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Author Topic: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens  (Read 3335 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« on: October 17, 2010, 01:07:24 pm »
We've got a mixture of Sasso and Hubbards that we are growing on, which we will need to start dispatching in a couple of weeks.
I've read lots of articles and am now confused over what is the best thing to do.. and need help clarifying a few things!
Is it correct that if we want to finish them on corn, we need to feed them just corn for a couple of weeks, and that they should be starved for 24 hours before dispatching?
Once dispatched, i have read mixed reviews as to what to do next/what order...some people seem to suggest it is easier to pluck straight away whilst the body is warm, some suggest dipping it in hot water for 2 minutes to make it easier to pluck and to kill any lice if they have any on them, some seem to suggest that you can't hang it if you've dipped it in water, some seem to still hang it if its been dipped in water...and then there seem to be wide differences in how long people hang for.....and some people seem to kill, hang, pluck and dress, some people seem to kill, pluck, and dress, and others seem to kill, pluck, hang and dress, and even found some that suggest you should kill, pluck, dress and then hang.
Also re hanging - in a garage?  lay on a plate in a fridge?  how/where do you do it?
Now maybe you see why i am confused!  I don't want to risk food poisoning, but likewise i don't want to have got this far only to mess up and end up with tasteless or tough birds.  Ideally i want the taste and texture to be as good as possible, and to be able to enjoy a nice roast chicken, with some yummy dripping for toast, and really don't have a clue now what to do for the best!
What do you do?


  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Mid Wales
  • Chicken mad, nothing else just chickens.
Re: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 02:19:32 pm »

Usually.....but not always.

Finish on corn
Starve overnight
Kill -broom handle
Drain -blood
Scald -very hot water
Pluck - undress of feathers
Dress -gut, truss up into supermarket shape chicken, wrap in clingfilm.
Rest on plate in fridge for 2-4 days
Freeze or cook.

Chicken nutter extraordinaire.


  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 02:23:49 pm »
give them either finishers and corn or there standard feed and add extra corn. don,t starve them for 24 hours just don't let them have any food overnight. its not fun getting a full crop out intact. they must have water. its easiest to pluck when warm. the hot water just makes it easier. don't keep them in the hot water to long or you start to cook them.

the hanging is a personal thing you need to experiment. you would normally pluck and hang intacted for whatever lenght of time you wan't. you do need to be careful of the temp or you may end up with a bad chicken. keep flys away or your going to get extra protean. you could pluck gut and wash and let it rest in your fridge. don't hang if you can't get a temp less than 10oc/50of.
our free range cockerals were nice but there leg meat was a lot tougher and browner than your supermarket ones.
you don't have to hang them if nervous.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 09:41:26 pm »
We feed normally the night before, take them out first thing in the morning - empty crop/and also at the other end if you know what I mean..., kill using tweezer thingy, or if it is just me on my own I use a very sharp small axe, quite messy but quick and definite. then hang for about 30 mins head down to drain most of the blood, start plucking while still warm, then gut. then either leave in fridge or in cold garage o/night, this year most of them went straight into the freezer though as we did them in June and it was too hot. We do all this outside on the garden table.

Very good eating, but then I haven't eaten any supermarket chicken for years, so couldn't compare toughness. Dark legmeat, definitely.


  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 12:27:07 pm »
the easiest way to kill a chicken is to pull it's neck. Check on the web but it is easy to do and the blood then drains into the head with no mess. I certainly wouldn't chop their heads off

Power Poultry

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Kings Lynn Norfolk
Re: help needed re dispatching/hanging/plucking/dressing chickens
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 01:58:20 pm »
We do as above that way there is no mess and we always pluck them there and then the feathers come out so easy .Start with the wings first as these cool down first.

We then hang in a cold room for a day or 2 gives much better flavour to the meat


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