Every individual who keeps laying hens will one day find themselves in a predicament. As birds age, egg production slows and eventually ceases altogether. What should you do with the old birds that are no longer producing? It’s a dilemma every poultry keeper faces! And I want to help you with this problem by showing you how to clean and use old hens in the kitchen!
4 Reasons You Should Learn How to Clean and Use Old Hens
Allow me the opportunity to convince you it’s worth your time and effort? Here are a few good reasons you should learn to make use of your old laying hens!
Old Hens Are A Healthy Meat Source
If putting clean meat on the table is a priority for you and your household, you can’t go wrong with putting your old hens to use.
Yes, the meat is tough and needs to be handled a bit differently, but don’t worry. I show you here on the blog!
They’ll Help You Cut Back On Grocery Costs
If you learn how to clean and use old hens, you’ll be able to cut back on grocery costs. Really! Old hens make a delicious broth, excellent pressure-canned stew meat, ground chicken burger and also schmaltz for frying your food.
Get One Last Return for Your Money
Take a moment to think about how much money you’ve invested into these birds! You purchased them with your hard earned cash. Set up a home. Fed and cared for them over the years. You have one last opportunity to get a return for your money and labor! Why forfeit that chance?
I’m Going to Help You Simplify the Process
Last but not least, you should use your birds because I’m going to help you simplify the process. We’ll start by learning how to skin a chicken.
How to Skin a Chicken
If you’ve ever plucked a chicken, you know how time consuming it can be! In this article, I’m going to teach you to skin a chicken, leaving all that tedious, feather-picking stuff for another day!
Equipment and Setup
To skin a chicken, you’ll need the following tools and equipment.
- a sharp knife
- strong overhead source where you can hang the chickens for skinning
- two pieces of twine or small rope to loop over the chicken’s feet
- a tarp underneath the skinning station to catch feathers and feet
Kill and Hang the Bird
Kill the bird via whatever method suits you: the block, cone, or by piercing. Be sure to let the bird bleed out! Once the job is finished and your bird’s nerves have quieted down, hang it for skinning. This works best while the chicken is still very warm.
Skinning and Cleaning the Chicken
Remove 1 inch of feathers from around the top of each leg. Pinch the exposed skin with your fingertips and pull it away from the flesh. Take your knife and cut a slice in the skin.
Hook your finger in the slice. Using your weight, rip the skin downward. If the hen has been freshly butchered, it should easily peel off.
Here and there, you’ll have to use your knife, particularly on the wings and tail. Because it’s complicated to explain and understand, I’ve put together a quick video that will walk you through the entire skinning process!
Once you’ve successfully skinned your bird, proceed to remove the innards as usual. And I recommend doing it sooner rather than later!
How to Use Old Hens
There are lots of ways you can use your old hens after they’ve been skinned and innards have been removed! You can freeze the birds in whole form after they’ve been gutted, or you can start processing them immediately. Here are some of my favorite ways to make use of old hens! Just click on the link and you’ll get a full tutorial on each subject!
- Make and pressure can chicken broth
- Pressure canning old hens for ready meat
- Debone and grind meat for chicken burgers
- How to prepare and use chicken feet
- Learn how to pressure can chicken giblets
That’s how we clean and use old hens. Give it a try and see if you think its worth your time and energy!
Mackenzie Boersen says
First time starting a flock. This post was helpful. Real and informational.
Glad it could help!
Lisa Thériault says
Such a great resource! Can’t wait to have my own flock! Thanks.
the autumn rose says
Glad you found it helpful and I hope you get your own flock soon!