The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Learning to butcher chickens

Plucking a chickenIn my opinion, chicken butchering is not something you want to learn out of a book.  We acquired the skill by helping out at a couple of different chicken-processing days on friends' farms, picking up lots of hands on information that we never would have found in print.  So when we read on Everett's blog that he'd had a hard time with poultry processing on his new farm, we invited him to our next kill day.

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting one of our long-time readers in person, and hope that Everett got something out the experience too.  He certainly sped the processing along, not only with his hands but with his fascinating tales of his business endeavors (beginning with selling gum in grade school, progressing through writing about surfing in Australia, and culminating with his current SEO skills.)

We feel very lucky that Everett ended up settling only two hours away, and we're looking forward to meeting his wife.  Maybe next time, Missy will come along to paint our our chickens.

If you can't find a friend willing to walk you through the process, the next best thing is a good video.  Our homemade chicken waterer kit comes with written and video instructions to make your first chicken butchering session less traumatic.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Missy says you can come help us paint our fence (we actually have one to paint) but we're not quite as clever as that Tom Sawyer fella.

Thank YOU for giving me the opportunity to learn about processing chickens on the home farm, and for all the wonderful conversation, as well as the farm tour, my own chicken, T-shirts and automatic chicken waterer nipple.

I hope to see you over here on our place some time soon. You're always welcome.

Comment by Everett Wed Jul 14 10:34:41 2010
Wow those are some yellow legs on that chicken.
Comment by Fostermamas Wed Jul 14 11:33:41 2010

Everett --- you might get more out of it if I helped you find locust trees to stake out for future fences... :-)

Fostermamas --- yellow chicken legs are a sign of youth. When I was just getting into chickens, a friend set me up with some hens of various ages, and explained to me that I could tell which ones were the youngest by the yellow color of their legs. Once the color entirely fades, many people kill the old hens, but I have to admit that our oldest hens are still laying strong despite tan legs.

Comment by anna Wed Jul 14 13:23:01 2010

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