Bawk Bawk Dead Chicken

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.  🙂

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18 responses to “Bawk Bawk Dead Chicken

  1. I have done this so many times, but it is great to see your hands in the bowels of a chicken.

  2. That is disgusting. I can honestly say that I do not think that I could ever do this. I could barely look at the photos without puking. I guess my future as a farmer is doomed.

  3. You really get into food prep don’t you? LOL

    “easier to collect the chickens before they really woke up”

    My mom would agree. She had this chore as a child living at home and she had to chase them all over the yard.

  4. Great post!
    Very educational – and helpful to some potential future plans of my own.

  5. It was a pleasure killing chickens with you lady! I do wonder though….Why are we so darn happy doing this? Look at those smiles!

  6. Wow I am really impressed. I think I would take one look at those chickens in the cart just waking up and run the other way. What happened with the Whizbang though?

  7. My chickens are just going to have to come from the grocery store. Even though I am a hillbilly and raised in the mountains, this chicken killing gene has skipped my generation.

    I have a general rule of thumb pertaining to food: I can’t eat anything I’ve looked in the eye.

    I’m a wimp that way. 🙂

  8. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!! 🙂

  9. I’m curious though, did you get to take any of the chickens home for dinner?

    • Yes, I got a souvenir chicken, pt of yogurt made from their cow’s milk, qt of raw cow’s milk, and a dozen eggs. I’ll be posting about what I did with them later.

  10. YUCK! and even tho I grew up on a cattle ranch, if I had to do the killing I’d probably be a vegertarian.

    We did chickens tho, I tried to sleep in on that morning as long as I could and hopefully there would be no headless chickens running around.

    plucking and cutting up was ok, tho.

  11. Pingback: Don’t Look If You’re a Wimp – Part 2 «

  12. Great post. We will process our 3rd group of broilers in 4 weeks and really need to streamline, so thanks for all the pics and commentary. Loving raising chickens!

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