Monday, 01 November 2010
Friday night, we took the cattle trailer back and loaded all the birds so that it would not have to be done early next morning. We set up the butchering equipment in front of the barn.
Chickens are put head first into killing cones. The executors were Gordon and Ben. While still in cones, they removed the legs (the bottom part).
From cones, they are put into the scalder, which has water the temperature of 155 degrees. The rack rotates them around in the water 6 times. Dave likes to put Shaklee's Basic H in the water. It seems to aid in the feather removal. The job of turning it on & off was Uriah's.
From the scalder, they were put into the plucker, which is a tub that spins VERY fast and has rubber fingers on the inside. The birds literally tumble around for 45 seconds, while a mist of water is sprayed into the tub. The birds come out feather free with all skin intact. This was Georgie's job.
Dave put the birds on the cutting table, removed the tail gland, slit the neck skin, and cut the backside open in preparation for gutting. He also would pick any feather that happened to be left on bird from plucker, which was very few.
Kelsey & I removed the innards, windpipe and the gullet, which is on the outside at it's neck.
Go ahead - just reach your hand in there and pull that stuff out!
I know - it is really gross! Out of this lump of insides, you can eat the heart, liver, and gizzards. My grandma would have a fit if we even thought of throwing those away! From the cutting table, the chickens were put into a wash tub, rinsed off and put...
on the drying racks. Oliver helped with this and wherever else he was needed.
Once dried off somewhat, we put them onto a table where we prepared them to be bagged. Notice the color of the skin. They are not pasty white, but range fed chickens have rich yellow fat that makes delicious broth and is actually not bad for you.
Those legs sticking up just don't fit into a bag, or a roaster, very nice, so we tuck them in. We make a slice in the skin and tuck the legs in.
The wings get tucked in under breast and they look perfect......
inside a roasting pan!!!! Best chicken you will EVER eat!!
Oakley's first butchering experience. She wasn't so impressed.
All this took us about 3 1/2 hours, including clean up. We had a great time together and no more moving the chickens twice a day. Now we are getting ready to butcher beef...
Until next time.........