Yep we did ’em in.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. River hunts so I have seen him process game before, but I have never been there for the whole process. You know – the actual killing part.

We had talked to Trace about the process and he knows that we do not kill animals unless we are going to eat them. It would be disrespectful of the animal to not use as much of it as we can once we do kill them. We thanked each of the chickens for feeding us and talked about how we should always be thankful to any animal that we eat. Trace’s dad did not want Trace to see that actual slitting of the throat so I had him turn around for that part. Trace hung out with us for part of the time and did his own thing part of the time. He was interested in the internal organs -is that the heart and are those the intestines, etc. It was like a science class in his own backyard, kind of neat for him to see and know that he has similar parts in his body that look and function in much the same way.

Here is how we did it – processing four at a time:

River caught the chickens and put them in the killing cone (yes that is what they really call them – kind of gross isn’t it) and did the deed. Then he hung the chickens up by their feet while he did the next one.

River dipped the bird in water that was between 150 and 180 degrees for about 30 seconds to loosen up the feathers then he de-feathered them.

I got the bird next and took the pin feathers out – much more challenging on some birds then on others.

River then gutted and processed the chicken, we only left six of them whole, the rest we cut up and separated into dark, breast and soup categories. I bagged the chicken, vacuum packed it and brought it to the freezers.

It took us five and a half hours for 20 chicken’s not bad for newbies. It would have gone faster with one more person to do the cutting up I think.

Overall I would do it again – I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but it wasn’t so bad and I feel good about the food that my family will be eating – always a bonus!

I have not figured out how much it cost us per chicken yet, but I am sure it is less than the $4.75 a pound that it would cost for free range chicken’s at the local farm. I spoke to a woman at the local feed store and she said it costs her about $11.00 a bird and they bring them to a facility to be processed.

We would have to figure in the cost of the chicken coop and the feed and water trays that we had to buy for  this batch of chickens but I would say our cost should still be less than the $4.75 a pound as all of our chickens seemed quite large.

Now what should I make first – a whole roasted chicken with all the fixen’s? Sounds pretty good!

 

 

 

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