I killed, cleaned and ate my first chicken from my backyard, in total it took about an hour. It was much better not having to do it alone, my brother Anthony and I watched a few How To videos on You Tube. We had been talking about it for a couple of weeks, it had to be done as soon as possible.
We had 11 chickens and 5 of them were Roosters. I’m brand new at raising backyard chickens, my best friend wanted to hatch chicks with her kids so we agreed on 2 dozen eggs, knowing they would not all hatch. They brought us 13 chicks at 4 weeks old. We lost 2 the first day, that’s a long story.
Last week a couple of the roosters ganged up on one and killed a rooster. That’s when we really thought it was time to deal with the roosters. The hen’s are old enough to lay eggs and they haven’t started yet, I think it’s because of the mean roosters, they pick on them too.
We prepared ourselves to butcher the roosters. We picked an area out of the way and set up a table, ran the hose, found a big pot, and Anthony made a cone out of metal and tape and drilled it to a tree. It seemed the easiest way we saw in the videos to slit the throat and let the blood drain.
We were chasing chickens in every direction in the back yard, it was the meanest chicken I really wanted to get. Cornered him and caught him, he gave up really easily. He laid on ground when there was no where else to go and once I grabbed his feet and carried him upside down to the site the struggle was over, he was calm.
The cone wasn’t really the right size, his head didn’t come out the end like it was supposed to. Anthony loosened the cone until the head stuck out. We both said thank you for the sacrifice. Anthony cut the throat, from the front. Once the cut was made the body jolted around with enough force to bust through the tape holding the cone together, but it wasn’t that secure since we were adjusting the size. Anthony picked it up and just held it over the a bucket, he asked me to cut the head off the rest of the way.
My heart was beating really hard. We had done it, now we had to prepare it to eat. It was also our dinner plan.
I boiled the pot of water on the stove, it was still too hot. 145 degrees F is what we wanted, to not burn ourselves while pulling the feathers. We added water from the hose until the temperature was right. Dunked the whole body for 10 seconds, shook the water off gently, dunked it again for another few seconds, started pulling the feathers. They came out real easy, there is just a lot of them. When you think about eating it, there is more desire to do a good job and really clean it up.
The actual butchering was the hardest part. Disconnecting the feed sack was a real challenge, everything feels slimy inside and we didn’t really know what we were feeling for to loosen it up and disconnect. The videos made it look really easy. We made all the right cuts, until it came to the rear end, the very first slice cut the poop tube. The thing the video said not to do. We just cut more around it and reached further down to pull it out, without contamination. I reached in and pulled all the guts and organs out, Anthony said he couldn’t fit his hand in, I could just get my hand in and it was tight and the body was warm. I scrapped and pulled the best that I could, identifying the organs as they were coming out.
We tuned on the BBQ and cut it into pieces, figuring it would be best to cook it in pieces so we can get inside and see how we did. I did pretty well at getting the insides out, but not perfect there were still some unidentifiable guts inside, but all the organs had been removed.
We ate our BBQ chicken with roasted potatoes from our garden and a salad with greens all from the garden.
I never appreciated a meal more. The chicken was amazing and I felt good about doing this myself. This chicken lived its best life, and followed its natural course. I thought about some of the people who told me they could never actually kill and butcher a chicken, but they eat meat. That doesn’t seem fair. I feel like I just earned my right to eat good well taken care of chicken.