First Time Butchering Chickens

One of the first chickens we butchered...and the beer that helped me through.

With the wedding five days away, and the caterer needing our supplies by tomorrow, today was the day to butcher the chickens. We’ve been raising them for the last couple of months specifically for this purpose. 

It was Bob’s first time butchering, and my first time as well, although I have had to clean out and take pin feathers off hastily butchered birds before. Bob was a real trooper as we stumbled and fumbled and figured things out, from the slitting of the throat to the plucking to the final cleaning. 

We learned lots and we will definitely do better next time! For me, I learned that the initial throat slitting will probably always be an issue. After that, I’m fine. But I spent 24 years as a vegetarian and I am a member of our sissy society, so I’ve been as disconnected from real food as anyone else. So, yeah, that will take me a while to get used to.

Once the chicken is dead, however, I’m dunking and plucking no problem. I quickly got used to seeing Bob do the cleaning out, and the blood I got used to right away too. But the initial part? Not so much. 

I’d better get used to it though! Joel Salatin says in “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” that in the event of a catastrophe that shuts down our infrastructure, each community has about three days worth of food. I don’t think that number takes into account looting and robbing and general mayhem, so I am going to assume that the stores will not be evenly divided and what is three days for one survivor will be one for another and seven for another. 

For me, I don’t want to rely on the grocery store. I want to have my own garden and fruit trees and, yes, chickens. As farmers in the making still, we buy our chicks from the feed store. My goal someday is to have roosters and hens both and be raising our own chickens from egg to omelet. 

For now, it’s a big day, as we together tackled this very new task of butchering and cleaning. Sadly we only did three because they really weren’t big enough. The two roosters were barely there, but we only did one hen because they are too small still. 

So now to let the caterer know we’re coming up short on the chickens we owe him for our wedding reception on Saturday! And to high five and hug as we celebrate another small step towards the self sufficiency we’re seeking. 🙂 

Oh, and the beer in the photo? Local, of course!

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