A few years ago, chicken processing was just as foreign to me as it would be to most ordinary 20-something gals. But since my family started Primal Pastures, it’s become a very normal part of life/work for us.
I realize that 99% of people don’t see it that way, which is why we started offering Chicken Processing Workshops – to teach folks how to process a chicken while explaining the “why” behind every step. Although hands-on participation is not mandatory, workshop guests also have the opportunity to process and take home their very own bird.
Processing workshops are by FAR the most powerful and life-changing of all the events we hold at the farm. They’re challenging, emotional, and empowering all at once.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not chicken processing is something you want to learn and experience, I’d encourage you to check out the blog posts below. Each one offers a very real and personal account of what the process is like (physically and emotionally). Although no two experiences are ever the same, these posts will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Clare from Flame to Fork
“My heart was pounding leading up to this next moment. I placed my chicken into the cone and stepped back. Now don’t make fun of me, but I said a little prayer for this little chickie. I didn’t make a scene or say anything out loud, but I quietly took a moment to give thanks and to ask for strength. I just wanted to make sure that I was as thankful as possible for the sacrifice this bird was going to make in order to feed me. And I also wanted strength to be able to complete this task effectively and efficiently on the first try. I wanted to make sure I did it right and was super focused. I know what I am about to say sounds like an oxymoron… but I wanted to do it correctly so I didn’t hurt the bird in the process.”
Kathryn from Vivacious Dish
“I have a whole new reverence for the process of bringing meat to my plate. I also have a lot of unanswered questions and feelings of remorse that will take some time to process fully. Regardless, if any of you meat eaters ever get the chance to be this close to your meat sourcing, I strongly recommend you do it.
It is no longer appropriate for any of us to be uninformed consumers. Our knowledge and our ability to vote with our dollars are the best tools we have to start fixing a food system that is destroying our environment and making so many of us chronically ill.”
My Guest Post on Mark’s Daily Apple
“In the early 1900s, chicken keeping was extremely common. Processing the birds was simply a part of life — and most people not only knew how to do it, but also processed chickens themselves on a regular basis. It was even normal for young children to help out with the chore under mom or grandma’s supervision.
But today, the thought of killing anything has become so taboo that many would rather believe their meat was grown in a plastic package at the grocery store than associate it with a once living, breathing animal.”
What do you think? Could you process a chicken? Have you ever experienced anything like this? Share your thoughts, opinions, and questions in the comment section below! And if you’re ready to give chicken processing a shot, click here to check out our upcoming workshops!