For those of us that don’t look forward to processing chickens for meat, the no gutting method may make the work simpler. It did for me.
I’d kept chickens for decades and never considered using any of my lovely chickens for their meat. But as I become more interested in healthy sources of human food and learn about commercial chicken farming, I find that I would prefer to eat meat from chickens I have raised with tender loving and healthy care.
Once I decided to raise some chickens for meat everything seemed to fall into place. You need a place to raise them. I provided a coop and yard. After a week getting used to their new home I allowed them to free range daily.
By the way, if you don't have your chicken coop in place and are thinking about building one, you might be a bit confused with which of the plans available are best for you.
I invite you to take a look at my recent review where I break it down and simplify the process for you.
Or just click the image below to access the review...
There was nothing about caring for them that was different from all other chickens I’ve had. My level of care was the same, I just kept an emotional distance, knowing soon I would take their lives.
When I stumbled across the no gutting method, I was relieved. I’d learned a few different methods for butchering rabbits and processing lamb and deer, so chickens weren’t a huge leap into the unknown for me.
Using this method, you may not have to go to all the trouble of plucking chickens either. (Check out: The No Plucking Method.) One of the most critical issues, when processing animals for meat, is to keep the meat clean and prevent contamination. Keeping the intestinal tract intact is an important step.
Unless you plan to use a whole chicken in your kitchen, removing the best meat can be done without plucking or gutting. Storing frozen drumsticks, thighs, and chicken breasts takes up much less space than whole chickens.
When using the no gutting method, the neck can be harvested last if you have use for it. If there are any specific organs you want they can be removed while leaving the digestive tract whole (from crop to vent), once breasts, thighs and drumsticks have been removed.
I found the no plucking or gutting method easy as a first time way to process meat from the chickens I raised specifically for meat. I plan to always use this method.
Once all selected parts were removed from the main body I was left with much less mess and was able to package up and freeze the left overs for future use in live traps for local chicken predators. This way I am still using the whole chicken for my benefit and the future safety of my flock.
I’ll admit I had a lot of trouble for years thinking of butchering a chicken before I learned the no plucking and no gutting method. I’ve had a love for animals all my life and got to work as a vet tech.
I’ll never forget the first day I had to help put a dog to sleep. I needed a break and took a long walk through the neighborhood of the clinic. I wondered if this aspect of veterinary care was something I could handle on a regular basis.
I reasoned with myself that the humane taking of a life, when necessary, was something I should be able to do as an animal lover. I returned to the clinic and enjoyed many years of helping people care for their animals, even to the end.
Long before finding the no gutting method of processing chicken meat, I wrestled with the idea of eating animals and have tried being a vegan and vegetarian. I believe that some people’s bodies are healthier when they eat meat, that some people shouldn’t eat meat and I respect those who choose either.
I’ve also wrestled with the need for “health foods” and organic foods and after much study have been systematically removing the unhealthiest foods from my diet. Whatever I can buy organic, I do.
There are tried and true methods for processing chickens for meat; but why not try something new? I was able to avoid the mess and chore of removing so many feathers by skinning the chickens, feathers and all.
With the no gutting method I was harvesting the best meat with little concern for contamination from digestive tract contents. I also saved myself some of the more distasteful steps.
The best part is that I have some excellent and healthy meat in my freezer, from animals that I know were well cared for without drugs and chemicals.
In today’s commercial food industry our foods are subject to radiation and all sorts of treatments that can make them more harmful than good for us. Much of the dairy industry pumps hormones into cows to increase milk production, but at what cost to the human consumers?
I hope this article gives you some good food for thought and possibly some very healthy food for your table, with less trouble than you might think.