I’m saying “fair warning” because we are going to talk about Chicken Processing day. Sometimes these things can be difficult for people to handle. We will talk about it and you will have a couple of photos and one video. If you are squeamish, if you don’t want to hear about where chicken meat comes from, or if you have small children that you don’t want to expose to butchering – please give this blog a miss. It’s not that it’ll be at all graphic, but the information will be there and we may speak about it frankly. Fair warning.
As you know, we had to postpone processing day because Saturday was way too windy and it would have just been horrid. That morning we came up with a contingency for another windy day, using the dinky house, and made a plan for a Tuesday butcher. We were a bit bummed, because we figured that the gracious offer of help from our friend Ryan R. would not be forthcoming due to a weekday session. But he came back to us saying he was still in! Yay!
It took us a while to get everything set up and ready to go because it was an all new set up. We had to figure out the best way to do things.. how and where to set up the kill cones, the scalder, plucker, etc. The eviscerating station we set up in the dinky house, on a tarp – also placed the coolers in there so they wouldn’t be in the wind and hot sun. We were so lucky that the weather – all through until 1pm – was quite mild and only breezy. Not hot and windy.
This time, we put the chickens in the back of Sue’s truck, on some straw, and just drove them over there. Rather than moving them into cages and moving the cages and trying to keep them in the shade all the time. Sue parked between two trees, we put a sheet over half the truck and a decommissioned screen door form the large coop over the other half. They were kept very cool and comfortable all morning.
It took us a few tries, but we got a system going well. Ryan would gather a chicken, pray over it, place it in the kill cone, and do the slitting of the jugular and allow ample time to bleed out. Then Sue or I would take the chicken and put it through the paces of scalder, cooler, plucker. Then Sue would take it over and begin the evisceration procedure. Ryan was a very quick study and we were so thankful to have him.
We processed 17 birds this week. 12 of them were reserved for purchase. 1 went to Ryan and his family for his help. Overall, even though we began processing almost an hour later, we finished a half hour earlier. We’ve got it down now, so next time – if Ryan is again able to help – we’ll have a most efficient and productive day!
Below is a video of the scalding, cooling, plucking process. It’s a bit silly and I didn’t do a very good job, but hey – it’s a little window into how we’re doing stuff.
Anyway – I’ll try to have a different subject for you next time. Until then, as always~
thanks for reading!