August 2017

After ten years this web site developed significant technical issues and had to be reconfigured at a new web location.

To Visit The New Web Site

Thank you,
Herrick Kimball


David Schafer said...

A wonderful WWW first, Herrick. This was sorely needed. Bravo on a job well done. The photos are outstanding, the text is Whizbang thorough. I'll be referring many people to this blog. Thank you.
David Schafer

RL said...

This is excellent! You have a gift for teaching, that's for sure. Good luck and God bless in this new enterprise.


Herrick Kimball said...

Hello David in Missouri--

It's nice of you to stop by. I appreciate your kind words about this blog.

For those who don't know, David Schafer sells the world famous Featherman Plucker. It is a fine machine, which I discuss in this essay.


Hey Russ in the North Woods of Wisconsin--

Thank you too for the positive feedback and well wishes.

BloomingGranny said...

Wow! This is absolutely wonderful. I've read and read how to do it but still didn't feel I understood. Now I see and understand.

Thanks so much for taking the time. The photos are wonderful, as are the instructions. I love the "you first" comment. heeheehee!

I have linked to your tutorial from my site, www.chickensense.com. Your tutorial is a fantastic resource. :)

Paul said...

I think what you have put on the internet is fantastic, and when I get ready to butcher my fryers in the spring my laptop will be right next to me probably in plastic.

I also raise ducks and I wish there were more thorough explanations on butchering them as well.

I am a little scared to butcher the chickens. I only think of there innocense, and reading your wisdom maybe you have some for me sir? If you can email me privatly about this @ pmartinvt@comcast.net

Thanks Much,


newbiecaroline said...

Hello Herrick, I googled and googled some more trying to find instructions even half as good as yours! Google should have this blog!But someone posted the link today at www.Backyardchickens.com which is a very popular and addictive website where poultry people chat and advise etc on all kinds of breeds, please come join us? my member name is newbiecaroline lol
We have never butchered anything, but I think we will be fine now with your excellent instructions and thank your son for fantastic photography! What a team you two make! We will be butchering bronze turkeys this summer/fall, are they the same as chickens in butchering?
Do you have another blog on turkey?
Thanks again for the time you both took to help us!

God bless you and yours

Herrick Kimball said...


Thanks for the positive words about this tutorial blog. It appears that a lot of folks are learning from it and that is very gratifying.

There is no need for a turkey butchering blog. Turkeys are "processed" just like big chickens. Except for being a lot heavier to handle, I think turkeys are easier to butcher than chickens. Best wishes with your turkeys.

newbiecaroline said...

Herrick, I posted a link to your "how to butcher a chicken" in a new Alberta Canada site is that ok? It's the best source I've found! let me know if you need to see it? best wishes

Julie said...

Excellent tutorial - I may never need the information but I found it very educational and interesting!

Tabletop Homestead said...

Hi Herrick. I'm adding a link to my blog.


Joseph said...


Pisa said...

Hello Herrick, what a wonderful blog, I just wish I had seen and read it before getting our first roast prepared today!
I had read up on some stuff, and running support from my local lifestyle site, where I was given the link tonight.
All in all it went well, but I'm looking forward to more of your essays and photos.

Well done, and all the best for your endeavours!


Henwhisperer said...

Can't thank you enough for your help this morning. I needed a refresher for slaughtering chickens this morning, specifically butchering them. Googled it up and found your website. Thanks! Your clear description made short work of it. Now I know why they say to withhold food for 24 hours, but I think it is easier to feed them and be able to find the crop. I've pointed people on a homestead poultry yahoo group to your site.

Connie said...

I'm here as I have urban chickens and the first crows were uttered this morning - more sure to follow in my 'straight-run' flock.

I knew the day would come to figure out how to get that crowing bug eating critter from my yard to the pot.

Yes, I'm queezy about the prospect and thank you for providing the 'how-to'.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Krystal said...

I'm really hoping that you read comments made on older posts. I've cleaned and dressed out a few chickens. But when I roast them, they come out chewey. They taste AWESOME, but they're chewey.

This last rooster (we just finished eating) was eight months old.

What am I doing wrong?

Henwhisperer said...

I'm not Herrick, but my guess is that you did not let the bodies rest long enough. We let our chickens rest in the fridge for 48 hours before freezing or using them. The time allows the rigor mortise pass by and the muscles relax. I wonder if Herrick will agree.

Mary said...

Henwhisperer, I didn't know I was suppose to let it rest. I butcher and roast on the same day.


I'll try dressing out a bird tomorrow and then cooking it Wednesday.

I have WAY too many roosters right now. I need to cull my flock. I have another 43 birds coming in on Wednesday. 25 of them are Cornish X. The other are for eggs (we sell them).

Herrick, I really love all your pages!!! We have a special needs child who can build just about anything. He and his father are considering building a Whizbang Chicken Plucker next summer. He's really good with the killing and defeathering of the birds, but he pukes every time I pull out the guts. It's a family joke (we have five children).

Kat said...

Hello from Germany. I learned to butcher chickens from my friends grandpa. He showed me once. It was not a very pretty job though. This time (my second) I butchered three of my chickens and I went step by step through your guide. The gizzard is still a challenge and I can't get the neck twisted off with gloves on. But I got the lungs out very nicely by pushing my fingers under them. That was great. Thanks so much for your advice. With killing and all it took me two hours for my little three. I guess it always takes long in the beginning.

Rodney said...

This blog is awesome, I hope you keep it up. I don't know if you quit posting or what but I can tell you as a young man from a farming family living in the metropolis this is the kind of thing that gives me hope for a real American lifestyle. I hope you are able to realize your dreams and thanks for the content (your photos rock and the garlic stuff is tremendously inspirational).

Jack Murphy said...

Really good site, lots of information. I have to ask could you guide be applied to turkeys and can the Whizbang Chicken Plucker cope with larger birds like a turkey? Ric

 Raising Turkeys the easy way | Feed your Family

Brenda Van Wie said...

My husband found your blog and loves it! We put a link to it in our last post. He has learned a lot and loves all of your Wizbang gadgets. Great site. Out first butchering will be happening in about a month.

Kathy said...

We built a Whizbang chicken plucker and love it. It saves so much work. We are looking for a used stunning knife. Does anyone know where we can find one?

Herrick Kimball said...

Thanks everyone for your positive and informative comments.

The Whizbang plucker will pluck turkeys just fine, though you'll have to do one at a time. I think that I've heard of someone doing a 45 pounder in the plucker.

To find a used stunning knife, or just about anything else related to the subject of poultry processing, be sure to check out the Yahoo discussionn group, WhizbangChickenPluckers. I think there are now close to 3,000 members and they are a rich source of information. A link to the group is down along the right side of this page.

Thanks again for the comments,

Herrick Kimball

HSC said...

This is a great tutorial. As a young child, we raised many types of farm animals. Chickens was our specialty. I learned to butcher chickens at a very young age an even though I did not like to do it, I learned a lot from that experience.

Now I implement the same technique I used as a child. This technique is just the way I was raised.

The pictures and detail is VERY WELL explained. GREAT JOB.

Bowen said...

thanks so much for this blog, i don't read many blogs but i sure like this one. it brings back memories of when i was a kid and mom and dad would butcher our chickens out in the back yard. it always seemed to be great fun! and from the looks of things your kids are having fun. i agree that we should get back to raising some of our own food. and i have started a squidoo page to help people get information on raising chickens in there back yard. it's located @ <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/a-chicken-in-time><i><b>My Squidoo page</b>a-chicken-in-time</a>. i will RSS feed this site to my page because i think it is very relevant to what i am doing
thanks for the info.
Bowen W. Coen

Unknown said...

The information provided is really very nice. I appreciate your work. Keep it up.

Unknown said...

I can't thank you enough for your instructions on processing chickens. We did our first one today and I believe that in spring we will be buying more poultry to raise for meat. I don't think we could have done it near as well as we did without your help. By the way...my husband actually killed the bird but we both did the processing and neigher one of us got sick or passed out. Praise the Lord!!!I can't thank you enough for your instructions on processing chickens. We did our first one today and I believe that in spring we will be buying more poultry to raise for meat. I don't think we could have done it near as well as we did without your help. By the way...my husband actually killed the bird but we both did the processing and neigher one of us got sick or passed out. Praise the Lord!!!

Unknown said...

This was fantastic, Herrick. Very clear instructions and the pictures were very helpful. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the process but it was like a science project finding and dissecting the different organs. Thanks again and happy grillin'!

Hot Belly Mama said...

Thank you for keeping this blog up! I share it with everyone I know.

MFA Mama said...

I keep a small flock of laying hens, and one of them prolapsed her vent this morning. With the aid of your tutorial the patient is now resting comfortably...in my crockpot :)

Hot Belly Mama said...

We butchered several ducks and chickens and put them into the freezer six hours later. We read after the fact that they need to rest 48 hours before being frozen. Did we ruin our batch or is there a way to cook them to ensure they come out tender?

Herrick Kimball said...

Farming Mama Wannabe—
No problem. When you want to cook up one of the birds, just take it out of the freezer, thaw it in the fridge, and let it rest there for a couple days before you cook it. The same effect is achieved as letting it rest a couple days before you freeze it.

Mike1958 said...

Thank you Herrick. Had a 4.5 pound meat chicken to harvest early due to a lame leg, he was 3 months old. I found your blog, and read through the plucking and butcher processes. I have to say it was a success my first go. You have given a great boost and confidence to DIY homegrown chicken harvesting. Thanks so much for keeping this up.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I found it last year and did our first batch of chickens. They came out great.

I had an incident yesterday and had to butcher a turkey on short notice. In a bit of a panic and needing a refresher, I googled for turkey butchering and naturally did not find your blog. I worked mostly on memory and a bit of hints from what I found.

Now it is 2am and I can smell it in my sleep and am worried about serving it for Thanksgiving.

I took its head off and hung it to bleed while I got hot water ready. With everything that was going on it took about 30-45 minutes to get to butchering. I made the cut to get to the innards and was nearly bowled over by the smell. Nothing we did last year smelled that bad except when we accidently broke the innards.

Other lesser mistakes: I forgot to loosen the crop first so the "chain" broke a bit below it. All the rest were in one piece and whole. Though FEMAT did happen. I don't think any got inside.

The rest went pretty smoothly, though with the plucking (,3 roudy children fighting) and all it was about 3 hours till he went in the fridge.

I am worried that I ruined it by waiting too long to open it up and/or taking so long to finish. I raised it just for Thanksgiving dinner, but now I am scared to serve it.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this wonderfully helpful blog, my friend. It was quite helpful when my sons and I culled a batch of roosters this weekend. May the Lord continue to bless your work!

Unknown said...

I found a link to my youtube video "Chicken Fun" on this page - you might notice that the video is no longer available. I had so many people complain that we were being CRUEL by laughing and enjoying the WBCP's inaugural pluck that You Tube locked out my account and took down my video. What was that you said about people being disconnected from the process of food production???

Herrick Kimball said...


I'm very sorry to hear that. But I guess I'm not surprised.

And you're right...moderns are so out of touch with the reality of food production.

If those who complained ever had to hand pluck their own chickens to feed themselves, they would be mighty glad to have a Whizbang chicken plucker, and I'm sure they would laugh with delight to see how much time and trouble the plucker saved them.

Your story is yet another sad commentary on the state of America.

Thank you for posting here.

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