Butchering my own chicken this weekend in Indpls!


Amy

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So there's an 'educational' farm here in Indianapolis (U.S.) that I liked on facebook not long ago. They offer workshops and classes and next Saturday they are offering a 3 hour workshop where you butcher your own chicken and I signed up. I'm a little nervous because I'm a complete city girl am not even sure if I've ever seen a live chicken, but I think it'll be an interesting experience. It's only $20 and that includes getting to take home your farm fresh chicken to eat.

Has anyone ever done this who didn't already grow up around farms or seeing animals butchered? I have never had any ethical problems with eating meat, but I'm not quite sure how this is going to go for me.

https://www.facebook.com/events/353014538150186/

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I haven't butchered myself, but I did hang with my farmer one afternoon while he processed two chickens for me. The death part is very quick and then the processing part seemed okay to me. My farmer showed me parts as he got to them. He was very proud of the golden color of the gizzards in the chickens and what you could see of what they had been eating. I bet you will be okay. The hardest part of the job looked to be pulling the feathers off.

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I've never actually done the killing but I've done the plucking and it's not bad or smelly. I think the worst part was little downy feathers tickling my nose. The farm you are going to may have a machine that tumbles the feathers off too which is really fast. I watched a friend slaughter a rabbit and teared up a little, because bunnies are so so cute, but it was momentary. I do enjoy the deeper connection to my food so I think it's a highly valuable experience.

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I would have loved to have a class like that offered near me! We are now transitioning off the farm, but for 5 years, my husband and I had our own small farm with dairy goats and layers. We never took the plunge to raise our own meat (we have lots of great local sources that we didn't need to do it ourselves) but I wanted to. Our greatest hesitation was that I was worried about butchering without experience. Reading how to online only gets one so far! (though, the internet did make it possible for me to save one of our goats from dying during delivery...so who knows!)

We did have to kill a few chickens/roosters over the years, but we didn't eat them. It's challenging when you've raised them yourself but it is possible to come to terms with it. In some ways, I think it would be even easier if you could eat the chicken as well and then it's kind of like honoring it's life and death by nourishing your body.

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I took a butchering class when I was in culinary school (3 weeks worth) and I really enjoyed it! Course, the animals that we butchered were gutted and such, but it was a lot of fun. I learned how to break down chicken--cause we did that nearly every day--as well as rabbit, lamb, and veal. We also did quite a bit of charcuterie. Needless to say--for me anyway! Garde manger and butcher shop were my 2 favorite courses!

My best advice--make sure you have a boning knife and make sure your knives are SHARP! The sharper the better!

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