It started several weeks ago when my neighbor calls me and says, “Hey! Do you want to go to Cognito Farm and learn how to harvest chickens?” I say, “Yes, but I get to use the Whizbang Chicken Plucker first!” She says, “A what?”
Fast forward to Friday afternoon. My neighbor says, “I don’t know about this. Who’s idea was it anyway? Do you think they’ll notice if we just left?” Me, “It was your idea. Yes, they probably would notice. We’re going.”
Saturday morning we leave at O’Dark-thirty to get to the farm by 7:30 am. It was a beautiful cold morning when we finally arrived.
We got right down to business. First up was cleaning the area for processing. Here is Haley, feeling better after getting there, washing down the tables. Everything is clean, tidy, and in order.
The chickens had been collected before dawn and placed in a wagon waiting for us. I was told it was easier to collect the chickens before they really wake up and started moving around. There is around 113 birds in the wagon you see behind Haley and myself. Don’t we look cute in our aprons? We are ready!
The first set of chickens were prepared quickly so that the owner, Sam, could show us just how to clean them.
This is Sam, she is telling us the first thing to do is depersonalize the chicken. That means, just cut the head off. All you do is grab the head and cut near your fingers. The head goes in a bucket, along with the guts and other parts.
Sam showed us what all the pieces looked liked and about where they are placed in the bird. Now our birds will not be cut open like this. She is doing this only to show us what we will be feeling to pull out. You’ll see that in a minute.
Each one of us had to go through the line and touch the organs. We needed to feel the gizzards and the heart. I let Haley go first so I could take photos, because her friends needed evidence that she was actually doing the work. My friends know me better. 🙂 Haley goes by and just gently touches the organs. Just look at her fingers. See how gentle she is. So sweet.
Haley takes the camera from me and takes this shot. This was just after I touched everything, patted it and played with it. The owner said, “Oh, I can tell you are going to enjoy this.” LOL You think Haley and I are different? Just wait.
We are finally free to get our birds and get to work pulling the innards out. Everything goes to the trash bucket, except the liver, heart, and feet. At this time we have to feel our way around, we can’t cut open the bird and just yank. There is an art to this, you know? Remember sweet gentle Haley? Well, look where her hand is now! She is trying to figure out just where to pull. She’s not so gentle now, is she? Just so you know, she did cut off that chicken’s head and feet.
Want do see some guts? Ok, here they are. Yes, I cut the head off of this one and the feet as well.
After we have cleaned out the bird, we have to check the inside to make sure all of it is cleaned out. Then it goes into another wash and Sam takes it from there.
Now it is time to go back for another bird. I think we processed around 10 to 15 birds each. We were too busy to count.
Part 2 of this adventure. Not for the weak. 😈
Part 3 of this adventure. If you are weak, you may see this one. 🙂