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Using Laying Hens for Meat

When your hen’s egg-producing days are done, send her off humanely with one last meal.

By Cynthia Amidon


Step 2: Butcher Chickens

Butcher chicken
Photo by Stephanie Staton
Heidi Chester holds the chicken by its feet while her husband chops off the head.

Heidi begins the butchering process by trussing the feet of the chickens. She then holds them by their feet so their necks are against the chopping block. Because Ken is more adept with the axe, it is his responsibility to quickly and efficiently chop off the heads of the hens.

Heidi prefers to maintain her hold on the chickens until they stop flailing, letting the blood drain out onto the ground adjacent to the block; this takes from 30 seconds to a minute and minimizes bruising to the meat. The carcass is subsequently hung by its trussed feet on nails pounded into the nearby woodshed until all the chickens are slaughtered. Some people prefer to use a killing cone to keep the hen still.


« Step 1 | Step 3 »

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Using Laying Hens for Meat

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Reader Comments
Very innteresting and I know its a natural cycle and much more humane than commetcial poultry facilities, but my girls will live their lives out witj no fear s they are pets that happen to pay back
Judy, Raynham, MA
Posted: 11/26/2012 6:31:50 AM
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