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Meat Birds

Deciding to Butcher

Deciding to Butcher  Rate it

Butchering is not for everyone because it brings you closer into the food chain than you may find comfortable. Many people eat meat, but prefer to be removed from the processing of a live animal into food. If you fall into this camp, you may want to skip this section of our website and focus on the areas devoted to raising egg layers or even show birds.

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Humane Techniques

Humane Techniques  Rate it

If you are not interested in learning how to kill a chicken, please consider visiting other areas of our website.

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Picking / Plucking Feathers

Picking / Plucking Feathers  Rate it

Once a chicken is killed, the next step in the meat bird process is to remove all of the feathers. Many people refer to this process as “plucking” the feathers. More seasoned poultry folk call this process “picking”.

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Butchering

Butchering  Rate it

The process of butchering a chicken is often performed immediately after feathers are picked. Some people, however, prefer to cool the chicken before butchering. Either way, the process is the same.

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Aging Chicken Meat

Aging Chicken Meat  Rate it

After the chickens are cooled, you will want to age the meat before proceeding. Make sure to age your chickens before cooking them, before quartering them and before freezing them. The reason for aging, just like in beef, is to allow the muscle tissue to relax and tenderize before eating. Aged chicken will be more tender and have better flavor than meat processed immediately after the kill.

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Quartering a Chicken

Quartering a Chicken  Rate it

If you plan to freeze or eat your chicken whole, then you can skip this step. In this step, we cover various ways to cut up you chicken into common pieces of meat.

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Storing Chicken Meat

Storing Chicken Meat  Rate it

Freshly butchered chicken keep for up to 5 days in a refrigerator so long as the temperature is maintained at 34° F or lower. To keep chicken longer, you must freeze it no longer than 3 days after butchering. Keep your freezer below 0° F and do not store frozen chicken for longer than 6 months.

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Important Information

About DIY Chicken Coops

Like you, we decided that the benefits of raising chickens and eating fresh eggs are too good to pass up.


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