Step 9
Clean Up & Chill

At the end of Step 8 I told you how the flap of skin on the back of the bird made a good handhold. Here’s just one example of that:

After dressing the bird I give it a final washing and overall inspection. Lots of cold water comes in handy for this.

Then I toss the bird into the cooler with ice cold water.

We typically leave the birds in the cold water until the next day, then package and freeze. But not everybody does this. The subject of aging poultry meat before freezing deserves some discussion, and you can read various opinions on the subject at This Link.

Now, about those guts….. 

When you are done butchering all your chickens, you will need to dispose of the contents of your gut bucket. There are a few different disposal options. 

1. You can compost the guts. Layer them in a pile with lots of straw, sawdust, grass clippings and other compostables. This is best done inside a circle of wire fencing so dogs don’t tear into the pile. Just leave the mix alone for a year or so. It’ll break down nicely. 

2. Make a big bonfire in the backyard and roast the guts into ash. 

3. Dig a hole and bury the guts.

4. Haul the bucket way, way out into the woods or along a hedgerow; somewhere where people don’t go very much. Give it a toss. Out of sight, out of mind. Birds, coyotes, insects and other creatures will think they died and went to heaven when they see the contents of your gut bucket.