After a brief rain shower we started the task of butchering. We gathered all of the things we needed, knifes, boiling water, killing cone, chicken plucker (we are lucky enough to have one on permanent loan from a friend and we give him 1 dressed bird from each batch in exchange).
My husband Dan and our friend Bill did most of the work while I cleaned and sanitized the kitchen. Dan used the killing cone and did the cutting and cleaning, while Bill did the scalding and processed the birds thru the plucker. It is a messy process but if you want quality meat that is fresh and not full of steroids and stuff you shouldn’t eat, the process is well worth it.
The chicken plucker is a homemade one but it does make the tedious task of plucking go a lot quicker. We have in the past and you can pluck them without it, after dunking the birds in the hot water (around 140 – 145 degrees) the feathers will come out rather easily with a pair of rubber gloves on your hands. When you clean the birds I would recommend finding a good book to help you clean the birds properly (or if you know someone who can show you how). If you don’t get the preen(oil/scent) gland out right it may make the bird taste bad.
Once we had them all cleaned and washed we took the skin on the end of the bird and wrapped it around the legs so the legs stay nice and tight to the body. Put them in freezer bags, then you have to put them in the fridge for a couple of days to “rest” then you can pull them out and wrap them in freezer paper. Put dates on them and put them in the freezer.
All dressed out the birds came in at 4.5 to 5.5 lbs and cost around $5.46 a piece we ended up with 12, we gave one to Bill for his help, one to the family who owns the chicken plucker, and one to the neighbor who lets us use his field for our sheep and pony to graze on.
That’s all the Cornish X broilers we have for now. We will be butchering some of the Delaware’s in a couple of months. The Delaware’s will be raised more on grass in chicken tractors, so it will be interesting to see how different they taste, or not!