Here at Ridgetop Farm & Garden we process our own birds. This post is about how we do it. So, if you’re squeamish or not interested in how the live chicken ends up on your dinner table you might want to skip this post.
Sometimes we purchase Cornish Cross chicks for our meat production. Other times we process cockerels that we hatched a few months prior. The advantage to raising Cornish Cross is that they are bred for meat, so they have a nice, big breast come butchering day. Ironically, that is the same reason people choose not to go with Cornish Cross. They grow too big, too quickly.
Our broilers live in a chicken tractor that gets moved around every couple days. They eat grass, weeds & bugs. We also give them a gmo free, high quality feed that we get from Buxton Feed.
The chickens are placed head down in a cone. Farmer John slits their neck & they bleed out. It’s quick & there’s very little thrashing around using this method.
We use a Whizbang Chicken Plucker to pluck off the feathers. It is a huge time saver.
The chicken is placed in the Whizbang Plucker.
The Plucker is turned on and the chicken gets spun around while the rubber fingers catch & pull off the feathers. Spraying water while the plucker is spinning rinses off the feathers. It’s messy, but it works great.
Next step is cleaning the bird. The feet, head & neck are cut off and the innards removed.
It is a lot more work & more expensive to raise & process your own chickens than to buy them from the store. But, it is much more rewarding to be self sufficient. Since we started butchering our own chickens I haven’t once wanted to buy chicken from the store. I haven’t needed to – our chicken is delicious!