Yesterday, we spent our entire morning processing chickens. I’m so very thankful for neighbors who trade processing days with us. It’s lovely to get together to work, while our kids play nearby.
With their help, we were able to have 25 chickens done and in the cooler by lunch time. It just wouldn’t have been possible without them!
It may sound like a super gross job, and I suppose it is if you’re not used to handling meat, but really, it’s not bad! The blood is restricted almost exclusively to the killing area – and I pretty much stay away from there, killing’s not my thing – and after that, you’re handling meat.
Have you ever seen a chicken plucker?
It simply consists of a number of rubber “fingers” in a drum, the bottom of which spins to catch the feathers and pull them out. It turns chicken plucking from being a tedious affair, to 5 seconds flat. Done. Amazing!
After the chickens have been scalded (to loosen the feathers), plucked, and rinsed, they go to the evisceration table.
I won’t describe the exact process, because it is gross, but it’s honestly not as super gross like you might think.
Things are constantly being rinsed and washed. There’s very little, if any blood.
Before you know it, the chicken is ready to be washed one last time, and placed in the ice chest.
We’ll bag and freeze them this morning.
It’s so good to have our freezer filled with delicious, home-raised pastured chicken!
We’ve raised chickens to sell on a small scale in the past, and have toyed with the idea of doing it again, but chickens are an enormous amount of work, with a lot of upfront expense for the bird themselves, as well as for the feed. In fact, it costs us more per pound to raise them for our own use, than to buy them at Aldi.
This is one of those deals that may not make economic sense on the face of it, but I look at it in terms of the future payback of nourishing ourselves with healthy meat.
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