumatic for a newbie - especially my BF. They also sell eggs. They actually usually GIVE AWAY eggs, but they had a 19,000 chicken loss in our last heat wave and said they were charging for eggs at the moment to make up for some of their monetary loss. The same warehouse that does the chickens also processes the pigs, so we unexpectedly watched a pig be hung upside down and killed. I watched it's throat slit and blood drain and then they hung it over a scalder. We didn't watch the rest because I wanted to focus on my chickens who were next in line. My bf had a hard time watching that and had to go outside. I don't know if I'm numb, or more prepared for these things, but I stood and watched. It makes you appreciate where your food comes from. I'd like to start buying all of our meats from local farmers like this guy. I don't know if I'd want to go pick out the animal, but I might want to say - give me a rabbit and then I'd wait for it. Yanno? I watched my own chickens being done. Being there made me think of a couple things, though. First - if they are processing outside chickens - how do they know that people aren't bringing them sick chickens? Wouldn't other people's sick chickens contaminate things? Also - why don't they have killing cones? The chickens I brought home were definitely bloodier than I'm used to. I'd prefer them fully drained. Their cashier and one other dude spoke english and I was talking with them. They said that on the weekends, they let Jewish and Arabic folks come and either use their equipment or have their guys there to help so that they can be killed kosher or halal. I suppose they use killing cones then? I also asked them if they sold wool from the sheep there. They said yes and I was kind of excited to get some so I could spin it. They then told me it was still attached to the skin, so I passed. lol. They had about two sections of two foot high stacked pig skins in one barn stall. It really makes you think. After we eat these chickens, I'll decide whether or not we'll go back to finish the rest or if I'm going to do them here. I think if we go back, I'd bring an ice cooler with some salt water so I can stick them in there on the way home. When I took them out of the bag when we got back to the house, they were still hot and I'd prefer getting them on ice sooner. Anyhow, I just wanted to share my experience with you guys!