Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Butchering chickens is not for the faint of heart

Every year about this time, we butcher chickens.  For the past three years, our daughter and youngest son have raised meat chickens for their FFA projects.  After the county show, the chickens are to be butchered.  It fills our deep freezer with delicious meat that we know was raised free of antibiotics, steroids, and were raised humanely.  Plus, another added bonus is that the chicken is absolutely DELICIOUS!

This year, however, we decided to do things a little different.  We purchased a large, deep sink from the Habitat for Humanity Store and built a large stand to place it on.  Our friend and partner in crime for this years butchering, Sergio, helped out with building the stand.  This thing was great!  We added a down spot for the drain that attached to a hose that we drug over to the pasture.  That way, we wouldn't have water pooling up around where we were working.  We also added a spout to the top that a host attached to, giving us fresh water to work with when cleaning the chickens.

 Another item added to the list was a chicken plucker.  In previous years, we have skinned the chickens.  It is very tedious and also takes away the skin which is useful in keeping the meat moist while cooking.  This is the frame for the plucker.

 I put all of the rubber "fingers" into the blade of the plucker.  This thing rotates around and literally removes all of the feathers from the dead chicken.

 Here are a couple of our helpers bringing the chickens into our butchering area, from the barn.  We had 44 chickens to butcher this day.

Here is a picture of the inside of the chicken plucker.  The large plate, shown earlier, sits on the bottom of the plucker and more "fingers" are stationed on the sides of the barrel.

Here is a picture of Sergio using the plucker. We shoot water, from the hose, into the plucker while it is operating, to help wash the feathers out.

 And here is a shot of my brother, Lynn, using our new sink!  Love, love, LOVE it! (I love him, too!)

 Our resident comedian on staff was my sister-in-law, Jennifer.  She was cracking us up throughout the process!  I love her!

Finally, after all of the birds were processed, we used a different process to bag the meat.  These bags shrink when heat is applied.  So, the meat becomes vacuum sealed in these bags to provide better protection in the freezer.  They were fantastic!  We'll definitely be using these again.

 Here is the finished product!  22 whole chickens ready to go!  What a deal!

I hope you enjoyed the post!  Have a super day!

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