Ward House

Hairy chickens?

Yes, chickens seem to have wispy hair. How do I know this? This morning, bright and early, I helped some friends butcher chickens. No pictures or anything but if you find the topic worrisome, just stop here. =)

(elevator music is playing)

Today was not a day off for Ronnie nor I so I called work to say I’d be a little late, donned jeans and headed next door. As it turns out peeps were needed in the plucking brigade and from this table I watched the beheading. Using a wicked sharp knife is really important for this part. Once beheaded, the birds were dunked twice in boiling hot water, quick plucked (just the big feathers) and then given to me for the fine plucking. *whew* I have never seen such a sight!

After plucking, the birds are singed, to remove the long hairs and any little feather bits I may have missed, and then taken to the other table to be dressed. Yes, back to the title, chickens have long fine hairs that stick out. The dressing was interesting! I got to see what eggs look like before the shell is formed and the egg laid. This particular bird had one hard shell and four unshelled. Wow is all I can say about the process.

Why participate? I believe it is important to know where one’s food comes from and help in its preparation. This has renewed Ronnie’s and my desire to have cluckers for not only eggs but meat as well. There was also talk of rabbits – good eating from what I have heard.

I do have one question, though, to those who frequently dress birds – what is the best way to begin the dress. Phelan, I remember reading your entries on dressing pigs and how you got the ‘anus tying’ job. Not sure that a chicken is as complicated; wanted to know how you did it.


June 25, 2009 - Posted by | Chickens, Cooking, self sufficiency

1 Comment »

  1. "Why participate? I believe it is important to know where one's food comes from and help in its preparation."I agree! I can understand and respect both vegetarian and omnivore choices. In my opinion if one is to be an omnivore, the animals used for food should be given the utmost respect while living, the best life it's possible to give, and killed as painlessly and with as much dignity as possible. That's how I'd seek to do it if I had to provide my own meat. I know it's easier said than done, but I'd learn and make the sacrifice. I know it's worth it. The treatment of food animals as if they were objects on a belt gives me the shudders. So cruel.

    Comment by Lisa | June 28, 2009 | Reply

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