It doesn’t get fresher than that.
We plan to do all our own butchering of our animals on the farm. It is a much more peaceful and stress-free process for the animals than being loaded up and taken somewhere else. We respect and care for our animals, wanting the best for them in life and also during the butchering process. We want to be in control of what happens to them and how they are treated.
Ryan made two “kill cones” out of 5 gallon buckets. We placed two of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens upside down in these with their heads poking through the bottom. Being upside down and held by the cones puts the chickens in a relaxed trance-like state. Two cuts were made on either side of the neck, severing the jugular veins and releasing the blood. The bucket under the cones collect the blood, which gets added to our compost pile to feed the garden. Nothing gets wasted on our farm.
From the cones, the chickens went into a pot of hot water for scalding to loosen the feathers for plucking.
Ryan and Elijah plucked the chickens by hand.
Ryan eviscerated the chickens. The kids were fascinated to see and touch real organs. Much different than pictures in a book! It was a great anatomy lesson. We won’t need to purchase dissection kits for biology class when we have real-life lessons happening outside on the farm. As a homeschooling mom, I love natural learning that takes place outside of our school time. When the kids are engaged and using multiple senses, I know that information is being retained.
After cooling in an ice water bath, we wrapped the chickens up in freezer paper.
The next evening, we roasted a chicken for dinner.
It was an amazing experience to place a roasted chicken on the table that we raised and butchered on our farm. It felt completely satisfying.
Not to mention, it tasted great!
We found it to be juicy, tender and a bit more flavorful than store-bought chicken. It will be interesting to compare the flavor of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens with the Red Broilers in a few more weeks.
The whole process was a learning experience and I think we’ll be better prepared and more skilled for the next chicken harvest. We plan to process the rest of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens this Saturday. To speed up the process, Ryan purchased a new tool he’s pretty excited about. It’s a YardBird Chicken Plucker. The tub spins the chickens around while rubber fingers pull the feathers out. It completely plucks two chickens at one time in about 15 seconds. He can’t wait to put it to the test!