Processing Chickens
With My 11-Year-Old Son

Dateline: 17 August 2006

”I don’t want to grow up to be 
a helpless man.”

That’s what my 11-year-old son, James, said to me last Monday as we were processing our eight-week-old pastured chickens together. I had just complimented him for being such a good helper and he responded by repeating back to me something I’ve told my three boys many times in the past—”You don’t want to grow up to be helpless men.”

Well, I doubt James is going to be a helpless man because he is such an active boy with so many healthy interests and an excellent work ethic. Last Monday was a perfect example of what I mean.

I had set up the equipment to process our chickens in the backyard on Saturday. The plan was to do them all on Monday. But I was chomping champing at the bit. I processed 18 of the birds on Sunday afternoon by myself while Marlene and the kids were away. That left 42 birds for Monday morning.

But, come Monday, my oldest son had to work his regular job at the lumberyard and Robert went to help a local farmer with his hay. That left James and Marlene and me to take care of the birds.

Marlene does not kill, bleed, and scald chickens and, though she can do it, she is not all that skilled at gutting either. So she manned (womanned?) the vacuum sealer in the house, and worked at making us a peach pie, and did some cleaning, and she came running when we needed her help with something.

Here are some photos of my son the chicken butcherer at work, along with some commentary......

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James and I worked together to round up chickens at the Chicken Tractor which was way out on the lawn between the road and the garden. We put a bunch of them into our modified-for-poultry-transport garden cart and pulled the load right up to stage #1 of the process—the killing cones.

The cart in the picture is my homemade Whizbang Garden Gart. What an incredibly useful homestead tool that is!

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Here is James lifting a future chicken dinner out of the Whizbang cart.

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This photo shows James fitting the bird into the killing cone. The two cones I use are suspended over a wheelbarrow filled with dried grass clippings to absorb blood. Sawdust absorbs better but we did not have any.

I made the cones out of recycled galvanized ductwork. The pattern for these cones can be found on page 48 of the book, Anyone Can Build A Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker.

If you handle the chicken properly it will go right into the cone without a lot of fuss. Here, in some detail, is the way we do it:

First, set the chicken on the ground (or on the top of your makeshift garden cart poultry transporter when you make one). Let it stand freely. There is no need to struggle with it. Put your left hand in front of the bird’s chest and the other near its back end. The bird will try to walk forward to get away from you but you simply block its way with your hand in front of its chest. Then it will try to back away or jump up but you simply use your right hand just above the back end of the bird as needed to block it’s movement. It will go back and forth a few times before it realizes that you have corralled it. But you aren’t alarming it by grabbing it, you are merely blocking its movements. After a few seconds, the bird will accept the fact that it can go nowhere and it will calmly stand still. When this happens, you have graduated to the level of “chicken whisperer.”

Then, with your one hand still lightly blocking its front chest, move your other hand under the bird from behind, palm down. Direct your index finger between the bird’s two legs. Grasp its left leg between your thumb and index finger. Then reach over and grasp the right leg firmly with your index and middle finger. With the legs thus secured, lift the animal slowly and tip it ever so slightly against your hand that is against its chest. If you do this gently, the bird will cooperate without even flapping its wings. But it may flap a bit and that is no problem as long as you continue to maintain your hold. Walk the bird to the cones and tip it , head first, into the cone.

If you let go of the bird’s legs after you’ve deposited it in the cone, it will use its legs and feet to struggle and try to get out. If it gets out of the cone (and sometimes they do) you’ll have to chase the upset fugitive all over the place and that is counterproductive. So, to avoid that scenario, hang on to the bird’s feet with one hand after you have deposited it in the cone. With your other hand, loop a length of stretchy bungee cord around the feet, pull it taunt around the frame of the cone stand, and hook it in place. This completely immobilizes the bird.

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It isn’t pretty but the picture below shows the reality of killing chickens. You hold the chicken’s head by its comb with one hand and use a sharp knife to slice into each side of the neck, severing the main arteries. You know when you’ve cut the artery because the blood will flow fast and sometimes squirt. Then you let the bird’s heart pump the blood out of its body. The birds will occasionally squawk and thrash about but most of the time they are calm as the lifeblood flows out of them.

A carefully placed slice will do the job but James tends to overdo it. That is understandable and okay because it just makes the head easier to pull off after plucking.

I would not have dreamed of doing this sort of thing when I was 11 years old, and your average modern boy would not do something like this. But, thankfully, my son is not an average modern boy. He has no problem with this part of the process. In fact, he was chatting with the birds and contentedly singing songs from Vacation Bible School while slitting the throats.

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After the birds were dead, James clipped them into the auto dunker on my Homemade Chicken Scalder.

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James needs only to watch as the dunker does the work of repeatedly lowering and lifting the birds into and out of the hot scald water. The water is heated by a propane burner and automatically maintains the optimum temperature range.

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James knows the birds are sufficiently scalded when the wing feathers pull out with no resistance. It takes only a few dunks. Then he unclips the birds and brings them to the plucker.

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We yelled to Marlene to come help with the plucking while I took this next picture. That’s a homemade Whizbang Chicken Plucker Fact is, it’s the original Whizbang. Maybe someday we will put it in the Whizbang Museum.

Whatever the case, plucking chickens by hand is a drag but plucking them in a Whizbang is downright FUN!!!

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Before I snapped the following photo, I said to James, “Hold the chickens up and look excited.” Now that’s excitement for you!

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The excitement was almost more than I could bear. So I said, “James, try to look more serious.” Now this is serious!

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After plucking, James hammed it up for the picture below. He is about to attack the carcass.

The sink is an old enameled cast iron (very heavy) one that sat for years outside my parent’s barn. We brought it home, cleaned it up, and use it primarily for poultry processing. But I hope to hook the sink up permanently behind the house for using in the summer months as an outside sink. It would be very handy. The water supply comes from a garden hose. I have some 2” PVC pipe wedged up under the drain and leading 10 feet away.

While gutting the birds together, James worked on the right drain board and I worked on the left. These were the best moments of our processing day because we were close enough to carry on some more casual conversation.

James told me about the trapper’s cabin he hopes to build. He wondered about the war in Iraq and why we were fighting there (sometimes I wonder that too). At one point he said, “Wouldn’t it be neat if the President homeschooled his kids?”

I said yes, that it sure would be a good example. And then I suggested that it would also be neat if the President raised some pastured poultry in chicken tractors on the front lawn of the White House. Well that led to some more conversation. And so it went.

I must say that I had a wonderful time processing chickens with my son James last Monday. Although he is only 11, he worked like a man. Not a helpless man, but like a capable man who knew exactly what he was doing. It was a special day and he is a special boy and I thank God for allowing me to be his father.

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Oh, there is one more photo. After processing all those birds, it was time to clean up and put the chicken tractors away. Robert and James hooked their field car onto one tractor and towed it over to the weeds on the edge of our property. It is mostly out of sight there. The tractor has temporary transport wheels on the back end—it is setting on two mini skate boards.

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I have written several more essays related to the subject of poultry and small-scale poultry processing. here are links:








113 comments:

Lynn said...

Thanks for the step by step instructions -- we have our day of chickens coming up very soon. My boys were sure interested in your photos! I must say I am also very proud of our sons as well; they are proving to be very capable and interested in learning new things. At the moment they are learning building trades as they help Dad to rough in the main floor of our house.

Josh S. said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

ksmilkmaid said...

Thanks for publishing you and your son mutiny. Amazing the things guys bond over.

Marci said...

Great pictures. People don't understand how we can process chickens and then eat them. I told them I thought I would be grossed out by the first one, but I was actually more fascinated at trying to figure out what all the different organs were. We usually process our chickens with friends. It is really a good time of fellowship. We talk about all sorts of things, while doing the chickens. I like to tease our families about butchering turkeys. It is always SO COLD when we butcher. I tell them how good it feels to stick you hand inside that warm turkey. =)

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting--I may have to buy the scalder book, that part was terrifiic. It is always more fun to work with family and friends and makes the day go so much faster, plus you get some quality visiting time that we hardly take time for anymore.

Trisha said...

Fascinating! Since we're getting chickens of our own next year and I'll be the one doing most of the butchering, though I'm sure hubby will help, I found this to be most informative. Thanks for sharing it!

The Great Outdoor Family Experience said...

Great Job. You must be very proud of your son! The photos are super, thanks so much for sharing them.

Nancy said...

Well done! We have 3 sons who also aren't average modern boys. They do a great job helping with every part of the chicken processing! I'm going to blog about this entry over at HomesteadBlogger. Email me sometime if you'd be interested in contributing regularly there. :o)

LisaM said...

Our sons call the wagon that they bring the birds from the chicken tractor to the processing stations with, "the death chariot." Our whole rural neighborhood LOVES our WHIZBANG plucker! (My husband built it.)

Otter Spirit said...

What a wonderful boy you have. My daughter grew up in the woods and she has no problem butchering hogs, deer, frogs, fish ect.... but if it has feathers, she just can't bring herself to doing it, but she doesn't mind eating them though.

Pat your son on the back for me. Good Job at raising him!!!!!

Ellen said...

Great pictures, thanks. I have a friend building a plucker for me but it isn't getting done as fast as I would like it to. Hope its done for the turkey butchering since he missed the chicken one. I may have to make the scalder.
Ellen Trail, Oregon

Doug said...

Thank you for another great article. I've been reading your blog and those of other Christian Agrarians for several months now. They are a tremendous source of encouragement and inspiration.

I hope and think you'll appreciate this since you're an agrarian writer--it's rather nit-picky--but the phrase isn't "chomping at the the bit", it's "champing at the bit". Regardless, you communicated and that's what's most important.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Reading and looking at your picturesI'm glad I'm a Buddhist and will never be a christian. You are abhorant.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this blog and relate very closely to it. My dad as well built a homemade chicken plucker and scalder. We have done many a chicken and even a turkey or two. Our scaler you really have to watch and make sure you don't get it to hot.

It is a good way to grow up and understand how food gets to the table. And I don't mean running down to the closest Kroger's either. I had my nephew help me clean a deer for his first time at 7yrs old this year and it was a great experience.

It is good to see families out there still growing Christians right.

Kris W. said...

We have some backyard chickens for eggs and when the time comes, we might need your books. Thanks for posting this, and all the pictures to show us what processing entails. I hope you're not getting too much hate mail.

I have a couple daughters a little younger than your son. I hope they find a man like him one day (like in 20 years!)

Anonymous said...

I'm all for "urban" farming, and being more in touch with our food production, but there's something very disturbing about an 11 year-old cheerfully singing bible songs while slitting the throats of small animals. Why should you be proud that your son enjoys this step? This seems so wrong. Shouldn't there be some degree of reverence and respect paid to these animals who are giving their lives for you to enjoy a meal?

Herrick Kimball said...

Anonymous-

Reverence? If you mean by reverence some sort of spiritual regard or worshipful attitude towards chickens, my answer would be absolutely not! My family does not worship the creation. We do not thank the bird for giving us its life. We worship the Creator. We thank God for the chickens He has given to us. Taking a chicken's life is not a sacred thing to us. It is just a matter of harvesting a crop.

As for "respect" for the chicken, yes, we very much respect the birds. Part of of our God-given responsibility as caretakers of these creatures is to treat them with respect and give them a good life.

As a matter of fact, that's why we raise our own poultry--because we want to eat meat from birds that we know have been raised in a healthy environment with good food and a respectful degree of compassion. Our chickens get fresh air, sunshine, bugs and fresh grass to graze, a balanced feed ration, clean water, and a lot of "personal" attention each day. They have a good life.

And when their life comes to an end, we treat them respectfully and kill them without a lot of trauma. How many chickens die with someone talking to them and singing Bible songs? That's a bad thing? I think not.

As for cheerfully slitting the bird's throats, the point is not that my son enjoys the task. What he enjoys is being a useful part of a distasteful (none of us LIKES butchering chickens)but necessary job here on our homestead.

And I am extremely pleased that my son is such a willing and responsible helper in this work.

Are you suggesting that we should assume a somber attitude while processing poultry in the backyard? Well, what 11-year-old boy would want to be a part of that? We can have fun at this. There is no wrong in that.

I suspect that you have not butchered many chickens in your life. If you did, you would be better able to relate to what I'm saying. After you've "processed" your first hundred, it's no big deal.

Thanks for posting your response here.

Dulcigarden said...

I came to this country when I was 13, but when I was growing up back home the butchering of a chicken was nothing out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact you use way better ways to do it than my mom did. I was still young and never actually did the butchering, but I was taught by my mom to peel a chicken (which was done with bare hands by the way, after scalding it), also to cut it up in a logic manner. I actually would love to raise chickens in my back yard, but I know my neighbors would call the city on me pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me what a Christian agrarian is? Never heard that before

Herrick Kimball said...

anonymous-

I suspect you have never heard the term "Christian agrarian" because the mainstream media has not reported on it and there is no organized national association that puts out press releases, and so on and so forth. It is a quiet, decentralized, grassroots movement and that is, in my opinion, best. You can learn a great deal about Christian agrarianism at this essay which I wrote awhile back:

What is Agrarianism? What is Christian Agrarianism?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. That was interesting to read and I was intrigued by the "politics" of it, if that's the right word to use.

I do wonder if the world today can support its population except through large scale industrial farming, and if it can't, then isn't it a sin to wish for a circumstance in which millions would die?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for making this valuable info available! I will definitely be getting your books, and I am LOOKING FORWARD TO educating my 3 children about where our food really comes from (not just packaged at the store) I hope my 10 year old son will be as hard a worker as yours is! Your an inspiration, and your advice & shared knowledge is truly appreciated! Keep it up, and ignore those that don't understand, or don't want to understand. They will probably be the 1st in the food lines when our economy comes crashing down. Best of Luck to you & yours.

Aubrey said...

What a great post, thanks so much for sharing it! I also enjoyed your responses to negative comments here.
Your son's expressions made me laugh out loud. I have a 10 yr old son myself. :)
Thanks again!

Jennifer said...

Wow. I entered "butchering a chicken" in my search engine and your site was one that popped up. May I say how pleased I am to have found you.
I recently moved from NM to a small town in Texas where my husband already had a mess of chickens at the barn. I grew up with many farm animals but they were pets, not food. I am proud to say I will be "processing" my first chicken tomorrow. It's actually a rooster we were going to give away for someone else to eat, so I thought I'd go ahead and try with him and in doing so he will grace the presence of our dinner table instead. My mom thinks I'm crazy, and I'd wager to say my friends back home will too, but there is something satisfying to me about the idea of providing a meal for my family from beginning to end.
I'm sure some think the topic of your blog and these comments is cruel, but at least I will know my dinner met it's end at the hands of someone who cared.
I look forward to reading more on your site and delving deeper into the idea of Christian Agrarianism.
- Your friend in Christ.

King Tut said...

Hey,
thanks. I was raised in the country, and had to dress chickens as a child.
Must confess, I had no clue what to do, as I was so young, I didn't pay attention.

I am older now, and have recently gotten some chickens for eggs, but also would like to eat them when the time comes.

Thanks so much
Very informative!

Anonymous said...

Its sick.... I do feel that if one is going to insist upon an unnecesary bad habit such as eating highly cholesterol ridden eggs and saturated animal fats that they should raise and butcher these kind creatures themselves and not have othes do the dirty work for them... but to encourage this type of dehumanizing experience to a young child.... ok... fire away superstitious farm freaks.

Anonymous said...

what do you tell your son about being helpless when he has a heart attack or a stroke... did you forget to mention to him the health risks of the diet you have given him... does he understand that alterosclerosis, which is the cause of all heart disease and strokes (killer #1 and #3 of americans)... and saturated animal fats also are known to contribute to cancer... in fact, it has been known for almost 2 decades that cancer is totally preventable with a proper diet which doesn't include chicken meat or eggs? What are you doing man? Your kid... is gunna get sick and die from the same horrible diseases as you? can't you feel it in your chest already? and lets not forget diabetes.... yeah its twisted to try to get him so enthusiatic about killing animals,... but if you really cared about his future well being... put him in a nutrition class (and not your home schooled meat and potatos version) to counter balance this crazy notion of "manliness" and competency. killing does not make him competent at survival. Not anymore... that violent world over.

come on superstitious farm freaks dont let me down with your angry religiously tainted comments. I'm just thristing to hear it already.

Anonymous said...

whats the sound of a heart stopping from clogged arteries?....



"WHIZBANG!"

Anonymous said...

How can you teach your kids to kill??? Just Gross and do you ever think of pain you cause to the bird. Barbarians!

Anonymous said...

hello! thanks for the uh .. comprehensive .. chicken guide. i'll keep it handy when fall rolls around and the time comes to take care of my first little flock of chickens.

kudos to you for raising your boys to become real men! i have spent years living in a big city, and let me tell you, the men here who are afraid to get a speck of dust on their trendy clothes would die within a week should they ever have to leave this place.

Anonymous said...

amazing how all the people who criticize this activity comment as anonymous

Anonymous said...

I think the killing of little helpless animals is for the STUPIDEST thing a humane cane do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have 2 roosters and I love them like brothers I would love to slaughter all people that think they can kill and eat those animals and geusse what..im 11 and I think for an 11 year old to sing songs like that while murdering living creatures is the worst thing a humane can do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STUPID KILLERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Missy from Missouri said...

Hey All Anonymous who "criticize",
Get a life.

When your Grocery stores and quick trips run out of food some time in a real disaster Guess who WON'T be panicing and starving. The 11 year old And ME. I also Raise, Butcher and EAT my own food!! It is Not cruel or SICK as all you afraid to use your name keep saying.

Is it sick when you eat a meal when you go to one of those fancy smancy Restaraunts? Do you eat at Mcdonalds? Wendys? Waffle House? Shoneys? KFC? or Steak Houses?

"Guess what. They get their Meat from KILLERS as well! If that is how you want to call it. Next time you eat a Hamburger, hot dog, chicken sandwich, bacon, sausage, turkey at thanksgiving, ham at christmas -All those animals have to be killed before you eat it. I am not a killer. I Harvest my food be it Meat or Vegatables. I will survive the tuff times ahead. You will steal from US to survive or wither up and die from starvation!

Anonymous said...

It is always enlightening to hear from people who enjoy a simple lifestyle and want to share with others! Thank you for your information. I am a country girl now, after 46 years in the city, in complete ignorance of how things really work. I am sorry for those who can't or won't try to see that there is a whole different life in living close to nature. We raise animals that we love and respect, but they were made by God for us, not us for them. Nevertheless, I will not condemn those who are unaware of this, as they seem uninformed and quick to condemn what they don't understand. Keep up the good work in educating people on Christian Agrarianism. I too, am raising a real man and 2 real women. God bless, E. Young

Rei said...

I am not christian at all (and never will be religious at all) but I was raised in an extremely poor country, where my family was wealthy enough to aquire some chickens and naturally we had to learn how to deal with the process.

I saw many negative comments regarding the health issues of chicken and eggs. Truth be told, human kind has been eating poultry for a rather long time and before industralization began, it was a much needed source of calories (Yes, you need calories). Health issues usually arise when a certain product is abused beyond necessity (people eating when they're not hungry, or only eating pork, etc) or, even more likely, in high demand countries, when a product is manipulated beyond its original form to satisfy demand.

In all accounts due, a great share of not only the US population is shielded from the real process of adquiring meat, vegetables and textiles, in which at any given time many lives will be sacrificed needlesly (yes, a normal innocent vegetable/grain harvest can kill a lot of wilflife) not to even mention the space it takes to mass produce these vegetables...

The issue is not becoming a vegetarian because that way you spare animals, it doesn't work that way. The issue is becoming familiar with the process in which nutrition is obtained at making it as fair as possible for both parties involved.

tulugak said...

Thanks for posting all of this information about chickens. I've got three city hens, and just built a chicken tractor for 4 more. I've never butchered anything other than fish and a deer once, oh yeah and a squirrel once, and had no idea about what to do about harvesting a chicken or bird.

Funny how people think that eating meat that was bought at the grocery store, and most likely lived a life under repulsive and abusive conditions is somehow more humane than raising and caring for an animal instead. We all die. All life eats life to survive, therefore killing life in the process. Those that play the blame game, to attempt to absolve responsibility from their own involvement in the butchering of animals is just lying to themselves and the world.

Myra in England said...

I simply don't understand all these people who complain that killing chickens to eat them is terrible. These same people would be perfectly happy to go down to the grocery store and buy some cheap birds have have lived an absolutely terrible life. The birds here have lived a good life and have been well cared for, and they are being cared for even as they die.

As for eggs and poultry causing an early death through heart disease, this is hogwash. Sure if you ate only chickens and eggs this might be a problem, but it's obvious from the rest of this website that the writer takes veggies just as seriously as meat. Chickens and eggs are a good part of a balanced diet, and drastically better for you than a hamburger from any fast food joint.

Anonymous said...

you people are sick.

Anonymous said...

You people are making me hungry.

Andy Smith said...

Herrick,
thank you so much for this very informative article about chicken processing.I think that you are a wonderful father to your equally wonderful sons and that you are teaching them some of the most valuable skills a human being can possess.
Some of those posters who prefer to remain anonymous but like to criticize your way of life not only have none of their facts straight but they are hateful and despiccable people that only have one thing in mind, that is spreading their hate around so that they don't have to think about their totally unhappy existence.They just can't stand for someone else to lead a happy,healthy and abundant life so they try to make you feel bad which, by the way , is a waste of time on their part.Why don't you anonymous hate mongers stop posting here and go away?

Andy Smith said...

This is to you anonymous "health nuts" :
The notion that animal fats are the culprit for most American's bad health is completely outdated, at least since the 1940's.Since then, animal fat consumption in the USA has decreased by appr.80% but at the same time chronic diseases such as diabetes,high blood pressure,arthritis,various cancers and numerous others have shot up by at least 400%.
I am originally from Germany and in my home the per capita animal fat consumption is about twice as high as in the USA but only 28% of all people are overweight!All over the Mediterranean area people eat more meat per capita than in the USA and they still enjoy better average health!
The real reasons why Americans are not that healthy are very complex but it could be summed up in a few points :
1.they eat too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup (soft drinks etc.)
2.they eat too many artificial,factory made pseudo-foods
3.they eat the wrong fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)
4.they drink chlorinated city water
There is numerous other reasons such as too little exercise, too high of a chemical load from food,water,air,cleaners and cosmetics.
The point is that most of these risk factors can be lessened if not eliminated leading a lifestyle in which you produce a majority of your foods yourself and live sustainably and that is exactly what Herrick is trying to do and,God bless him for that,he is trying to teach as many people as possible that you can take responsibility for your life and for your family instead of relying on the current cosumerism-style model that obviously is destroying people and the earth.
If all of you anonymous health nuts would be right,Americans would be the healthiest people on earth!

Nathan said...

For those of you complaining about killing animals for food, unless you are 100% vegetarian you are a hypocrite.

I kill and prepare chickens and rabbits for food. I have heard the comments about how gross and mean that is and how killing animals is wrong, but these same people love chicken wings or a good steak.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this site I will visit it often when it comes time to process some of my birds. By the way, I am an Agnostic Agrarian.

Dan said...

Herrick - Bless you for raising your family and your food in such a healthy way!

I'm sure your sons understand that the person who takes a life in order to live has a much higher respect for life in the end. Your sons see first-hand what goes into a meal, and I'm sure they don't take it for granted.

The folks who call you names have no clue about how many baby pheasants and rabbits got chopped up in the grain combines in order for them to have their whole wheat bread. I would normally pity them for their ignorance, but their arrogant comments and fear-mongering are just plain stupid. (Might as well call it what it is.)

To the health critics: get the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. Read it and understand it before you spout misleading health "facts" about cholesterol and such. You would do very well to turn back to animal fats, raw animal proteins, probiotic foods, and soaked or fermented grains.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to apologize for the way that the "vegetarians" and "Buddhists" are acting in these comments. I am a Soto Zen Buddhist, and a lifelong vegetarian. I see no problem with the way you live and are raising your children. Your livestock are raised and butchered with mindfulness and compassion. Your son has no malice in his heart during the entire process, unlike the anonymous commenters above.

Anonymous said...

What are these people eating other than chickens, etc.. if it is plants, then it is self righteous of them to think killing plants is any less grotesque or macabe, those poor little helpless plants have no defense. And it takes away our source of oxygen in the world. Maybe those posters are just trying to stir up trouble b/c they are just part of whats really wrong with the world, cause they don't have Jesus, or understand that God gave us dominion over the beasts, plants, etc. Could the guilt they project on this activity be the inner guilt they have inside about their own activities that they have not revealed to us?

OkieE said...

Hi Herrick, I sent you a note about a year ago with a question about a tractor PTO driven WhizBang plucker. We had a new flock of Barred Rocks this spring that were killed by a very determined badger but we reloaded and were set for some butchery early next spring. I'm still working out the details on controling the start-up torque of the PTO, we'll keep you posted. Reading all the "Anonymous" (most prolific author in history....) makes me laugh. Had a man (city dweller) recently ask when I thought I would know when things were REALLY getting bad; I said "when someone shows up in my lane wanting to trade a BMW for something to eat!!
When the most dedicated vegan gets hungry enough, he'll bite the head off the critter!! Been hungry, been there. God bless and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I kill my chickens by chopping off their heads with a hatchet. It takes about 1 millisecond. What is the advantage of the killing cone? All answers appreciated.

Herrick Kimball said...

anonymous-

A hatchet or axe will certainly do the job. The advantage of a killing cone is that it restrains the bird and allows you to cut the major arteries in the neck. The idea being, if you just cut the arteries and don't sever the head, the brain is still functioning, and therefore the heart is still pumping, and that results in a better bleed out. Also, if you have a lot of chickens to process, it's just more efficient to put them in the cones, instead of hanging them from a clothesline or just letting them flop about on the ground. And the cones, positioned in one place, draining into some sort of container, allow you to collect the blood for disposal.

Chris J. Hoffman said...

Your 'kid' is going to grow up and maintain that same sexist, sadist "real man" attitude you are forcing down his throat now. It is a shame that you allow these animals to bleed out while they are thrashing in pain. You are a sick family and that goes for your son as well. I hope someday your 'wife' slave wakes up and sees you for the lazy, cheap, no talent thing that you are.
Animals have the same pain tolerance that we do, just because you are larger gives you no right to torture them as you are doing. I will be reporting you and your son to the HSUS as well as checking into the zoning and slaughter regulations in NY. If memory serves, you have to be following some very strict guidelines as well as health/safety rules as well.
Possibly an education and real future for your kid may be in order instead of giving him the life of a backwoods redneck like you have settled for.
Real men don't have to compensate for what they 'lack elsewhere' by torture and violence, but again, I guess in the redneck world, they use what they can, right?

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you expressing your opinion here without using vulgarities, as several others who share your view have done in the past (and I've removed those comments).

Of course, I disagree with you. But I'll not insult you (or your wife and children) or threaten you. That's just not my style.

Sincere best wishes,

Herrick Kimball

Jake H said...

Those who criticize the butchering of animals for food have probably never been really hungry.

Anonymous said...

I have hens as pets, and one of them is getting old and sick. I do not intend to eat her, I was hoping to get here an info how to humanly slaughter her. Unfortunately, there is lots of bragging on this page, but detailed picture of exactly where to cut and how is missing. This is visually and otherwise the most negtected part of the instruction. Also, I was hoping to get some more insight into the physiology of humane killing. Nothing of this sort here. I butcher my rabbits I raise for meat. There is 3 methods being used, only one of them is actually approved by veterinarians as humane. It is not bleeding. I do not buy chicken meat nor eggs in stores. Rabbits serve as a replacement, but I took my time to educate myself about humane killing. In order to do that, you have to address the function of the brain before you bleed. I guess I have to search for such information somewhere else.

Herrick Kimball said...

anonymous,

If you find information on how to do more humane killing of poultry, I hope you will return to tell those who read this about it. Many hundreds of people a year come to this essay and I sure don't mind you (or anyone else) providing additional information that can be helpful to others.

I'm of the mind that cutting the artery that runs up each side of the neck is very humane. Locating the artery and not cutting too deep requires a little bit of practice and attention to detail.

But some people think breaking the neck is more humane. Others believe quickly severing the head is more humane. And then there is electrical shock.

I know of no study that has conclusively determined the most humane way. But I know what works for me and that is what I have explained here. Perhaps I will do a phototutorial next year on exactly where the arteries are in the neck. That would be interesting.

Herrick Kimball
P.S. So what have you determined is the most humane way to kill a rabbit? The one time I saw it done, the fellow used a hammer to knock the rabbit unconscious. I didn't think that was very humane.

Barry W. said...

Some of you people are ridiculous. These animals will die one way or the other. One way, they will die in the wild in the jaws of a predator, of a machine, or of a disease--there are no happy full lives for wild animals. What this man is doing is giving the chickens a perfect life in return for a specific termination date and a controlled death environment.

Cutting the artery on the neck is not inhumane--have you ever cut your hand, finger, arm? Yes, it stings, then it hurts a bit, but it doesn't kill you, you aren't experiencing some horrible torture. Same with the chicken, only the cut is in a location where it loses substantial blood. As it loses blood, its consciousness fades more and more, as the consciousness fades the pain fades, and the process is over in about 90 - 120 seconds.

I've butchered many chickens, they do not thrash and fight and yell--they are very still until right before they fall completely unconscious, and it's just a shiver, like they're trying to jolt themselves awake.

It is far less horrific than dying as a bobcat continuously rakes it claws through the chicken's stomach. The chicken is not mourning the loss of its life, it isn't worried about not getting to see grandkids, etc. Folks, its a chicken.

Second, to the morons talking about rednecks and the boy growing up to be a sadist, and etc etc etc. You're morons.

First, people should be aware of the fact that food doesn't grow wrapped in plastic wrap. It is an animal, the animal dies, is cut, then wrapped. A person who acts like raising and killing an animal over buying it in a store is a sin is a clueless hypocrite.

Second, the boy doesn't enjoy killing it for the thrill of death, or for a mental or physical arousal of the emotions--he enjoys killing it because of this little thing called testosterone that males have, and that start pumping full-force around the age of ten, give or take a year.

Males have the instinct in them to provide, they have an aggression in them that isn't bad, but natural, that gives them the motivation to act on the instinct to provide. He is elated at processing the chicken because it is satisfying the natural need of the male human to provide.

It is not barbaric, it is not sadistic, it is not unnatural, and to all the weenies who think it is, you don't live in reality, you live in a freaking plush little world of bumpered protection that you better hope never collapses.

PS: Herrick, good job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. My dad and I processed 5 chickens yesterday! After the slaughter, I dipped them in very hot water to pluck, then cleaned the insides out, then rinsed under clear water. What did I do wrong if the thighs won't bend? I had to put them all in the freezer with legs pointed straight out. Also, the skin on one of them seemed darker than the others, something I didn't do right also? Several years ago I processed several chickens and they were really tough but had wonderful flavor. What makes the store bought chickens more tender?

Anonymous said...

its amazing that people here have such violent reactions to someone killing their own chicken??
unbelievable.

its an animal and its also food, it was done in a humane way... whats the problem?

do you think chicken/beef/fish etc magically grows inside vacumm packed containers and ends up on supermarket shelves?

amazing how our modern society is turning people into limpwristed wimps, too PC and too scared of their own shadow.

ive never butchered a chicken and probably never will, but sitting here reading ridiculous posts of people saying dispatching a chicken is 'abhorrent'?... Honestly, grow up.

Marc Salmon said...

Thank you for the helpful, efficient information.

Eryn at HomeSchooledYear.com said...

Oh man, someone's gonna call CPS on you. Let's waste their already tight resources on harassing what is obviously a loving family. Would hate for them to have time and money to do a visit at a house where a child is in actual danger!

Meanwhile, many other children are sitting in front of violent video games where they kill PEOPLE, and are so disconnected with their food that they think it just magically appears in the grocery stores.

Probably wouldn't have commented if it hadn't been for the nastiness in some of the comments. You're doing a good thing, and teaching what we call "Food accountability" in our family.

Lastly, I wanted to add that pasture raised chickens are lower in saturated fats and cholesterol than their factory raised cousins. Also, an egg from a chicken at home doesn't even resemble what you can buy at the store. They're lower in the "bad" stuff and higher in the good stuff like beta carotene.

I'm not updating my blog atm (too much else going on, but your blog is good inspiration to get back at it), but I wrote a post last year comparing farm eggs and factory eggs, and I think it would be helpful to these people who think eating eggs will kill us all.

Here's the link, and thank you for your post, gonna go poke around and see what else I can find :)

http://www.homeschooledyear.com/?p=1370

Chuck said...

Just wanted to say this is a great post and the only regret I have is not finding this website earlier. Mr. Kimball has so much good information. I grew up in a faming community and hunted as a young boy. I cleaned anything that I shot and proudly brought it to the table for my family. People have lost touch with how food is produce. They think meat is grown in those plastic wrap packages in stores. My grandmother hated to see her chickens flop around so she found a good use for an old boiler. She would hold them by their head, put their body inside the boiler and slam the heavy metal door on their neck, effectively breaking it. Once she heard no more noise she new it was safe to open the door and take dinner out.

Anonymous said...

Good going... that 11 year old will grow up a responsible man, as opposed to the kids who roam the streets who are more prone to grow up to follow the crowd to (I shudder to think what these days...)

Your site is wonderful -- I can spend hours at it... but what you did not tell me is how to avoid rupturing the gall, and ruining my meat. I remember my mama warning me about it, but need to know before I butcher the extra rooster who must me dispatched...

I need more "gory" details!

Blessings on you all... Just call me The Old Texan...

Anonymous said...

Mr.Herrick K. I wanted to thank you so much for all your hard work with creating this site. I've passed it along to other chicken lovers. I have a whole new flock this year. 5 red star 5 black star's 10 Easter Egg chickens and 6 roosters ( Did not order that many ) My red stars starting laying @ 18 wks ! I wanted to order some butchering chickens , but I checked out your area on how to butcher them....And WOW ! a lot too it. I'm not ready right now for that . But at least I know where to get the feather plucker :) What a Blessing you are & your family. If we ever get around to your area , we will have to take a field trip to your farm. PS I would not even answer anymore to the negative viewers . They just want someone to listen to their smack. ( sad , they must be lonely ) We'll just have to pray for them.....Have a Blessed Year Num.6:24

Laura said...

Thanks for this! I am thinking of raising and processing my own chickens and have not seen this process. As for the negative remarks...vegetarianism is obviously the best route for animals, but a concerned and respectful family farmer raising cage-free, well-treated animals and then slaughtering them humanely is a socially responsible and sacred venture as well.

Happy in Texas :) said...

Thank you so much for your blog. My husband and I are ready to start getting back to the basics, and working on providing more for our family ourselves-without relying on outside sources for so much of our food. Your entire site is amazing, and gives us some lofty goals to strive for :)

By the way, I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that is part of what makes our country so wonderful. However it is amazing how rude people can be. Obviously, THEY were not raised right. Your son will grow into a wonderful, responsible, strong, good-hearted man who can provide for his family thanks to being blessed with a loving, caring father like you. I'm so impressed with how calm and levelheaded you are in responding to such nutcases. If people said such hurtful things about my family, I'd be fuming! You're an excellent example- both to your own children and to other adults! ( like me :) )

Oh, and to all the vegetarian fanatics- I love animals too! :) They're delcious!

Lenita said...

I love your blog and I'm proud to be an anonymous person who hasn't lost their mind and who totally gets what you're doing. More power to you and your son and I'm glad he has taken to this lifestyle and will not grow up to be a "helpless man". It's more than I can hope for your critics. God help their children when "the crap hits the fan".

KJ said...

Just thought I'd add my 2 cents. 20 years ago when I was in college I almost got myself arrested for opposing a deer hunt on the university's land. I was a complete vegetarian and couldn't imagine ever killing a chicken - in fact getting to know a few hens firsthand on a friend's farm was what triggered my vegetarianism. I am now a part-time farmer and a full-time science teacher. I do think that how most meat animals are raised in this country is awful and I wouldn't want to eat that stuff - so I am still mostly vegetarian. But it seems like the people who feel it's somehow wrong or cruel or "against God's wishes" to eat animals don't understand basic ecology. EVERY animal on the planet eats to live. Humans' biology shows that they are omnivores - meant to eat meat and plants. Yes, you can live a healthy and (in this day and age) often lower-impact life by avoiding meat - but does it really avoid the deaths of living creatures? (Think field mice in a plow...) It seems like the question to ask is, "How can I feed myself and my family in a way that honors, respects and preserves for future generations the integrity of the land?" On that yardstick I think our Whizbang friend and his son are doing pretty well.

Coryan said...

Thanks for sharing some very helpful information. My wife and I just bought a small farm in Georgia and will be raising our own livestock for food next year.

Also, thanks for being such an amazing person to deal so kindly with some very unkind and ignorant commenters. I only wish that everyone could be happy with their own life and dietary choices and not be hateful and condemning of others.

Velvet Sparrow said...

Great information here, thank you! I, too, admire your courage in posting your day-to-day adventures, especially the nitty gritty of how you process your home-grown birds. When I was a kid we had a small ranch in an urban town with a vegetable garden, small fruit orchard and various animals. I grew up learning not only how to grow my own food, but how to cook, can & preserve it as well. That included our flock of mixed use chickens: some were for meat, some for eggs, some were pets. Same went for rabbits, we had some as pets and some for meat. Turkeys we raised a few of each year, and were raised solely for meat.

While these days I keep my suburban chicken flock for pets/eggs/yard candy, I am honestly glad that I know how to process animals for food, the same as I am glad that I know how to work a vegetable garden & my 3 fruit trees, and cook & can. Home grown food tastes amazing, and you get a lot of satisfaction, self-esteem and empowerment in raising your own food, not to mention better nutrition. You also have a greater appreciation and awareness for and of your food and where it comes from. My husband and I are raising our daughter to be just as down-to-earth and knowledgeable. It is a sad statement of modern life that my daughter's schoolmates think that we live 'on a farm' when in reality we are just another house in the same suburban neighborhood that they live in, just down the block--that's how disconnected people are today.

In fact, people we've talked to on the web have been SO mystified by chickens and how they even reproduce/lay eggs that we started our own yearly Internet webcast of baby chicks hatching and growing up, called 'Chickam'. We've been doing it for three years now and it's been very popular. It has also helped to answer a lot of questions people have and is a lot of fun for us. As a matter of fact we have one going now, the chicks are currently two weeks old and we will continue the broadcast 24/7 until they are two months old and go out into the yard to join the adult flock. You can see and hear them here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008.

I think that is where a lot of the misdirected anger in the comments before me are coming from--people these days are just plain ignorant of rural life and perceive simple, home-raised food as 'cruel' and distasteful somehow, when your post makes it very clear that the animals are treated gently and respectfully throughout the entire process. Heck, a lot of people today don't even know how to cook a chicken, much less clean one, and modern fast food and pre-prepared meals remove people yet one more step away from the reality of where their food comes from.

While we are not religious, as a person of Native American heritage I have a closeness, feeling of brotherhood and respect for the Earth and her inhabitants. We are thankful and appreciative of the eggs our hens give us, as well as the food we raise from the ground in our back yard. The hens get a well-deserved, 'Thank you, ladies!' at the end of the day when it's time to gather eggs.

I really like the WhizBang plucker, if we had had one of those when I was a kid it would have made our jobs as feather pluckers a LOT less tiresome! I'm glad I found your blog and look forward to reading through the entire thing. If it's OK with you, I'd also like to place a link to your site on my chicken info site, here: http://jackshenhouse.com/

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you leave up the comments from the nutty vegans, it lets everyone see how crazy they are. I bet you anything they have no problem with unborn babies being torn apart limb from limb in the womb, but butcher a chicken and they're all put out.

Love your blog!

Karen said...

Thanks so much for this info! I have wanted to raise my own eggs and hopefully will be able to convince my hubby with your tutorial that we can also have our own fresh, organic meat. My mother often spoke of my grandmother "ringing the necks" of her chickens but your method seems much more humane and gentle.

You have a wonderful attitude in raising your son and he is blessed to have a dad that cares so much for him.

Inga King said...

I am a huge advocate of home food storage, home canning and gardening. I have raised 3 flocks of chickens and the eggs are wonderful. Thank you for the information on your site. Can you please add more close up pictures of the killing cones and how to sever the arteries correctly? I hope to be able to own more land in the future and have larger flocks for meat as well as for eggs. Good luck to you and your family. Try to ignore the Eco-Nazis who have commented on your site. They are the ones who will be violently attacking us for food one day when the store shelves are empty. They have no clue.

Jenny Roberts =D said...

Your an amazing family, and American's would be much healthier & happier people if there were more like you around!! I'm sure your son has grown up quite a bit (I found this site a few years ago & refer back to it frequently) and I hope he appreciates the amazing education his parents have given, one that most kids in this world won't have. When the economy takes a dive, $ is tight, prices soar in the grocery store- that's when people start thinking about WHERE the food actually comes from. What happens when the trucks stop running? When all you have is what you can grow/produce yourself? Those morons who criticize you will literally be EATING THEIR WORDS. Until then, thank you for your educational site, it's been a big help to those of us enlightened country folk who take providing for their family seriously- and who don't think their food actually comes from WALMART. lol...

Sally Davis said...

Folks, the vegetarians and vegans who have posted here aren't nuts, any more than those of us who raise and slaughter our own meat are nuts. I've been down both roads.

Killing creatures is not pleasant. I personally thank the animal for its life, and understand the gravity of what is happening, but also understand that the chicken I'm killing wouldn't have lived at all if I hadn't chosen to incubate that egg. It would, instead, have been an omelet. (I raise all our chickens from our eggs - I rarely purchase chicks from a hatchery.) I'm not 'taking' its life. Instead, I literally gave it life, albeit short.

I do understand the sensibilities of those who simply don't wish to eat animal flesh, but at the same time, I cannot see how you do small farming/homesteading without animals. And with animals comes excess. Somebody has to go.

Our solution has been to eat meat, butcher our own, and use it sparingly, more as a condiment than as the main course. It was a compromise that developed over a long period of time, and one we're happy with.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for blogging all your work and helping us newbies out! I have butchered chickens before, but always just hung them from a rope and took their heads off, this time I shall be using kill cones, which my husband is finishing up as I type. :)

Thanks again!

Moe.
Coaticook, Quebec, Canada

Anonymous said...

those peopele who think killing helpless animals is cruel and very horrible for a 11 year old to do, back off. your the stupid one.
Unless your a vegan or watever, u kno nothing. If you think killing chickens is "so cruel", have you ever thought of the chicken meat and steak, bacon pork , and other animal meat you eat at places like mcdonalds, KFC, Burger king, etc.? They all come from animals, and people have to kill them to eat it.
Yes, it is sad, to think of a helpless animal to die in pain, so innocent and did nothing ever ba to you in life. . but to just live. It makes me cry just to say this, but yes, i think cutting its arteries on the side of the neck is the most humane way,, other than cutting its stomach open or say kicking or watever.
but people listen: this is the world, and all those people who think its ever wondered that there is even more painful things then this? and i mean WAYYYY more painful. like being swashed by a machine, killed by a pretador, etc. Yes some people are pretators too, and face it, we eat animals just like other animals eat other animals in the woods or forest.
And we do it the most humanly way. So i would say those chickens going to die are lucky to be killed by humans, other than some other animal ready to just rip it to shreds.
Also, another note. Those people who go hunting or fishing for sport--are sick! Yes, even fish have lives too, but to injure a fish then throw it back in the water to die is just wasteing his creation of creatures. When i go fishing i actually catch them then eat the fish, other than you people catch them and take pictures then leave them injured suffering in the water. I read that most fish are injured by the hooks, and dont make it. I eat everythin i kill: I do not waste.
And hunting: unless you eat it, you are killing an animal for no good reason, just hanging it on the wall. When i see those poor animals ( and just let me tell you they have suffered in more pain than the chickens) i almost start to cry. However "kills for sport" are murderers and messed up people.
That person ( not naming names) and those people who think they can "REPORT" them for animal abuse, killing, murder, etc., ARE THE MOST INSANE CRAZY MANIACS EVER. this family you say is "an abuse to animals" is absolutely not. if you think that, guess what: those chickens in some markets have been slaughtered too. Yes, some people keep them as pets like ccats and dogs, butchickens have no federal law upon them, which is kinda sad because chickens are intelligent animals. But chickens are food for humans sold everywhere, and most people dont eat cats and dogs, and they do have laws for those animals, and not chickens, sooo: chickens are for food and pets, and even when other pets arent, its still the way of life and how it works. Just like other animals killing one other in the wild. And those factories who keep chickens for eggs and meat then slughter them, well, what ive read-- that is REAL cruelty. I literilly cried my eyes out. Some of you might still think cutting of the arteries is till pain, but this is REAL cruelty and pain. I have nothing seen or read anything like this in my life. REAL ABUSE, not like what you morons think. Those chickens in some factories NEVER ever got a good life like other people raise chickens, those poor chickens lived miseralbe lives in those crammy factories, and never even got to feel the sun on their backs.
to be continued... ! ! !

--da animal lover--

Anonymous said...

Continued....

i cant even say it all. you'll have to look for yourslef. here is the link: http://www.goveg.com/factoryfarming_chickens.asp

here's 2 more other links, if you'd like to see.

http://www.chickenindustry.com/

and http://www.mercyforanimals.org/poultry.asp

Its just so sad how people think this family is abusing them, but they are actually killing them in the most humane and best way. these chickens are lucky. Until you see these links, you will agree with me--that this, once again i say: REAL CRUELTY.
so im just trying to make a right point. im only 13 and i probably know more than you. I am an EXTREME animal lover and has chickens of myslef to be butchered. My chickens have happy lives, and i love them. I love all of my animals, and i hope the animal cruelty to those other chickens stop. Chickens are intelligent and interesting animals, and need to live a great lives. Chickens thank us for the great lives we give them--feed them, water them, clean their enviroment, and such-- and we thank them for what they give them.

so you see. i have made an excellent point, i definetely think i have, so those morons, please, once again, check the links: it will change the way you think forever.
--da animal lover--

Anonymous said...

from --da animal lover--
Oh and, one more thing. You should check this link if you can:

http://www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.com/

After you see this, some of you may not want to eat at KFC again.

Just to let you people know, i never ate at KFC, Burger King, or mcdonalds, and never will. The meat is processed and disgusting, and i cant stand what they do to those birds. . .

--da animal lover--

Anonymous said...

Herrick:

Just found your webpages and I wanted to thank you. My husband and I have a small farm in Maine. We raise poultry and vegetables. We also care about where our food comes from, and care about the lives our animals lead while they are living. We also process our poultry at home, with the help of our children. Raising and processing our own animals has definitely given us more respect for the animals. We eat less meat than we did before, but it is better quality and had a better quality of life.
I was very glad to find your detailed pages on slaughtering and butchering the animals, as I am always looking for a more humane and more efficient way to do that chore.
Thanks very much,
Michelle

Patti- prollins4897073@yahoo.com said...

Hi, we are in Oakville, WA. I just recently got 3 hens that will be my egg layers- I promised my cousin I wouldn't eat them (now what am I going to do when they stop laying... give them back??? Can't afford to have "pet" chickens!!!) And someone from craigslist gave me three very HUGE roosters. I didn't want 3, I only wanted the one to service my ladies, but it is what it is. She didn't have the stomach to butcher them so we get to. I kind of had an idea of what to do because I grew up on a dairy farm during my childhood summers. We also had rabbits, pigs, and I've seen beef slaughtered many times. I've also assisted in the birth of all of those as well. I am reading the comments here and I see a lot of anti-Christian (gee, now THAT is something new in this country...) and pro animal rights comments, accompanied by hateful things said about this man's family. While, I totally approve of the self sufficient lifestyle, and you offer very useful information that I will be referring to often (thank you for contributing), I can almost see how the "Greeners" (From Evergreen State College, a place that has a clothing optional trailhead/beach, a lot of tree huggers, hippies, environmentalist, whose curriculum includes a lot of arts and politics but not so much real life skills to earn a living with, and the women's dorm stinks to high heaven because no one wants to flush the toilet... it's not environmentally responsible... A lot of nice people, but again... maybe take things too extreme at times), as we call them here in WA, can see the sick, masochistic side. The pictures are kind of twisted, if you look at them in that way. I am laughing, looking at this kid with this grin and a knife and he's holding up two dead chickens. LOL It's kind of wrong. But at the same time, I understand that ya' gotta eat and the kid wants to feel useful and he is stoked that his Dad is proud of him. There is no wrong in that. It's life. I'm not saying that it is sick or masochistic. But our society is so conditioned that we should be kind to animals, etc. and that any kid who kills or mutilates an animal is sick in the head or something and needs counseling and is violent, etc. It is programmed into us from our schools, from the government child protective services, from the welfare systems that sadly, govern a lot of our families today because either fathers can't or won't. Counselors of our families and children or psychologists are laden with this agenda as well. While non-violence is never a bad thing, it is important to remember the most integral part of nature- we are at the TOP of the food chain. And were the circumstances reversed, be it a cougar, or a bear, or a flock of chickens, or a pack of coyotes or wolves, shark... you name it. If a human is in the wild, vulnerable, dead, wounded, whatever... that animal will EAT THEM. It is nature. We are given the plants and animals to eat and responsible husbandry of them is part of our biblical duty, if you want to get technical. Adam was given the job of taking care of the garden and to name the animals, and the symbiotic relationship of farmer to livestock and crops was founded at creation, or the beginning of time, however you view our human origins. Cavemen killed meat, brought it home, fed their families. Meat provided valuable protien and fat during winter months that kept people alive when plants were scarce.

Eggloo said...

Thanks for providing this valuable information.

robynblue62 said...

Someday I hope to harvest a chicken dinner from start to finish. I've been to culinary school but have not yet learned this most basic act- they didn't teach this. I did break down lamb and cut pork chops. Meat cutting was actually one of my favorite classes. I've caught and cleaned plenty of fish- they seem easier to me somehow. I've cooked for a living over 20 years and by far the most popular meat has been chicken!

The Single Kitchen said...

Came across this post while googling "mcdonalds scalding chickens." Well, I'm trying to be a vegetarian because I've been eating meat, lots of it, all my life and I just want to clean out my system so to speak.

Also, I am, like many city dwellers, totally disconnected with how food ends up on the shelves. Only recently, did this really strike me.

Search for answers and you will find them. The problem is many folks just don't want to know the evils of factory farming so they pretend it doesn't exist and happily consume packaged meat from the supermarket. Ignorance is bliss.

This post was like a mild rude awakening; better than the factory farms which dispense no humanity whatsoever, yet to a city dweller, simply stunning nonetheless.

If this is the lesser of the two evils, then I'll take it. I think all meateaters should be exposed to how the food ends up on the shelf, from beginning to end.

But big business and industry would never allow this to "come out" on such a huge scale.

Either way, slaughtering just bothers me. Killing and eating animals is a choice, not a necessity, even in an impending global food crisis, humans can or should be able to survive on plant-based foods.

Anyway, I'm not attacking your post in any way. McDonalds or the other giants certainly don't welcome critical comments. Their overwhelming power in conjunction with the media is frightening. Their motto should be "We love to keep people ignorant" instead of "I'm loving it" - not singling them out by any means since there are many other culprits that are nameless.

I guess I've rambled...

Anonymous said...

Thanks much! We're in the city, and our first two roosters started crowing. Both went limp, and didn't flop around-- we combined your method with the Kosher-kill method. Appreciate the tutorial!
--Life & Hubby.

NiKi said...

Hello,
I would like to say that you and your wife are doing a wonderful job with what you both are teaching your children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you and many other parents teach their children.
We are farmer and ranchers. My husband is the hunter and we both fish. We raise meat goats for consumption. We are looking into adding chickens and eventually will add cattle and pigs. We grow a garden every year and we have an orchard. We know what our animals have been exposed to in their lives. Have you ever seen what goes into a slaughter house? I have and it’s not pretty. I know what I am feeding my family. Do many of you?
I would like to also mention the importance of red meat in the function of the human brain. It has been prove that red meat is vital to the growth of the human brain. When humans started eating meat the brain grew and humans became smarter. This can even be reinforced in proof when you look at the idiots who write crap about the cruelty and barbarianism of killing and eating animals. You can clearly tell that they don’t eat properly. If god meant us not to eat meat, human teeth would be flat like every other plant eating animal on the planet. But no, humans have teeth for ripping, tearing and grinding!
It should be noted to that even plants have feelings and that the vegetables and plants are alive. That has been proven as well. So to all you tree hugging, granola eating, don't hurt the animals because they have feelings too, cracker asses you are equal to all of us omnivores. But in my opinion, you are worse.. We make sure our food is dead before we eat it, you consume your food while it is still alive. That even holds true for the poor little enzymes that you eat in your yogurt and for the soy bean plant that you use to make your tofu. Just think what happens to the corn stalk when it is harvest time? And you people don't think that it hurts the plant to whack off at the base and then ran threw a combine?
In this technological, politicaly correct, live your life the way your neighbor wants you to world, it is important to teach your children how to survive and take care of themselves.
My husband and I are firm believes in "Grown your own, Eat what you grow and be happy and healthy".
I will not hide behind the anonymous title like the idiots that can say stupid things. It is these un-educated creeps that make the world difficult for other people. They try to push their way of thinking on others and believe that their life style is the best for all. Have you ever seen a person who is a "Vegan"? Their eyes are sunken in, thin and their skin has a strange tint to it... Geez I wonder why? Duh!
So whose life style is better? Yes, everything in moderation. But seriously, the people who posted all the mean and hateful things should not be reading this blog anyway. It is about raising chicken, making cool inventions to make chicken raising and farm life easier.
I would love to know why they are reading it anyway?

But thank you for all that you have done and keep up the good work,

Niki

NiKi said...

Hello,
I would like to say that you and your wife are doing a wonderful job with what you both are teaching your children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you and many other parents teach their children.
We are farmer and ranchers. My husband is the hunter and we both fish. We raise meat goats for consumption. We are looking into adding chickens and eventually will add cattle and pigs. We grow a garden every year and we have an orchard. We know what our animals have been exposed to in their lives. Have you ever seen what goes into a slaughter house? I have and it’s not pretty. I know what I am feeding my family. Do many of you?
I would like to also mention the importance of red meat in the function of the human brain. It has been prove that red meat is vital to the growth of the human brain. When humans started eating meat the brain grew and humans became smarter. This can even be reinforced in proof when you look at the idiots who write crap about the cruelty and barbarianism of killing and eating animals. You can clearly tell that they don’t eat properly. If god meant us not to eat meat, human teeth would be flat like every other plant eating animal on the planet. But no, humans have teeth for ripping, tearing and grinding!
It should be noted to that even plants have feelings and that the vegetables and plants are alive. That has been proven as well. So to all you tree hugging, granola eating, don't hurt the animals because they have feelings too, cracker asses you are equal to all of us omnivores. But in my opinion, you are worse.. We make sure our food is dead before we eat it, you consume your food while it is still alive. That even holds true for the poor little enzymes that you eat in your yogurt and for the soy bean plant that you use to make your tofu. Just think what happens to the corn stalk when it is harvest time? And you people don't think that it hurts the plant to whack off at the base and then ran threw a combine?
In this technological, politicaly correct, live your life the way your neighbor wants you to world, it is important to teach your children how to survive and take care of themselves.
My husband and I are firm believes in "Grown your own, Eat what you grow and be happy and healthy".
I will not hide behind the anonymous title like the idiots that can say stupid things. It is these un-educated creeps that make the world difficult for other people. They try to push their way of thinking on others and believe that their life style is the best for all. Have you ever seen a person who is a "Vegan"? Their eyes are sunken in, thin and their skin has a strange tint to it... Geez I wonder why? Duh!
So whose life style is better? Yes, everything in moderation. But seriously, the people who posted all the mean and hateful things should not be reading this blog anyway. It is about raising chicken, making cool inventions to make chicken raising and farm life easier.
I would love to know why they are reading it anyway?

But thank you for all that you have done and keep up the good work,

Niki

Niki said...

Hello,
I would like to say that you and your wife are doing a wonderful job with what you both are teaching your children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you and many other parents teach their children.
We are farmer and ranchers. My husband is the hunter and we both fish. We raise meat goats for consumption. We are looking into adding chickens and eventually will add cattle and pigs. We grow a garden every year and we have an orchard. We know what our animals have been exposed to in their lives. Have you ever seen what goes into a slaughter house? I have and it’s not pretty. I know what I am feeding my family. Do many of you?
I would like to also mention the importance of red meat in the function of the human brain. It has been prove that red meat is vital to the growth of the human brain. When humans started eating meat the brain grew and humans became smarter. This can even be reinforced in proof when you look at the idiots who write crap about the cruelty and barbarianism of killing and eating animals. You can clearly tell that they don’t eat properly. If god meant us not to eat meat, human teeth would be flat like every other plant eating animal on the planet. But no, humans have teeth for ripping, tearing and grinding!
It should be noted to that even plants have feelings and that the vegetables and plants are alive. That has been proven as well. So to all you tree hugging, granola eating, don't hurt the animals because they have feelings too, cracker asses you are equal to all of us omnivores. But in my opinion, you are worse.. We make sure our food is dead before we eat it, you consume your food while it is still alive. That even holds true for the poor little enzymes that you eat in your yogurt and for the soy bean plant that you use to make your tofu. Just think what happens to the corn stalk when it is harvest time? And you people don't think that it hurts the plant to whack off at the base and then ran threw a combine?
In this technological, politicaly correct, live your life the way your neighbor wants you to world, it is important to teach your children how to survive and take care of themselves.
My husband and I are firm believes in "Grown your own, Eat what you grow and be happy and healthy".
I will not hide behind the anonymous title like the idiots that can say stupid things. It is these un-educated creeps that make the world difficult for other people. They try to push their way of thinking on others and believe that their life style is the best for all. Have you ever seen a person who is a "Vegan"? Their eyes are sunken in, thin and their skin has a strange tint to it... Geez I wonder why? Duh!
So whose life style is better? Yes, everything in moderation. But seriously, the people who posted all the mean and hateful things should not be reading this blog anyway. It is about raising chicken, making cool inventions to make chicken raising and farm life easier.
I would love to know why they are reading it anyway?

But thank you for all that you have done and keep up the good work,

Niki Fowler

Niki said...

Hello,
I would like to say that you and your wife are doing a wonderful job with what you both are teaching your children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you and many other parents teach their children.
We are farmer and ranchers. My husband is the hunter and we both fish. We raise meat goats for consumption. We are looking into adding chickens and eventually will add cattle and pigs. We grow a garden every year and we have an orchard. We know what our animals have been exposed to in their lives. Have you ever seen what goes into a slaughter house? I have and it’s not pretty. I know what I am feeding my family. Do many of you?
I would like to also mention the importance of red meat in the function of the human brain. It has been prove that red meat is vital to the growth of the human brain. When humans started eating meat the brain grew and humans became smarter. This can even be reinforced in proof when you look at the idiots who write crap about the cruelty and barbarianism of killing and eating animals. You can clearly tell that they don’t eat properly. If god meant us not to eat meat, human teeth would be flat like every other plant eating animal on the planet. But no, humans have teeth for ripping, tearing and grinding!
It should be noted to that even plants have feelings and that the vegetables and plants are alive. That has been proven as well. So to all you tree hugging, granola eating, don't hurt the animals because they have feelings too, cracker asses you are equal to all of us omnivores. But in my opinion, you are worse.. We make sure our food is dead before we eat it, you consume your food while it is still alive. That even holds true for the poor little enzymes that you eat in your yogurt and for the soy bean plant that you use to make your tofu. Just think what happens to the corn stalk when it is harvest time? And you people don't think that it hurts the plant to whack off at the base and then ran threw a combine?
In this technological, politicaly correct, live your life the way your neighbor wants you to world, it is important to teach your children how to survive and take care of themselves.
My husband and I are firm believes in "Grown your own, Eat what you grow and be happy and healthy".
I will not hide behind the anonymous title like the idiots that can say stupid things. It is these un-educated creeps that make the world difficult for other people. They try to push their way of thinking on others and believe that their life style is the best for all. Have you ever seen a person who is a "Vegan"? Their eyes are sunken in, thin and their skin has a strange tint to it... Geez I wonder why? Duh!
So whose life style is better? Yes, everything in moderation. But seriously, the people who posted all the mean and hateful things should not be reading this blog anyway. It is about raising chicken, making cool inventions to make chicken raising and farm life easier.
I would love to know why they are reading it anyway?

But thank you for all that you have done and keep up the good work,

Niki

Anonymous said...

This was very informative. My grandmother would ring a chicken's neck to kill it. The Jews use the kosher method to kill by cutting the windpipe, major arteries in one slice with an extremely sharpe knife, which is considered the most humane way.
In reference to the ugly posts, vegetarians should read the book, "The Secret Life of Plants." This book gave the research that talking to plants helps them grow. The part the news didn't report is that plants, when scientifically monitored, react exactly as animals. Research showed a lettuce leave reacting with trembling, and as if screaming, when part of it was dipped in boiling water. They also react violently to a person entering a room whom the plant previously "saw" kill the plant next to it. They also move, extremely slowly. Vines will grow towards a fence. Move the fence, the vine changes direction to reach the fence. It's an interesting book.
Lastly, maybe plants need eyes, so they get the same attention animals do.
So now what will vegetarians eat, if they don't like to kill?
And I, too, highly recommend Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions" on REAL healthly eating information. The majority of people need animal protetin and fat, including B12 to survive. (Humans are unable to process plant-based B12.) Also, reseach shows vegetarians die sooner than meat eaters in general. (Fallon)
So keep up the Christian agrarian lifestyle. After all, if was the same life lives by the Biblical Jews.

Annette said...

I think that more and more folks are starting to figure out that if they don't start learning to feed themselves and their families they may ebd up going hungry in this day and age. It is a great thing to walk into a storage and buy an quick meal for your family but what happens in a hurricane? In FL, LA and TX power can and as been out for days at a time. So I decided one day that I need to have some skills myself. I started with a small garden and then started raising meat chickens and laying hens, then did turkeys, next were milk goats and pigs, and next year I will add pigs. I did all this while I was a single mom, working full time paralegal for a top 10 law firm in Tampa, FL but I knew I wanted a better life and better food for my family and the only way that would happen was if I made some life choices and changes. Today I live in Maine and the farm is my full time job after 21 years in the legal field I am a happy farm girl with grandkids learning about the farmm its animals, gardens and where their food really comes from. They all know that each animal is loved and cared for right up to the day they become meat for the family table. Each animal is feed good, healthy, natural food according to their kind and they are treated with respect no matter how long or short their stay on this farm is. They love spending time on the farm and they treat the farm and is animals well because that is what they have learned to do. We spend far to much time living apart from the natural world. We all need to take time to smell the grass, barn and animals, as well as the roses.

Bethuu said...

Thanks for the tutorial. It's very helpful.

Mark said...

Thanks for the instructions and pictures. My 13 year old son helped me butcher some hens that stopped laying eggs. Your son is on the road to learning the secret to self-sufficiency. This is a life skill that will serve to enrich him, instill confidence and teach him respect for all of God's gifts, including meat.

Please ignore the morons who would sit in judgment of your lifestyle. They have a lot to learn about the real world.

lindsey said...

FORGET THE CHICKENS! This is what amazes me most..... Here in America we kill babies, millions of babies every day by abortion. Babies who are completely defenseless and are HUMAN, not animals. The second amazing thing is that a lot of (i'd say most "save the whales" people) support killing humans. Humans that are safe in their mothers wombs; who have heartbeats AND feel pain are mutilated by metal instruments that pull their tiny helpless bodies apart and suck them down a tube. NOW, if killing a chicken is so cruel justify this! I am a Christian and killing animal for food is justified because God gave us dominion over them. So if you not a Christian and you think killing animals is wrong shouldn't you think killing your own kind is at least equally wrong? I have never understood this. But as a Christian I do not condemn anyone who has had an
abortion, threaten, or criticize them. I only hope they find healing through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness from him that sets us all free. The motto should be save the babies!

kris said...

Amen! Lindsey

Anonymous said...

WHAT about stun knife? Just read about that on the net. Seems better way. Just my opinion and option I plan to use. Having done this "old" method of butchering for pig, cow, turkey and chickens in the 1960's I plan to move on w/ the "new" methods. BUT, appreciate your blog.

Rich said...

Very interesting thread. I'm grilling some chickens right now as I post this, but I've never taken the time to see how you slaughter the birds on your own.

I hope your son continues the family tradition. Hunting and cooking are great, but the in-between steps are what make a person more independent. Anyone can shoot a gun, and anyone can cook a bird. Few can prepare an animal for consumption.

As to the negative comments, don't let it bug you. People who consider animals equal to us consider people no better than animals: both are simply governed by their instincts and should not be held to a right/wrong standard. Giving animals equal rights as people is a subtle justification for people to live hedonistic lifestyles.

Anonymous said...

@ Buddist

What? You never ate Chicken? Where do you think the McNuggets come from, ( . ) ?

Anonymous said...

@ Chris J. Hoffman,

Chris, you have no right to make such judgements. The world needs balance. It needs 'real men' as much as it needs 'sensitive' types. If everybody in America was like you we'd still be a British colony or we'd be speaking German or Japanese.

mattspent said...

I have no problem with people killing chickens but if you seriously think theres nothing creepy about your kid wearing a smily face shirt and singing hyms while sawing at a chickens neck you probably have consumed one too many gizzards my friend.

Anonymous said...

I'm a new "anonymous" (just for the record). After reading about the conditions most hens are subjected to, I bought a dozen chicks in spring to raise for eggs. They have a large run under the pepper trees, eat garden produce, grubs, leftovers, and feed. They are safe in a coop at night-- a pleasant life. Their eggs are lower in cholesterol and higher in protein than store-bought due to a better diet and health. The body NEEDS cholesterol, and everything in moderation is fine.

This being said, one of the chicks turned out to be a rooster. I've kept him as long as I can. Fine at first, but he gashes the hens to the point I must nurse them for days in my bathroom-- which is a right mess. He has matured to be human-aggressive, unfortunately. A cochin, he's 12 pounds, and with spurs that can injure a person badly. We are quite afraid of him, actually, after witnessing him ram into the chain link over and over trying to attack.

So, what to do, Buddhist? We tried to re-home him. No takers. The neighbors are tired of the crowing. He's a liability. If I let him out to nature, he'll be eaten by coyotes. And possibly injure someone else. I won't tax my elderly parents with tending to him if I'm out of town. If I take him back to who I bought them from, he'll kill him in the method described in this blog. (Not my thing.) The most humane method is nitrous-- they feel nothing.

So again, what to do, Buddhist? Put him down and throw him in the trash? A waste, and disrespectful. In some ancient cultures, consumption was a form of love and respect. If you insist on your ideology, you should accept other reasonable forms.

The cochin has had a very nice life and has been treated well. We have chosen to put him down humanely and have a nice roast.

As much as I agree that there's some level of discomfort regarding the child and family beliefs in this blog, I respect them. They have chosen to eat meat. (If you don't, I respect you for that.) One who does, or in my case raise chickens for eggs and drew a tough card, it's their/our responsibility and choice to ensure that the source is respected.

Perhaps someday science will develop non-organic forms of meat. Until they do, and we wish to obtain nourishment from animals, we must do so in a noble way. Just like we treat each other-- with acceptance and understanding.

So Buddhist, please be more at peace. As you should.

Anonymous said...

Also, I think it's important to know that two separate ideas are being discussed-- it it moral to eat animals, and is it right to make those decisions based on one's religion.

You don't have to be religious to have morals; in fact, I'm not personally comfortable with forming opinions via faith instead of rationality. To acknowledge the individual rights of other creatures is human, as we are uniquely capable of deep empathy. To also acknowledge the "food chain" and humans as part of it a fact of life. If one thinks humans are somehow excepted, and that they are exalted because they can make moral choices, then it can be deduced that it's fine to consume them. Or that humans are better than animals because God said so. Either way, when it comes to eating animals, morality and religion are unrelated.

So for the anonymous Buddhist to level such criticism against someone else of a different religion is silly. It's saying, "I object to your making decisions from your faith-based point of view with my faith-based point of view." I object to making decisions based on things which are irrational, but would never level the comments such as the ones made here against this family and their son. The chicken certainly isn't comforted by bible songs, but if you wish to lead a life which impacts animals in no way, it's impossible. There must be-- and is-- middle ground.

Anonymous said...

I ALWAYS see the cutting of the neck..when I was young my grandfather chopped off the heads with an ax, if im using a killing cone, why cant I just cut off the head and not cut? does it matter? does one method get better blood flow maybe? thanks, new to chicken killing...

Bobby McBride said...

Great blog. It's actually quite humorous to hear the 'bourgeouis' attitude of so-called 'forward thinkers' who look down their noses at you and your family. One who can afford the luxury of having others raise, harvest, and serve you your food while they demean the very class of people who serve them is very, very far from 'progressive'. It's even quite elitest and inhumane. Wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has compared the suffering of a farm animal's quick humane death after a happy safe nutritious life in a loving family's back yard compared to a wild animal's death by old age, disease, or attack by predator?

Is dying slowly without help or getting chased an bitten and eaten while still alive a better way for an animal to die? Even pet owners are praised for helping their beloved pet die more quickly and humanely than a natural painful death from old age, disease, or traumatic injury. I don't see anyone spending any breath or money on preventing all omnivorous or carnivorous wild animals from killing any and all possible animal/insect meals. With the "killer" type accusation, you could say that anyone who kills a fly or ant or wasp is a killer too. At least trees don't know we are stalking them and killing them so we can make paper and houses. In fact, many creatures and plants had to die so we could later harvest their decayed bodies in oil form to make computer keyboards and medical plastics and food packaging and cars and gas, etc. Was their death any more humane with less suffering than farm chickens?

I've heard that death by drowning is one of the worst ways to go and that is how many oil deposits were created, by a terrible flood...buried alive. At the end of my life, I'd choose to die the farm chicken way for sure over being buried alive in deep mud or lava/ash or by predator attack or left alone in the wild without help to die of terminal illness and starvation with ants and maggots eating at me.

I think there should not be "fun" encouraged during the actual ending of the animal's life, although when I killed a rooster for supper, I did enjoy it obviously because he crowed hundreds of times a day, with that shrill awful sound rather than the typically recorded for movies nice rooster crow. I enjoyed that supper more than any store bought chicken dinner. That would be ditto for killing any rooster or goose that regularly attacked my children. Good riddence! I also do not worship animals, but I wonder if those who think no one should eat animals also believe that is OK to kill inconvenient humans in their unborn ages? Abortion is quite painful for the majority of the little ones. One abortion nurse quit her job suddenly after witnessing by ultrasound that the baby cried as he was being yanked roughly out of his mommy's womb so he would be dead before his entrance into this wonderful world. I've never met a vegan pro-lifer yet, but I'm sure they are out there, but rare I guess.

To those who are non-religous, prove how the egg came to be. Prove male/female development. The one man on the cross next to Jesus believed at the last minute and is in Paradise now. Don't wait...investigate the evidence. God put it all around us.

Faye said...

Thanks for the illustrated tutorial. I'm a left-wing city gal, but the boyfriend and I are thinking about raising chickens for eggs and meat, partially because the Food Industry is awfully inhumane, and partially because of the long standing belief that those who eat meat should be able to raise, kill, and butcher it themselves if need be.

Looking through the site, it doesn't look like anything I can't handle, and I've gutted fish and deer before, so chickens shouldn't be too bad. :)

Eventually, I'd like to get a vegetable garden going, but that's going to have to wait until we get a fence up to protect it from stray dogs and children.

Faye said...

Thanks for the illustrated tutorial. I'm a left-wing city gal, but the boyfriend and I are thinking about raising chickens for eggs and meat, partially because the Food Industry is awfully inhumane, and partially because of the long standing belief that those who eat meat should be able to raise, kill, and butcher it themselves if need be.

Looking through the site, it doesn't look like anything I can't handle, and I've gutted fish and deer before, so chickens shouldn't be too bad. :)

Eventually, I'd like to get a vegetable garden going, but that's going to have to wait until we get a fence up to protect it from stray dogs and children.

Bruce Bowman said...

Interesting that folks are so disconnected with their food source. They'll prance around with signs and rage about killing defenseless animals and then head to McDonald's for a hamburger afterward.

Folks, the fact is that for you to live, something else has to die; be it animal or vegetable. Splitting hairs over what has more "awareness" is just that -- splitting hairs.

Chrysostomos said...

I enjoyed this article, thank you. I am going to make some killing cones (we have 50 dinners growing in the poultry pasture with a freeze by date of 3 July). What method of killing do you use (you did not mention that in the article)? I noticed in the pictures that your plucked birds still have heads: I have been cutting their heads off when I kill them.

Gretchen in NH said...

Nice article. We use kill cones and rent a plucker and a scalder. I think it is time to build my own plucker. Only a couple of places rent the plucker and more and more folks are doing chickens out here. Last year my 9 year old daughter helped with all steps of our second slaughter except the throat slitting. She was the photo journalist for the first slaughter. We have a friend who takes the blood and feet for a delicacy she knows how to make. This year I need to work on not getting feathers in the blood.
A couple of days ago we had a brown bear on top of our tractor. Sorry brown bear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. I can almost assure you that the anonymous Buddhist is probably an al-qaida terrorist waging psycological war against americans, an upset industrial farmer who would rather see you buying his dead chickens from store so he can profit, an upset cow farmer who hates the idea that he cannot make more because there is the option of eating chickens or a stoned vegetarian freak who's brain is so fried he cannot think of other options so he/she is looking at life with tunnel vision. I hope you all just ignore these freaks because it is a waste of time and energy to discuss anything with freaks like this. They are getting the best of you, just forgive the mindless creeps and move on with even responding. For the anonymous freak go kiss your Buddha statue get stoned and eat grass.

Matthew Hartin said...

Herrick,
I am loving your articles and pictures! I have read your articles on butchering and preparing chickens and would like to add a small caveat. When draining the blood from the animals, (not just chickens), it can be easily made into blood meal for your garlic and other produce. This link shows how:
http://www.ehow.com/how_8651934_make-own-blood-bone-meal.html
Most sincerely:
Matthew from Utah

Is It Not I said...

I adore your blog! What a fantastic way to share God's blessing of knowledge! Good job James! I really appreciate the tutorial! We are hoping to start on broilers this year. our blog is a huge help!

Living In His Mercy,
Melissa

Yeargan Erin said...

I am more than pleased to learn that you and your family have bonded over something so meaningful and nuturing as raising your own food and ensuring it is maintained appropriately, for your personal consumption. I cannot wait to include my son in this experience, as we are looking forward to purchasing our first flock soon.


Thank-you for being so inspiring!

Perry Grimmett said...

Good stuff here. I refer FFA/4H kids here wanting to get in the project of meat birds. Every kid and person needs to know where and how the meat from the grocery store gets there. My daughter 9 years old really enjoys collecting eggs and helping me butcher chickens, pigs, beef, and deer. At least I know that what was passed down to me has been passed down to another generation. Thanks keep up the good work!