Butchering poultry

Our first experience of cleaning and butchering a chicken was many years ago with a surplus-to-requirements Light Sussex cockerel we'd hatched. Apart from him being a scrawny wee thing, we had almost no clue how to do it. We had Seymour, but the small pencil sketches aren't really enough to give a first-timer any confidence. The end result wasn't pretty, and didn't taste that good either.

So we got some advice, had a butcher friend show us the basics, and we gradually improved over the years. The remaining problem was we weren't doing it regularly enough to remember the steps and techniques from year to year.

Then I found this How to Butcher a Chicken tutorial online. It's fantastic, the only resource you'll need to learn how to clean and prepare a chicken for the table. It starts with a dead, bled, and plucked bird, so you need to do those things first.

With my learning from this guide and a sharp knife I can now butcher a chicken in uner 5 minutes, and the results are pretty good. I have a crib sheet now which reads:

  1. Feet
  2. Head
  3. Crop
    • Chook on back
    • Cut strip of skin up to neck
    • Lift trachea (L) and oesophagus (R, ribbed)
  4. Neck - 3 cuts at base and twist
  5. Oil gland
  6. Cut above vent
    • Hoirzontal
    • Work hole
    • Extract guts
    • Cut vent away
  7. Heart & lungs

It works for me!

Dan Champion

About Dan Champion

A self-confessed geek, Dan would spend 20 hours per day in front of a computer if he didn't live on a 12-acre smallholding in the east of Scotland (and if his wife would let him). He also built this website.

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