Backyard Chicken Slaughter Class

Chicken Slaughter Class in my Backyard


Developing Eggs from Eviscerated Chickens

Thanks to everyone in the Seattle Farm Co-op who participated in my backyard chicken slaughter class this morning! We had about 30 people, and processed around a dozen hens. A few people suggested we do this every year. Sounds like a tradition. Slaughtering can be difficult – not necessarily physically, but mentally – it’s something best done with friends.

4 Responses to Backyard Chicken Slaughter Class

  1. Wow, this was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. I was surprised by how tired I was at the end of the day. It took a fair amount of physical strength to hold a chicken calmly and killing it swiftly. But I’m sure it was a reaction to the mental effort, as well.

    It was hard for me to kill our rooster, since he had personality. As another woman was attached to her elderly hen, we each agreed to help each other. And I was really grateful for ‘backup’ if I had some problems learning a new method. I think an organized event, perhaps each fall, would be so valuable even to experienced chicken farmers because the emotional support. I really appreciated the company and reassurance of other skilled and well-intentioned people. It was great to meet some new friends too.

    It was a good idea to order pizza last night. This morning, however, I broke down the chickens, packaged them for the freezer, and started some stock for next weekend. We’re also going to have Madhur Jaffrey’s Chicken in Light Sauce (, since traditional Indian chickens are totally unlike our tender American chickens. We’ll round out our meal with saffron rice, parathas, and cauliflower pakoras.

    Thank you very much, Joshua!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Grace thanks for posting your reaction – it’s always hard to take a life. I have 25 meat birds going right now and may offer folks to come out and help process if they want. It most definitely is better to have company, even for folks who have done it before. Your chicken dish sounds fabulous too!

  2. Joshua McNichols

    Grace, you’ll have to tell me how it turns out! I like the idea of browning the different chicken parts one at a time. I have trouble carving up a backyard hen efficiently – I tend to stew them long, then separate the bones from meat by hand – a labor-intensive process that tastes good, but people lose the chance to enjoy their favorite parts of the bird.

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