What I’ve Learned From Killing Chicken

Last Saturday was B-Day; time to butcher a couple roosters. I reckoned three roosters to five minus one* hens is not a good balance, and decided that the two new ones shall end up in a big boil up (*because one of the hens is like Houdini and therefore roams freely). Naturally, I grabbed a stick, a net, a pair of gloves, some food and went at it.

My plan felt sound, so I didn’t bother reading in detail how others kill and pluck chicken. I found out later that one of the common ways of killing a chicken is to rip its head off, the other way is to cut it off with a knife. In retrospect, both methods wouldn’t have worked for me as they involve catching the chicken first.

Instead, I used my fishing net to secure the roosters and clubbed them to the death with a well-aimed and swift strike. Of course the rest of the flock went berserk and managed to escape. I kinda relied on my dog Rani to stay at the entrance, but she left her spot in the heat of the moment. Doesn’t matter, I got the roosters on the day and all minus one are back in the pen…

So What Have I Learned?

Well, there are good, in-depth articles with supporting pictures about this topic (and you can check them out here: foodwaterandfire & theselfsufficienthomeacre). In addition:

  • you won’t need the hot water and cold water dunks if you just pluck them while they are warm
  • don’t forget to cut off the windpipe
  • take your time, I didn’t really, to do a good job and get organs like liver, heart and so on out clean
  • boil ups are great in the winter, especially on top of the fire place
Pluck chicken while they are still warm and it should be easy.
Pluck chicken while they are still warm and it should be easy.
It was raining and I wasn't patient enough. Should have just cut off parts of the wings.
It was raining and I wasn’t patient enough. Should have just cut off parts of the wings.

I cooked one up and froze the other. I was very surprised to find the rooster having heaps of tender, juicy meat. It ended up being one of my best chicken boil ups and I’ve done a few…

Chicken Boil Up Recipe

  • whole chicken/rooster
  • water
  • seasonal veges
  • garlic, turmeric and if you like some beans
  • a bit of oil

Add the chicken to a large pot containing about 3 litres of water, cook on slow heat for an hour with the lid on. Cut veges in smallish cubes and add with a bit of oil, continue cooking on low heat until the veges are almost done. Add your favourite spice, turmeric works well and rest it on very low heat for as long as you want or can wait.


2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned From Killing Chicken”

  1. Hi Ben.
    I just watched Ben fogle visiting you ….
    I really enjoyed the show…
    I love where you live…
    Love your blog…
    Keep taking photos…
    If I ever get over I’ll call & say hello
    Take care talk soon

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