choking the chicken

still in  rooster killing mode. my basic steps are:

  1. i catch them the night before, just before night fall, crepuscular. at this time of day they’re all finding a place to roost for night. they’ve each got a spot, and none of them want to give it up. i simply walk up to the one i like, the one i want, and grab it.

2. i put them in a box in the garage. this allows for several important occurrences:

it provides a time and space for them to contemplate their misdeeds.

it allows time for them to void their bowels. one less thing for me to deal with in the morning.

i know just where they are when it’s time for their retrieval.

3. my preferred killing method is a two step process. first, i grab the chicken at the base of the skull, firmly, and apply a  a violent, jerking, an up and down motion (choking the chicken). this, most often, does not kill them outright. but it does take the fight right out them. trust me when i tell you, this is best thing for both of us. a struggle makes everything worse. anyhoo, while they’re stunned, praying to god, wondering how this could possibly be happening, i lay them on a cedar stump and cut their heads off with a hatchet.

IMG_1162.JPGnone of this is fun for anyone.

4. this is the hard part, for me. the chickens can relax, they’re just along for the ride from here on out. the next thing i do is scald them. i’m not sure if this does any good. some say it makes plucking easier. plucking a chicken is never easy. in more enlightened times this job was reserved for women and slaves and such. we live in a benighted era.


waiting the scale pot.


plucked chicken

5. after scalding, evisceration. i’m still working on various techniques for this. basically, what i do at the moment is cut around the anus, separate it from the body. then, i open the abdomen, from anus to sternum. then, i just kind of grab onto anything i can and pull it all from the body cavity. the chickens don’t mind at this point.

i think, however, next time i do this, i will split the sternum.

and that’s about it. the heads and feathers go into the compost. feet, blood, and most of the offal gets mixed into the pig food.