Friday, June 8, 2012

chicken butchering 101

I found chicken butchering fascinating and wanted to share the steps of how to do it. Those of you who are vegetarian are likely to stay vegetarian. Becky said they don't eat chicken for a week after butchering. Also, I am aware that many of these pictures are unattractive of me and would like to blame that on Becky's photography skills, but I can't. I jumped off the cliff as far as taking care of myself and eating healthy these past few months and vow to do better upon my arrival home :)

I walked into the chicken pen and all I was thinking was Becky's words when Ethan was little "Go in there and grab a chicken and don’t come out until you do”.  I did not want to disappoint. It is kind of nerve wracking to grab a chicken by its legs with wings flapping. I looked them in the eyes and wondered how do I pick who dies first? 

 Then it was on to the metal cones where we placed the chicken in upside down. Ethan showed me how to cut the artery in the back of the mouth. Then he did the other ones too. This time I just couldn’t do it, next time I will be able to. The bottom side of the barn looked like a bloody homicide as blood ran from their mouth and eyeballs.

 After we were pretty sure they were drained of their blood,, we grabbed their lifeless bodies by their legs and swished them around in scalding water until their feathers would come off easily.

  Then it was on to the plucker and I hang on tightly to my chicken. I thought for sure the chicken was going to go flying off in the field. Easier said then done to get the feathers out of every little area… hold the feet, hold the right wing and right leg, grab the neck… For me grabbing the rubbery neck was the ickiest part of the whole process.

 Ethan taught me how to cut off their feet and they went into the pile. I thought of Josh in South Africa eating them. Very gross.

Then the chickens are placed in icy cold water for a few hours in an old chest freezer filled with plenty of ice and taken over to the butchering table which Scott created using his engineering mind… very cool. A perfect setting as we butchered them, in the shade of their trees.

Scott and Ethan patiently taught me how to gut the chicken and clean it out. I even found and saved the gizzard for the guys. All in all, it went pretty well, something I could do again and probably do it better. It felt good to be self sufficient. Thank you Scott and Ethan for being so patient with me.

It's off to the freezer for meals during the next year... You have never tasted such good chicken and by helping to butcher them, I felt a deep feeling of thankfulness. Those of us who buy our chicken on styrofoam trays may not fully appreciate the sacredness of their lives as they provide food for us.


Julie said...

This looks so interesting to learn! And your facial expressions...they're the best. Haha. So glad you had such a wonderful trip!

Bark said...

Sweet. I don't know if I could cut it's throat though... yikes!

Beth said...

Oh my goodness I can't believe you went through the whole process with out loosing your cookies, your face in some of the pics is priceless! Love you! -Beth

Becky said...

I am so proud of you my dear mouse turned country mouse! You really did it and we have the pictures as proof. You are awesome. I had the most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful visit with you. Love you tons and thanks for all the blogs.