Killing a Chicken 101

July 31, 2012

A couple of greenhorns doing the pluckin’.

My neighbor Tom bought some laying hens this spring. Turns out two of them were roosters. Roosters are not allowed in our little suburb, so they had to go. Today’s class: Killing a Chicken 101

I’ve never killed a chicken so this was my 1st time doing the deed. Enterprising greenhorn that I am, I hopped on YouTube and learned how to kill, gut, and chop up a chicken for eating. It’s crazy what you can learn on YouTube.

Here’s a few bits of advice:

  • Make sure your knife is razor-sharp. It also takes a pretty stout knife to completely severe the chicken’s head from the body once the bird has “bled out.”
  • Make sure you where clothes that can get dirty or bloody. There’s not a ton of blood, but it’s hard not to get a little blood on yourself.
  • Prepare yourself for some violent quivering and shaking for several minutes after you think the bird is dead.
  • When you dunk the dead bird into hot water prior to plucking, make sure the water is not too hot. We cooked the skin slightly on one of the birds and that made plucking a bit more difficult. Little pieces of skin came off as we pulled out the feathers on one of the birds. Ideal is a few dunks in 145-150F for several seconds.
  • The tastiest parts of these two roosters where the liver, heart, and gizzard.
  • When I do this again, I’m planning on chicken soup instead of grilling it. It was completely edible, but the meat was quite tough. A slowly cooked soup is probably a better bet for rooster or old hens.

This is the best video I could find on how to humanely kill a chicken.  Very educational in my opinion.

Good luck with your backyard chickens!


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