Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chicken Butchering Day (Warning- Graphic)

Warning this post contains pictures of our butchering day.  There are detailed photos of the process from start to finish.  If you do not want to see blood, guts, and dead chickens please stop reading now.

We spent Sunday afternoon at a friend's house for chicken butchering.  She has quite the set-up and a group came together to butcher.  A morning group butchered 50 birds and the afternoon group butchered 35.  We brought the 10 we have been raising up for the afternoon group.  Joe has butchered chickens, turkeys, and rabbits before but we've never done it as a group.  Was so much more fun and we really learned a lot by seeing how Lisa sets everything up!

Her set-up outside their garage.  It did not rain at all, lucky us.

Some of our birds after transport.  We drive a mini-van so the 
smell on the drive was not pleasant.  

They would hold the birds upside down until they were calm and 
then put them into the killing cone.

 Quickly done.  Blood drains into the 
containers of pine shavings below.

Water at just the right temp.  170 degrees was just right.

Dipping the birds for 20 seconds.

 Into the wizzbang.  This machine takes almost all the feathers out.  We have hand plucked both chickens and turkeys and this was amazing.  So fast and easy.  If you are local to me her husband builds and sells them.  They run about $1,000.  Her website is here and they also make awesome chick brooders!

Nice and clean!

Our view from the butchering stations.  

Picking out the last of the pin feathers.

We started about 2pm.  The clock was set-up so you could easily count how long the birds were submerged in the hot water.  A table for cleaning supplies.  All tables had bleach buckets and everything was cleaned regularly through out the process.

Taking out the insides. 

This is what NOT to do.  The bile needs to be washed away 
and care taken not to get it on any of the meat.  This only happened once all day!

Inside the tents.  Pin feather station, butcher station, clean station.

Another woman was there to help and she was awesome at this.  
So fast and she really knew what she was doing.  I was just 
fascinated with these gut photos.  Sorry!  I took several more that 
I didn't post.  lol

 Saving the chicken feet for yet another person.

Clean water buckets for belly scrubbing.

Yep all clean.

 Almost done!

Finished birds go into clean buckets full of cold water.

Out of the bucket and onto trays to drip.  Look just like the store!

Double bagged and ready to weigh.

 Weigh table.  Biggest bird of the day 6.65!

There was more than just butchering, photos from the rest of the day.

The kids played in the woods most of the day.  After we were all done the girls got to collect 
eggs and see all of Lisa's chickens.  

The fields around her chicken coops were full of these full of these flowers.  

So how did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend?

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