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How to Kill and Clean a Chicken in 10 Easy Steps: Video Tutorial

Butchering a chicken, scalding, plucking, cleaning and preparing a chicken is something we wanted to share how to do.

Every other chicken butchering tutorial video had a Southern accent, so we made our best attempt. This was only the third time doing this at the time of filming, things went a lot smoother the fourth time, so we did the voiceover and instructions based on the experience gained from the fourth time.

The first time I killed a chicken was when we were visiting friends in northern Nepal and they invited us for dinner, and got two chickens to slaughter for dinner. I asked if I could butcher one of the chickens, watching and imitating them as they butchered the first one. I was honored to get my chicken’s head on my plate to eat, which I left until I was full and it had gone cold. Better hot and fresh I’m sure.

Keeping your own chickens for meat and eggs is one of the LifeHacks mentioned in our eBook: 40 LifeHacks that Save Over $2000/Month. Check it out at:

In this tutorial we consider 10 steps of how to go from a living chicken, for it being ready to cook and eat.

Slaughtering/Cleaning a Chicken in 10 Steps

Step 1:

Obtain a chicken…if you don’t have a live chicken, you can’t butcher it.

Step 2:

Immobilize chicken. Setup beforehand to make sure that you can kill the chicken quickly and as painlessly as possible. We use a very heavy, sharp knife over a chopping block in a hole we dug up. Afterward, we cover the blood in the dirt. If you’re not tying the chicken or using a cone, hold its body with your left hand and gently bring its neck straight before chopping. It will flap a lot after so don’t let go and don’t stand directly behind as they can spray excrement on you when they die. Allow the blood to drain by holding it or hanging it upside down after its muscles relax enough.

Step 3:

Scald the chicken in very hot water, about 150oF for around a minute. The long hard flight feathers should be able to come off easily, making the way for…

Step 4:

Plucking the chicken. If done right, plucking only takes a few minutes. You can pull off the skin off the feet too.

Step 5:

Torch hairs. Burn off any remaining small feathers or hairs. Now comes the cutting.

Step 6:

Cut off the chickens talons. That way, the rest of the chicken feet can be eaten. There is usually a callous on the bottom of the food that can be cut off too.

Step 7:

Take esophagus off of neck. To be able to remove the digestive tract out, you have to first cut a slit in the skin at the bottom of the neck and pull the neck out. Then separate the esophagus tube from the rest of the neck. Then you’re ready for…

Step 8:

Remove insides from the chest cavity. Cut the skin directly below the breastbone and then use your hands to open it up wider. This avoids cutting through the gall bladder or intestines, and keeps all the guts together. Reach in and collect all the guts together and bring it all out together through the hole in the cavity you just made. It should only be attached to the rectum now, so you can cut the tail off in a ‘v,’ removing the anal gland and entire digestive tract. Now if you look in, you can see the lighter colored lungs still inside. Use your hand or a spoon to get them off from the back of the chicken.

Step 9:

Save the heart, liver and gizzard. You can at least eat the heart, which has a little film over it that you can peel off. Also the liver, just be careful with cutting off the gall bladder. If it ruptures, quickly wash off the meat from the greenish fluid. The gizzard needs to be cut in half and membrane and contents removed.

Step 10:

Wash and consume. Rinse everything off, especially the gizzard, and the chickens now empty cavity. In Nepal, the entire chicken is cut up into little pieces and then fried in oil and meat spice and usually tomato, onion, ginger and garlic.

Hope this helps!

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