Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Butchering Freedom Rangers

WARNING! If you are squeamish about seeing animals being butchered then please skip this post.

So the day finally came when our Freedom Ranger Chickens were big enough to be butchered. I will take you through most of the process in this post.

This is one of 3 cages loaded with our chickens.
My husband said "We picked them up in a little box and it takes a trailer to take them to be butchered."

Why are the looking at me like that?
They really were not hard to butcher for they did not have the personality of my laying hens and roosters. If you raise chickens you understand what I mean by personality when it comes to a chicken.
This is the killing cones. You put the chickens in head first and slit their necks letting them bleed out till dead. I did not photograph this part of the process because, well this was the hardest part for me to watch.

This is the scalding tank. It is made from a water heater and runs on propane. I forgot to take a picture of all the gauges on the back. Anyway it heats the water to 149 degrees.

Then we dunk the chickens in two at a time until their feathers pull out easily.

This is the inside of the chicken plucker. This was so amazing to me how fast it pulled the feathers from the chickens.

The chickens were put in and with the plucker running and as it spun some water was sprayed in and wa-lah, featherless chickens.

The chickens were then taken to the butchering table. I did not photograph the step by step process at this stage. Maybe that can be an idea for a future post.
Oh that was a good size rooster.
My husband is the one facing the camera.
After the guys butchered them they gave them a good rinse and then I took them and packaged then in plastic wrap and freezer bags.
In the end, on this day, we put 33 chickens in our freezer.
Thank you to Rick for letting us use all of your great butchering equipment. Thank you to Shad for all of your help. Thanks to my hubby for putting up with these not so bright chickens, I know we will appreciate it the winter when we have roasted chicken or chicken noodle soup. By the way the term homemade chicken noodle soup will have way more meaning for us now.

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