Hint An easy way to catch your bird(s) is the night before your going to process this bird, using a flashlight, go to your coop and select bird(s) of your choice. Pick the bird up and place in a small cage. I use an old wire rabbit cage. This also prevents your bird from filling up on feed just before you process the bird for your dinner table.
DIY Chicken Kill Cone – Cost Less Than $2.00 Now that your chicks have reached the age and size to be processed for your table. You need to locate and prepare an area where you can process your birds for your table or freezer. A killing cone is a worth while investment. Place your bird in the cone, head down and exposed so you can kill and bleed your bird.
Why use a cone? First off it restrains your bird making it easy to kill and bleed the bird. Easy to use and you don’t have blood and feathers all over your yard. It is less stressful on your birds as well. Works on about any bird smaller than a Turkey.
If you are only processing 1 or 2 birds hand picking the bird is most likely your best choice. However if you have several birds to process you may want to construct this easy to build powered bird plucker. Chicken Plucker – Home Made Less Than $10.00
You will need a large pan or pot large enough to submerge your bird in scalding water. Scalding your chicken before picking is ‘Required’. Heat a pot of water to 145 to 160 degrees. Holding your bird by it’s feet, submerge your bird in the hot water, pump up and down to insure hot water reaches the skin. After about 15 or 20 seconds check your bird by test pulling a wing feather or 2. They should pull out easily, if not scald about another 5 or 10 seconds and test again.
Hint If processing water fowl like ducks, add a little dish soap to your scald water. This will remove the oils that make water fowl feathers water proof and allow the scald water to more easily reach the birds skin.
Pick your bird and if needed use a pair of pliers to remove any short pin feathers that are hard to remove by hand. Using a sharp knife open the birds body cavity and remove all those parts from it’s inside. You may want to keep it’s liver and gizzard for making gibbet gravy. You can remove (cut out) it’s neck or not that’s your choice. Rinse your bird under cold running water inside and out. Pat dry, set aside to be cooked. Or cut up into pieces or bag whole in an air tight freezer bag and put your bird in your freezer for later use.
In disposing of your birds unwanted/unused parts including it’s blood and feathers, Do Not put them in your compost pile. It will attract all kinds of unwanted critters. Like fly’s, cats, dogs, fox, racoons, coyotes and bob cats.
Learning Curve Note After your have processed your first few birds, you will be able to have that old rooster or old hen frying pan ready in 10 or at most 15 minutes from coop to pan. Always remember your grandmother did it so can you.
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