We started out on May 1, 2016 with 25 Cornish Rock Cross Chickens. This is the breed we choose to raise for meat because they reach butcher weight in just 9 weeks...its incredible really. After 9 weeks it is time to butcher, and believe me, as much as I like chickens (I love watching my laying hens and do have a harder time when one of them dies) I don't mind when the 9 weeks is up with the Cornish Rock Cross birds.
They are not cute.
They do not have personality.
They remind me of a severely obese Jabba the Hut with Prader Willi Syndrome.
They are kinda gross.
When it is time to butcher, I am more than ready!
We have done this the hard way and the easy way. The hard way takes a LOOONG time. We have butchered with no fancy equipment using just baling twine to hang the chicken upside down, slit the throat, and a pot of scalding water (150-160 degrees) to dunk the chicken in. When we pluck by hand it takes 10-15 minutes per bird and that is before you even begin the process of evisceration (gutting). Usually by the time we get 3/4 of the way through the 25 birds we end up skinning the birds as the plucking takes so very long. But, with nothing but a pot for scalding water and a sharp knife, it can be done.
However, we hit the jackpot this year. We have some friends who we ordered our chickens with which meant that all of our birds (their 200 and our 25) were ready for butcher at the same time. They have a fantastic setup complete with stations for all of the steps and when all the stations were manned we had it down to 3 minutes per bird from start to finish.
Our old school, redneck, by hand method is more like 25 minutes per bird but let's face it, not everyone has the luxury of a whiz bang chicken plucker!
I just have to say that our homesteading friends helped us tremendously this year, our 25 birds were done in less than 1 hour. Hubby got lucky he had to work that day so 2 of my children and I headed to the neighboring homestead to butcher our chickens and to help with some of theirs as they were so kind to let us butcher on their equipment.
I had the process slowed down with explanation so I could share with my readers, thank you so much to My Shire Farm for the help making this video and for the use of equipment!