Broilers no more

by Scott Smith

The last six broilers have been processed. Euphemisims. Hmmm.

What I did was set aside the last six birds yesterday and gave them only water. Today, one by one, I took them to my preparred killing area, which consists of a workbench, a traffic cone with the top sliced off, strands of rope to hang the birds upside down from, and a knife.

I stuffed the bird in the cone and pulled its head through the opening. I de-brained the chicken by inserting the knife sharp side up into the roof of her mouth and twisting it a quarter turn as I entered the brain. The neck was then sliced open, allowing the bird to bleed out. I held the bird’s beak for about a minute, applying quite a bit of pressure because she bucked in the cone. I cut the head off. While the bird finished its thrashing, I washed the knife and my hands in bleach water. Coldly, I admit, I sharpened the knife on the workbench while she kicked a few more times. I hung the bird upside down to finish out the bleeding. On to the next hen.

Before moving inside with the birds, I bleached and washed the workbench and other containers that blood touched. If I didn’t, the other chickens will peck around my killing area for the whole day. Ducks are filthy, but chickens are just plain gross.

I skinned these birds, as I have the last dozen or so. Much faster than plucking. I made a slit between the wing and breast; I inserted my fingers beneath the skin and pulled. I lose the wing tips with this method, but there wasn’t much meat to miss anyway.

Each bird was disembowled before bagged and refrigerated for 24 to 60 hours for aging.