You have been warned by the title so don't read on or look at the pictures if you want to continue to believe that chicken comes from the grocery store.
Last month we had a family get together and what better to do then resurrect our family tradition of butchering chickens. I think many of us could say that we remembered it being much more enjoyable, but then again some of us were just kids and spent the day in the bulk tank swimming. I knew this time was going to be rough when I watched my Aunt Marcia turn her nose up and gag when she was plucking feathers because of the smell. We ended up butchering 25 chickens that were raised on my cousin Suzie's hobby farm. Suzie and I always had a dream that we would someday live together on a farm raising animals, especially kittys and baby chicks. Man, I use to love kittens and baby chicks. Marcia still talks about how we dressed them up in doll clothes and all caught ring worm from one particular cat who ironically was named Molly. I ended up with ring room all over my chest....don't ask! And how about the baby chick that I loved so much that I hugged it to death. This story was told at Brett and my wedding to forewarn Brett that I have a tendency to love things so much that they end up buried in the garden. In our plan, Suzie and I did decide that we would still get married, however, our husbands would have their own house down the road from us. Really, given our investment into our animals we just wouldn't have enough time for our men so they would have to have their own independent lives too. Suzie is kind of living our dream (except we both hate cats)...now all I need to do is move in and Brett and Josh need to find a real estate agent to purchase a house together. I got a friend who is a loan officer and am sure she could cut them a deal. Growing up on the farm was a lot of fun! How did Grandma's car survive all of us driving it (I only was driving once when it was in the ditch). We spent hours down at the crick flinging cow pies at each other and making bridges (don't forget the quick sand). We built forts in the hay mound and played tag on the round bails. Cousins were rounded up to pick rock from the fields and apples from Grandma and Grandpa's backyard. We go in trouble plenty...for example, we would play hide and seek in grandma's asparagus patch, throw each others shoes in the corn field and lose them, and let's not forget that torturous day that Suzie and I were looking for her mom in the cow pen and sank waist deep into cow poop. The water from the hose was never so cold and my butt never got to red from a spanking before. Wow, we had some great times!!
So if you are curious about the butchering day or a little on the process check out the pics below. I kept most graphic ones out and there is only a little red, however, beware!
The chickens were then dipped into hot water. ie: the hot tub
How many men does it take to get a pot of water to boil?
First plucking station.
Second plucking station.
Rinse them off before they went into the cold bath.