Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Two Firsts: Backyard Chicken Slaughter & Pressure Canning

Finally sat down and learned how to use my new All-American pressure canner! We had to kill the backyard roosters, so I took out the frozen chickens killed in May and made about four quarts of stewed chicken and broth.

Luckily kale also needs to be cooked at 10 lbs. of pressure for 90 minutes, so I filled up the canner with seven quarts of deliciousness! Four quarts of stewed chicken and three quarts of kale to be exact.

More details are posted at http://baltimorediy.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-new-firsts-chicken-sla...

Views: 150

Comment by Pat Johnson on July 15, 2010 at 9:25am
Good for you Aliza. Looks like you did a great job and weren't too offended by the process to acomplish your goal. I thought I'd point out a couple ways to slaughter chickens that are eaisier than most. As a youngster my family had a chicken/egg business and we'd annually slaughter a LOT of chickens. In the early days we tried the old "wring their necks" method so widely known of. What a joke! Although we were able to wring the life out of a few chickens it was nearly as hard on the wringer as the wringee! After that we chopped heads on a stump, shot them in the head and slit their throats among many other gruesome methods before discovering the following two "best practice" methods. If there are only a small number of potential victims we learned that if we held the chicken by the feet, stepped on the head and then threw the chicken away from us (and others) the head would come right off and the chicken would "run around like a chicken with his head cut off" without getting us all bloody. The second method was for hundreds of chickens at a time. We made long hooks that would be hung over the clothes line with a thin hook at the bottom that would allow the chicken's ankles to slide into them but not allow the feet to pass through. The result was a chicken that hung upside down. A couple folks would hang the chickens on the line and then one person would go down the line slitting the throats. Since the chickens were hanging upside down they would bleed out onto the ground below (the grass always grew best under the clothes line after that). After a few minutes the deceased chickens would be taken to the hot water tub to have their feathers removed.
Comment by ConsciouslyFrugal on July 15, 2010 at 2:31pm
Thanks for the link to your blog, Aliza.

Pat, WOWZA! That's some work. Have you seen the system that Joe Salatin has on his farm, Polyface? They turn the chickens upside down as you suggested and put their heads into these funnels where they then slit the throats. Sounds pretty similar to what you suggest. Amazing that y'all figured that out through trial and error.
Comment by Pat Johnson on July 16, 2010 at 8:23am
The act of wringing as many chickens necks as your arm will allow inspires the inovation juices in a big way. I think I remember seeing the funnel method used a few years ago but at the time we had niether the resources not the knowledge to try it. Besides, the wire hooks were easier to fabricate and almost as efficient. P.S. I am also consciously Frugal and am not "funemployed" (retired) as a result.


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