We butcher our first chicken since we started with a backyard flock over 2 years ago. Up until this time we had always been able to rehome our unwanted birds via Craig’s List or Freecycle. Of course all the birds we had not wanted had been hens. There is always a market for good laying hens.
Our rooster was a great specimen of a Partridge Rock, but as of late he had become a little aggressive. Every time the door opened he came running to see if our dog was out. Our dog had no interest in the flock, but this rooster was interested in attacking the dog. He had been a gentleman with the hens until recently. Lately when he decided to mate he came away with feathers and I was finding bunches of different hen feathers all over the place. In light of this I knew he had to go and it did not seem fair to send our problem to some one else.
As a child I have some very bad, stinky, wet, just plain rotten memories of helping to clean butchered chickens. I really dreaded it all. I researched all different kinds of options, and settled on skinning the fella. We also put him on a water only diet to clean out his digestive system for his last 24 hours.
It took us less than 30 minutes from beginning to end. Skinning the bird definitely wasn’t as bad as scalding and picking the bird. We had watched lots of YouTube video’s and had studied our favorite. There were a couple of bumps in the road, but when we finished never broken into the digestive track (it is something you don’t want to do to help prevent cross contamination of the meat, a common problem with commercial processing) In the end, we successfully butchered our bird, and feel we would do it again.
We now have a 2 1/2 pound chicken in the refrig. I know that it was fed a good diet, and ate lots of grasses and bugs. I know that the bird got to spend most of the time running free around our yard and pasture.
Now my job is to read about how to best prepare an old-fashion dual purpose bird. We will let you know how it turns out.