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Chicken slaughter

the most surprising thing about slaughtering a hundred chickens is how enjoyable the process can be.  you’ve never seen a happier bunch of people—mostly eager volunteers—surrounded by buckets of blood, feathers, heads, and guts.  like a well oiled machine of all human cogs, we grab, crate, slit, drain, scald, pluck, behead, delimb, eviscerate, wash, check and chill in smooth unison.  like any impressive group effort—like a perfectly timed band, or spain over the dutch—the true magic comes when all start flowing as one. 

a chicken slides across the steel table right to my hands, and without stopping the story i’m in the middle of, or the wisecrack i’m making, my hand enters the warm cavity from behind, following the breast plate, and turning the bird’s insides out.  the breeze is light but appreciated, and the clouds are protecting us from that georgia blaze.  with blood splattered on my face, it feels good to be working hard.   

the video is a step-by-step evisceration for those of you homesteaders looking to try this yourself.  the photos below are some highlights of the day.  the crew, chugging along on the mobile processing trailer, princess darby on quality control, a bird trying to make a last second escape, and luke—the guardian dog—getting a little too close to the action.  the last shot is a perfectly timed capture of the ol’ “hose sprayed under the table directly at that guy’s crotch” gag.  classic.

bonus shot:  thanksgiving preview:  baby gobblers

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