Chicken processing

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Don't feed chicken(s) for at least 24 hours before you slaughter, you can give them water. Grab by feet and hold upside down, wait until chicken calms down from too much blood in head, hang feet by rope or use a stainless Steel Chicken / Poultry Processing Restraining Killing Funnels Cones. Either cut throat when chicken is calm and will flap around or swing chicken until dizzy and then take down and chop throat, the chicken will not flap as much, if you put the chicken in a killing cone it can not flap around, all you do is put it in the cone and cut the head off and let it bleed out into a bucket below the cone, less mess that way. Leave the chicken hang until all blood is out or leave in the killing cone(s) until the blood is out. Blood goes bad very quickly so you want the blood out soon as possible, hang by feet immediately or kill in cones.

After bleeding out dip chicken into really boiling water for about 20 seconds , take out of boiling water and scrape feathers off with fingers (be careful very hot), very small feathers/hairs can be burned off with torch or fire, best and safer to do this outside away from the house or anything flammable, don't want to burn anything down.

Loosen up the esophagus and windpipe in the neck, do not break, this will make it easier to get the intestines out later.

There are two bad areas in the chicken that need to be removed, the scent gland at the tip of the tail that is very smelly, cut it out in a triangle. the gall needs to be removed from liver, cut to left and right of anus, grip anus shut and cut around to allow removal of intestines, if it wont come then cut around the neck. The lungs, liver, and kidneys will stick to the back of the rib cage and have to be scraped out with your hand, reach inside the backside to the esophagus and windpipe hook it with your index finger an scrap out everything with your hand. Clean bird inside out, easy with a water hose. Put clean chicken in a cooler on ice until you cook or preserve the meat.

Check entrails for what you want to eat liver (don't forget to remove the uneatable gall off the liver it is a darker color don't bust it's nasty), and gizzard. Look at intestines to see if there is anything bad check for worms, flukes, cysts with eggs inside, infection, any signs of sickness, throw into the entrails bucket.

You will need 4+ buckets, one bucket for hot water this one should be a metal 5 gal. foot tub or similar that you can heat water in to a boil (be very careful with hot water and fire, or propane appliances) , (the rest can be food grade plastic 5 gal. buckets) one for cold water for cleaning if you don't use a water hose, one or more to catch the blood from hanging chicken(s) or the ones in cones and one for throwing all feathers and wast entrails into bucket, the blood also, bury deep in the ground away from water wells an any water sources.

Preserve chicken:

1) Can chicken with a pressure cooker in glass jars. This sounds like the simplest preparation, after its canned it will last without more further fuss or extra power. Best to store canned goods (glass & metal) in a dry, cool and dark place, that does not freeze.

2) Put on ice in a cooler as soon as cleaned, then wrap and freeze them in a freezer as soon as possable.

3) Salt and hang, get salt in near bone.

4) Smoke chicken, hang in smoke until really done.

Resource Links:

Build a poultry killing cone By Allen Easterly

Joel Salatin Processes Chickens - MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

How to butcher a chicken in 20 minutes or less...while leaving the carcass and feathers intact! By Dr. Roger W. Grim, D.C.

Canning chickens for the pantry By Samantha Biggers

You can safely and easily can your own meat. By Jackie Clay

Home Chicken Processing

Internal Links

  • Poultry Processing Container (Essentially an IMC based HMCU used for USDA spec slaughter of poultry, but in a manner that can be easily stored when not in use, or rented only when needed, interesting model since it empowers small farmers, and removes the transport which seems to be one of the most stressful/cruel aspects of Animal Agriculture) (Also referred to as Plant in a Box )