Living on a farm, my skills are always increasing, and butchering is no exception!
Having processed-out deer for the last five years, and a few rabbits, we decided it was time for chicken.
It started with Mr. Rooster. He lived in the barn since the other two roosters had taken a sudden dislike to him and been attacking him. Turkey Lurkey befriended him and the two were buddies.
However, he scared Erik to death, and the smallest noise had Erik convinced the rooster would jump him when he wasn’t looking. On one unfortunate day, Erik walked into the barn. As it was feeding time, the rooster assumed Erik was bringing food so he ran in after him. Erik assumed he was being chased by the rooster and whopped him over the head with a bar.
I turned the rooster into a very tasty rooster stew. Out of spite, Erik refused to eat it.
Now, having 80, fat, juicy, meat chickens waddling about the barn, Erik has been very excited to try one. He was going to have his chance over the weekend. Our son (4) likes to play with the chickens in their pen. I’m assuming he probably dropped one too hard and the chicken never quite recovered. It couldn’t bear weight on one leg and stopped walking.
We set it aside to butcher out when we had time, but he must have had internal damage since he stopped eating and drinking. By the time I managed to butcher him, he’d lost all weight and there was very little meat left on him.
So we decided to try another one!
I grabbed a chicken in the AM yesterday and set him aside. Last night after getting everything done I finally went out to butcher him. I put his head between the nails like they say to do online, and went to chop-off his head.
BUT HE JUMPED-UP AND RAN!
I chased the fat chicken down the driveway, waving a huge cleaver in the air before finally jumping on him.
I put him back in the nail guillotine and well . . . lets just say it wasn’t a pretty sight and took a few good whacks. I think next time I’ll put a rubber band over the nails to keep his head down, and maybe try that milk jug idea.
Gutting went better this time around, and plucking was so-so. He turned out looking pretty good, but we’ll cook him up tonight and see for sure how he tastes!