Rachele emailed Belvedere Farmstead asking, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how traumatic is it to slaughter a chicken? I am torn! It is a skill that I think is really important, and I’m so close to clicking to take your class, but I just don’t know if I have the kahunas to get it done!”
Belvedere Farmstead would like to help take the chicken processing intimidation away!
I, Raelene, am SO glad this question was asked! This is such a good question and EXACTLY why you need to take my chicken processing class (chuckle). I believe in honoring the life of each and every animal that gives its own to feed my family. My job as a farmer is to ensure that every animal lives its best life and has a quiet, honorable death.
There is very little drama in dispatching a chicken. I do not sever the spinal cord (chop their heads off), so I can pretty confidently say that it’s nothing like what you’ve imagined. It’s actually quite quiet and calm. The actual dispatch is the hardest part of the process and it does take a little courage. But it’s my job to teach you the best, most efficient way to get it done and to encourage you to summon the kahunas (grin) to do so. You can do it.
I wouldn’t say that it’s traumatic, but it can be unsettling, especially if this is your first time dispatching an animal (or seeing it done). On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high trauma, I’d say your first time is a 2-3. And after practice, 0-1. But I would hope that the process will always be a little moving because it’s an essential skill and experience that will help you appreciate so much more the food you put on the table to feed your family.
If it comes right down to it, even after seeing it done, you don’t think you can actually do it, you can skip that part. I will not force you or shame you. It’s a formative experience. But knowing how to scald, pluck, eviscerate, and prepare the bird for the freezer (all skills you’ll learn in class) is just as important.
Attending a chicken processing class to learn this life-essential skill, will gain you a wealth of knowledge and the confidence to process your own raised chicken someday! Most classes, including mine, will send you home with a fresh chicken to feed your family!