Animals,  Farms

Butchering Chickens Part 2

Note that all of the pictures from Day 2 of butchering were taken by Farm Boy 1, our hopeful (but not very experienced) 9 year old photographer. =)
Another day of butchering!!
The Farmer got up and turned on the scalder at 6:30 am (Brilliant!). We were ready to start processing birds by 9:30 (and the scalder was hot enough then!).
This is the lighter we used because the pilot on the scalder kept going out. Maybe wind, or?
I’m pretty sure Ma Ingalls never had to buy any playdough. She just butchered chickens & gave the insides to her kids to squish around for a while. =)
All of the kids got into it! This is me with Farm Boy 2.
I’m glad they were having fun during this process!
This is the ice/water bath that the chickens went it. I bleached it out before we used it.
We used 7 large bags of ice (throughout the day–5 at first–2 added later) and while it stayed very cold, I think maybe 1 or 2 more bags of ice would have been better. We spent a fortune on ice! =)
This is what the feathers look like when they come out of the plucker. They’ll make nice compost.
The gory details.
We’ve decided on two things we need for the next butchering:
(see how we’re bending over! 2 days of that will give you back pain! =)
Farm Boy 1 was in charge of timing The Farmer while he put the chickens in the scalder. 60 seconds. No more, no less.
At our stations, working away!
The Farmer and the scalder.
Farm Boy 1, our photographer.

We were butchering after the sun went down. We took an hour long break for lunch, and then kept on working and ate dinner after 8 pm.
On Day 2 of butchering, we processed a total of 73 chickens, 1 turkey and 1 goose. It got so dark that the ducks were spared (for now ;).
The chicken plucker didn’t work on the goose. We need to learn about scalding a goose (maybe it takes longer? Maybe it just doesn’t work on a goose?).
We were exhausted and had back aches, but we think it was well worth it!
So far we’ve had 2 reviews from friends who LOVED our chicken and said it was very tender and tasty! YAY!  That’s what we want to hear! =)


  • Tori Wilson

    Hey, I have some friends who needed to make some tables taller too. They added some cut lengths of pvc pipe to the bottom of the legs as an extension. Worked great. Being outside, you make end up with a little dirt in them, but it’s cheap!

  • Emma

    You can’t pluck a goose or duck, because. Just because… Well, it’s like this; God designed them with water-proof feathers so they wouldn’t soak up all the water in the pond & then drown! The feathers are oiled naturally. You need to skin them basically. Enjoy!

  • Lisa

    WOW! I LOVE your blog! I feel like you followed me around on my farm and wrote down everything I said! (sorry, I can’t figure out a way to say that in a way that doesn’t sound totally narcissistic) Your set up looks so much like ours. You know, last year we made our own table that was about a foot higher and it REALLY saved our backs! also we don’t put plastic over it. I try so hard not to use plastic. Yeah, ducks and geese are HARD to pluck. Hotter water, with a little DAWN to break their natural oil, and WAY more tweezing. :/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *