How Rednecks Pluck a Chicken!

Forgive us, okay, this is our very first family attempt at processing broiler chickens!

I posted FIVE videos somewhat in order to show you how we butchered, scalded, plucked (by machine) and cleaned our chickens:

STATS:

  • 38 Birds (Cornish Cross)
  • $5 per day @ one day, cost for renting Flour Mill (feed store) chicken plucker
  • 4-5 people processing, the 2 guys did the killin’ and pluckin’ and the girls cleaned, cooled, and wrapped the birds (and kept away bees!).
  • approximately 5 hours work, including set up and clean up.
  • Cost to raise birds: $10 each, including chick price and feed.
  • Today’s average price for free-range chickens: $3.50/lb.
  • @ today’s value, we averaged $21 value per bird minus $10 cost, $11 profit.
  • But then mom and dad paid two families in “birds” for helping process.
  • And then we all went out to dinner and had STEAK!
  • So did we really profit anything, because I didn’t even include the 30+ minutes a day of dad’s effort in raising and moving the birds.
  • Oh well, at least we know where the meat was raised and what they were fed!!
  • And we had a great time as a family, LOTS of laughter!

TIPS:

  • Don’t use a cardboard refrigerator box as your wind shield for the propane tank. Note the burned edges of wood on the table when dad is finishing the plucking!
  • Dad cut a metal 55 gallon drum in half and cut out a section for the propane line for the new wind guard. It works excellent, we use it now when canning food.
  • The freezer was under a heavy load trying to cool all the birds, so we split up the birds among our freezers to try to help lessen the load of the main freezer.
  • No, we do not hire out! 🙂 Well, maybe if you ask nice…

 WRAPPING THE CHICKEN FOR THE FREEZER:

After cleaning, we put the birds in a bath of cold ice water to cool for at least a half hour or so before wrapping.
First, we dried off the bird with a clean towel. Second, we tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
 

after plastic wrap, we wrapped each bird in freezer paper and used freezer tape (masking tape would have worked better, maybe, as this was not very sticky on the paper...) Each bird was marked with the weight and processing date.
 
We weighed each chicken, averaged 5.5-6 pounds!
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