How to Butcher a Chicken

If you are raising chickens for meat you need to know how to butcher a chicken, it is an important skill for people who want to raise their own poultry for meat.

It can be hard if you don't have the background for it, but once you've learned how to butcher a chicken, you will be able to do it quick and easy.

Practice makes perfect, of course, and the first time will probably be a little harder.

Short Guide On Butchering A Chicken.

The first thing you'll need to do is prepare a butchering area. It needs to be clean and easy to wash later. Make sure you have plenty of room for butchering.

You're also going to need very sharp knives. Butchering with a dull knife can have disastrous results. You also need to make sure you have a cooler full of cold water and/or ice to cool down the meat after you butcher and keep it free from flies. 

Any kind of large, clean, cool container made of plastic or metal will work. Keep a pot on hand to hold edible organs like the liver and heart, and a bucket for inedible ones, as well.

Now that you have your station set up, you're ready to butcher a chicken. This article assumes that you've already plucked it and the chicken has been bled.

Give it a good rinse, then cut off the feet (at the border of the yellow and pink skin) and the tips of the wings.

Next, slice the skin around the neck and strip it from the neck. You can cut off the neck and use it for stock and other purposes. Then carefully cut out the crop and throw it away.

Next, you'll want to remove the oil gland in the tail. This gland is a deep yellow color, and should be entirely removed. After this, you'll want to pinch the skin above the cloaca or vent, and pull it upward.

You are making a hole above the cloaca in order to remove the innards. Lifting up the skin keeps you from cutting into any internal organs and ruining the meat.

If any liquid comes out when you make a hole into the body cavity, throw the chicken away. It was sick and inedible

Once you've made a small opening, enlarge it with your fingertips. Some fecal matter may escape the vent when you do this.

If it does, stop and wash the bird right away, keeping this matter out of the body cavity. Wash the work surface, as well.

Then, reach into the chicken and remove the organs. This may take more than one try.

Avoid breaking the intestines or gall bladder when you do this. Once you've removed the organs, the intestine will still be attached to the vent.

This is when you carefully cut around it to remove this part, too. Don't nick the intestine!

Separate the heart, liver, and other edible organs from the mass you've pulled out. You'll have to go back to scrape the lungs out, because they are close to the ribs.

You may need a tool to do this part of butchering a chicken, and a blast of water can really help.

Give the bird a final wash, then either place it in the cooler, or cut it into appropriate pieces - drumsticks, wings, breasts, etc. It all depends on how you're planning to cook your bird.

The remaining guts and other inedible parts can be composted in a secure bin with lots of straw, buried, burned in a bonfire, or thrown out into a disused field where no one will encounter them. Congratulations! You have just butchered a chicken. The whole or cut up chickens can now be frozen.

Return From Butcher a Chicken to Raising Meat Chickens

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