Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
I'd talk to local lockers about leftovers. I live on 5 acres, zoned AG 2. I keep chickens besides the horses, and I butcher my flock every year and replace them with new layers. Chickens are not long lived.
I hang the bird, slit the jugular and let the bird bleed out. I work very hard to make their deaths quick, like moving the head to encourage the blood flow. Then I skin the bird, cut off the heads and legs--they go to my two dogs--then I take them inside to the kitchen to disembowel. I throw away the intestines and gall bladder, and any extra fat, but my dogs and cats get the organs, except for the liver, and I keep the necks for cooking.
I would get on backyardchickens.com for help. It has over 200,000 members now and many who keep meat birds for processing also keep other livestock for meat and processing. I am sure that they could give you some good advice. I learned to butcher from people on that site.
Btw, I would just use an axe on their necks but I value my left thumb too much. =b