How to slaughter, dress and process meat chickens

Photo of How to slaughter, dress and process meat chickens

Chicken slaughtering can be a little difficult if you have not done it before. Chickens are slaughtered mostly during Christmas celebration and New Year (2017) and you may want to know how to slaughter it by yourself even though some people find it offensive to slaughter a chicken; yet, when the chickens are dressed they can buy it. So the question is: how comes they eat the meat without wanting it to be killed? There is nothing like humane killing of chickens because at the end of it all, you are slaughtering it, so what is humane about it? Anyway, they are given to man for eating as meat.

Adding of hot water to the slaughtered Chicken for easy dressing
Adding of hot water to the slaughtered Chicken for easy dressing

 

Chickens are meant for meat and for production of eggs. Both broilers (meat chickens) and layers (chickens for eggs) can be slaughtered and eaten. Though chickens that lay eggs can also be eaten, they are mostly slaughtered when their rate of production of eggs is less than the amount of feed consumption.

Process of dressing the slaughtered chicken by plucking of the feathers
Process of dressing the slaughtered chicken by plucking of the feathers

 

In order to slaughter a chicken at home and by yourself rather than buying or taking it to slaughtering house, you do not need much tools or equipment. You can do it by the process explained below.

Picking of the tiny feathers for clean dressing
Picking of the tiny feathers for clean dressing

 

Tools needed for slaughtering and dressing of chickens at home

  1. Sharp Knife
  2. A flat board or tray
  3. A bowl or bucket
  4. Hot water for soaking and dressing the slaughtered chicken
  5. A polythene bag for gathering and disposing the feathers of the slaughtered chicken
  6. Hand gloves for protection from the hot water
Cutting into the abdomen of dressed chicken to remove the bowels
Cutting into the abdomen of dressed chicken to remove the bowels

 

Process of slaughtering chickens for meat

  1. Sharpen your knife by continually gliding/moving the edge of the knife over a stone or a metallic surface. The knife needs to be sharp in order to make the process easy (may be this may be the humane slaughtering of chickens that others advocate for).
  2. Get the chicken and lay it by the side on the ground, such that it lies on one of feathers.
  3. Use one of your feet to press the wing that faces you.
  4. Use the other foot to press the two legs of the chicken to the ground.
  5. Use your left hand (if you are right handed) to grab the head of the chicken. Make sure you close the mouth as you are holding the head because when you allow the chicken, it can peck on your hand.
  6. Using your right hand (if you are right handed), cut the neck of the chicken until you can feel the knife touching the bones of the neck, and make sure while cutting that the direction of cutting is not facing you because the blood will ooze out and may stain you.
  7. The chicken will struggle, but do not be afraid, just hold and press it firmly until it becomes still. If you become afraid and you allow the chicken, it will keep jumping and splashing the blood even though it will eventually become still.
  8. You must not cut off the head, but if you are unsure, you can cut off the head from the neck.
  9. When the slaughtered chicken stops struggling or when it becomes still, you can keep it in the wide bowl you want to use for dressing of the slaughtered chicken.
Removal the crop from the slaughtered and dressed chicken
Removal the crop from the slaughtered and dressed chicken

 

The process of Dressing a Chicken

  1. Keep the slaughtered chicken in a bowl or bucket that you will use for the dressing of the chicken
  2. Boil water and pour inside the bucket or bowl. Native chickens tend to have harder feathers that are not easy to pluck out than broilers (meat chickens); hence the broiler chicken should not be left for long in hot water because it will peel off the skin from the flesh and your chicken will look untidy and very difficult to pluck the feathers further.
  3. If it is a broiler chicken, only soak it in hot boiling water for like 2 minutes. If it is a native chicken, it should be soak in water for about 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. You can try removing some of the feathers and see. If it is easy to pluck, you can remove the slaughtered chicken out of the hot water and keep on a flat board or tray.
  5. If you cannot immerse the whole chicken in the hot water, soak one side and then turn the other side.
  6. Remove the chicken from the hot water and place on a board or table or tray that you will use for dressing of the slaughtered chicken
  7. Make sure the feet are in the hot water. Some people eat the legs/feet while others do not. If you are eating it, then you need to peel of the hard skin (it has scales) on the legs/feet. When immersed in hot water, the scales and hard skin of the feet/legs are easy to remove. Just squeeze hard on the legs or the feet of the chicken, it will make the scale and the hard skin to pull off the soft skin. You can then continue to peel off the remaining hard skin off the legs. This should be done immediately you remove the slaughtered chicken out of the hot water because when it cools off, you may find it difficult to peel the hard skin off.
  8. After peeling the skin of the legs, pluck off the feathers of the wings of the slaughtered chicken.
  9. Pluck off the feathers of the tail too. The long feathers of the tail and the wings should be plucked before that of the whole body
  10. Continue to dress the slaughtered chicken by plucking the feathers of the body. Do not worry about some feathers that still stick on the skin. Just continue, when you are done, you can rinse the slaughtered chicken in cold water and continue picking the tiny feathers
  11. Try and remove all the tiny feathers remaining on the body. I do use my bare hands to feel if there are feathers I could feel because I personally do not like eating a chicken with some feathers on it.
  12. When you are done. You can rinse the table or tray and the chicken and proceed to processing of the dressed chicken by cutting it with a knife into tiny pieces for easy boiling or cooking (for preparingshredded chicken sauce) or grilling or frying. Whatever you want to do with it in this Christmas or New Year, you can process it to your taste. I will be showing you how to cut it for boiling. You can watch the video of how I went about the whole process from the slaughtering to the dressing of the chicken and even cutting into tiny pieces.
Dressing of the gizzard of the slaughtered chicken
Dressing of the gizzard of the slaughtered chicken

 

Processing of an already dressed chicken

  1. In order to cut your dressed chicken into pieces, you will be cutting along the joints.
  2. Cut the joint between the thigh and the leg
  3. Cut the joint between the thigh and the body
  4. Cut the joint between the wings and the body
  5. Cut off the long neck
  6. You can try breaking the joints if they seem difficult cutting with the knife. After breaking the joints, feel for the space between them and use the knife to cut through it.
  7. At the middle of the breasts of the chicken, make a slit in order to divide it into two so that you will get into the abdomen where the bowels are. You may cut into the abdomen from below, where the bone of the breast ends (just near the vent).
  8. When you expose the abdomen, use your hand and try removing the bowels out of the chickens abdomen.
  9. The crop is connected to the intestines: you need to cut the connection to allow you remove the bowels. The vent is also connected to the intestines; you need to cut it too. After cutting the two connections, remove the bowels out.
  10. Some people eat the gizzard of the chicken. You can divide the gizzard into two; it is often filled with grinded food. Wash it off with water and you can see a rough colored layer (the layer in touch with the grinded food) attached to the soft part of the gizzard. You can peel of this layer and then wash the gizzard.
  11. Some people do eat the intestines of the chicken. If you will be eating the intestines, you need to squeeze out the fecal content of the intestines and wash very well.
  12. You can then cut the remaining part of the dressed chicken as you desired.
Cutting the dressed chicken into desired pieces for cooking
Cutting the dressed chicken into desired pieces for cooking

 

If you do not understand the explanation, there is a video below and watch how to slaughter and dress a chicken.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and Happy New year as you eat your chicken.

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