We butchered chickens

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Pat told me the other day that the time was getting close.

Our poor meat birds were getting so heavy, they could hardly stand or walk for longer than a few minutes.

I was definitely more attached than I thought I would be. I suppose feeding and watering the little critters twice a day for 8 weeks will do that, huh.

As much as I knew it was something we had to do – and obviously it was my idea in the first place – I was sad about having to butcher our chickens!

Yesterday was supposed to be the day, but Pat was recovering from a stomach bug and the day kinda got away from us.

So today was the day.

We definitely had a make-shift operation.

But since we only had 3 birds to butcher we weren’t going to go spend a bunch of money on fancy equipment.

Our next batch, ya know when we get 50 of them, then we’ll get some real equipment! Right Patrick!?

(If Patrick never sees another chicken it’ll be too soon! : ))

So anyway, we got everything ready..


-Hose/water supply

-Portable grill for heat source

-Large stock pot with hot water

-Place to hang the birds

-Bucket for all the “garbage”

-A good sharp knife

-And most important of all…


**Warning – some of the following pictures are graphic in nature. If you consider butchering chickens and posting pictures of it graphic.**


Pat and the kids getting our water going on the portable grill!

In case you are wondering it takes about 30 minutes to get a large pot of water heated to 140 degrees on a grill. 30 very long minutes!


Off we go to get a chicken!


The big guy was first.


Pat seems pretty happy. Poor chicken seems a little traumatized!


Pat kinda accidentally wrung the guy’s neck. Which is ok because he didn’t suffer as much.IMG_5052[1]

When we chopped his head off.


And then he danced around in the grass for awhile.


Then we hung him up and let him bleed out.

Hahaha. Caleb looks like he’s going to throw up!


And it was off to get number two!

This is so funny. As soon as Pat grabbed the chicken by the legs and he/she started squawking, all our egg birds would come running over.


Look at that one on the right. She was so stressed out about whatever was going on.


And then Pat had to talk nice to the chicken and tell her he was so sorry for what was about to happen.


And then he gave her a kiss. And I was waiting for her to peck his nose, but she didn’t.


Here’s an action shot taken by Angel! Hahahaha!


All three birds butchered. Hanging out (hahaha) while we waited for the water to get hot enough.


Finally, it got to 140 degrees – or close to it – we got impatient.


We dip the bird a couple times, do a test pluck, and then dip another time for good measure.


And then the fun part begins.


The plucking of the feathers. Worst job ever.


We plucked and plucked.


And plucked and plucked.


And plucked some more.

{Nice chicken butt shot Angel. 🙂 )

We finally decided they were plucked enough and we would just skin them and have skinless chicken!


And then the real fun part started!

The evisceration!

Yes. Yes that is a real word. Basically it means we got to pull all the guts out.


The kids loved this part. We showed them the heart (that’s what Angel is touching), the lungs, intestines and we cut open the gizzard so they could see what the birds were snacking on.

After all of the evisceration was complete we washed everything up really good, put the birds on ice and then I went in the house to finish the job.


Cutting up and skinning the birds.

{What’s with my hair?}


And about 3 hours later, we were left with 3 large bags of chicken.

Even though we are exhausted from butchering only 3 chickens, I thought it was amazing!

Pat is glad he had the opportunity (I think), but is definitely not ready to go buy more broiler chickens anytime soon.

Angel’s thoughts: “Mom, I don’t even like this for fun. It’s gross!”

Caleb’s thoughts: “It’s not awesome Mom.”

Hahaha. Well I guess for now we’ll just stick with chickens that lay eggs!



3 thoughts on “We butchered chickens

    bierlefamily said:
    August 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    The memories of the smell of butchering chickens immediately permeated the computer screen when I started reading this post – especially when you got to the dipping them in water. And the pin feathers. Oh, the pin feathers. That was always our job. UGH. So fun to see you do this. 🙂 Ahh, the memories!

      Missy responded:
      August 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      I hate pin feathers!! 🙂

    Tami Lund said:
    August 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I saw a chicken butchered once when I was at the farm with my Grandma…could be why I only touch chicken if it’s frozen, or I gag! Appreciate your sense of adventure!

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