I drive the chickens to the farm and back up to the loading dock of the slaughter facility. I hand the chickens to a young man. He puts them into the killing cones head first and cuts the artery in the throat with one slice of a very sharp knife. As their muscles spasm against the confinement of the cones, their heart pulses increase and they quickly bleed out. It is painless and humane. Anyone who is fastidious about this ought to think about how many times you have seen Jack Bauer slit a throat or worse – torture someone. To what end? Entertainment. We need to keep things in perspective.
The chickens go into the scalder of 140 degree water. A basket rotates the chickens in and out of the water to loosen the feathers. Then the chickens go into the feather picker. This is really quite funny as you can see in the video. As they whirl around, you would think that it would tear them apart, but it is really gentile. It doesn’t tear the skin much less damage the muscle. The chickens go into shackles for evisceration. The young man handles the killing cones, the scalder, and the picker while three Mennonite women eviscerate the chickens. After evisceration, the chickens go into ice water. They are then bagged and go into coolers in my pickup and I take them home to the freezer.
There is a feeling of satisfaction to open the door of the freezer and see the stacked chickens, a year of Sunday dinners.
In the quiet of dusk I walk by the empty pasture coup and my heart sinks because my chickens are all gone. But I thank Heavenly Father that they gave their lives so my family can eat this coming year.