Learn how to butcher, dress out a chicken on Saturday

I have lived and traveled all over the world, and also spent several years in vet school.  As part of my travels and part of my studies, I was involved in witnessing often gruesome animal slaughter practices and also in finding some pretty strange stuff on my plate. 

The result was three separate times of four years each of becoming vegetarian, and one stint of being a vegan for four and a half years.

Alas, my morals always waned and I invariably returned to eating meat each time.  So recently I made an intellectual concession: if I was going to eat meat, I needed to be responsible for learning how and/or participating in it getting on my plate.

So off I trotted to my oft mentioned friend Guy to his Penedesenca farm up in Black Jack. Penedesencas are a rare breed of chicken, they have a white earlobe but lay the world’s second darkest brown egg; usually the colour of the earlobe dictates the colour of the egg, hence this is a strange disparity. Penes are a dual purpose breed, raised for their eggs as well as for their meat. With Guy, I learned to dress out and butcher birds; I have yet to actually kill one, and now I always turn away {coward} but at least I do know how to do it.

For anyone who is also interested in this honest process of knowing how your meat gets to your plate, Guy will be bringing several of his (already dead – he will butcher up North) roosters to my back yard in Tower Grove East this Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m.

We are co-organizers of our local Backyard Chicken Meetup Group, the 7th largest in the nation, and hold frequent education events. If you want to learn how to dress out a bird or just see how it is done, you are welcome to join the crowd.

Meet me at 10 a.m. at the Kitchen House Coffee Shop (3149 Shenandoah Avenue) corner of Compton and Shenandoah, and we’ll walk the short walk to my house from there. Parking is on-street only so plan accordingly.

I will warn you, if you are an animal lover or a chicken keeper, seeing these little guys dead is not appealing, but there is much to be learned and if you can squelch your stomach and learn with your eyes, it is a very valuable lesson.

Dorene, fiercely hugging and hiding her 2 pet chickens …

5 thoughts on “Learn how to butcher, dress out a chicken on Saturday

  1. I know chicken butchering is not allowed in Maplewood. Look for a follow-up post after this event.

  2. As a chicken lover, live or served–I think this is a great piece of information. I have found that grocery store chickens are often injected with meat softeners and plumpers ( should there be such a word.) . Anyway, I never thought I would have to check the product of eggs or chickens to see if they had been “fortified” for a better profit. thanks for a revealing and humanitarian interview.