So as I have mentioned before, out of 27 chickens i have three left. These were not due to be butchers till September 1st at 10 weeks old. But i didnt think it fair that the foxes get all the meat and I never get to taste it. So I went ahead and butchered them at 6 weeks. Amazingly they were still pretty big, 5.25lbs, 4.5lbs, 3.5 lbs. I had my 8 year old son video but most of the time all you see is his finger or the camera is pointed somewhere else. Guess we will try that again on the next round of chickens in November.
Essentially here’s what you do. I am by far probably the worst butcher around but I would like to think I am getting the hang of it.
I use killing cones. I have much less issues with the chickens getting up and running away doing it this way than when I attempt to crank the neck. I have several funny stories that I may post later about that. With the killing cones you put the chicken in head first upside down, pull the chickens head out the small end of the cone and slice its jugular, let the blood drain, then after its done cut the head the rest of the way off.
The next step is to scald the feathers so they will come off easier. Water should be about 130degrees and dunk the chicken for about 30 secs before dropping them into the plucker. I have yet to get this down perfect yet as i have some chickens that get plucked fine and other not so much. But the plucker makes it much easier.
After they are plucked its gutting time, this is another area I have not perfect and takes me time, and sometimes the chicken comes out pretty messed up. Still edible but sometimes I wonder if it actually started out as a chicken. I do get better with each one though so I have faith that at some point the chickens will all look like chickens at the end.
I did have one chicken this time I ended up getting frustrated with. It was the last one and would not pluck. When i pulled it out of the plucker the skin was pretty mangled and still had feathers on it. So rather than pluck it I just skinned it. Funny looking thing.