processing / parting a chicken


WARNING for blood-sensitive people:
This page shows pictures of butchering an animal. Do not proceed to look at the pictures if that makes you uncomfortable.

This article shows how to part a bird, any bird, from start to finish. Different species may look different on the outside, their bits and pieces may be differently sized or proportioned, but everything is there all the same.

These were 5 adult roosters that someone gifted me for slaughter. They're too tough for rotisserie but they make an excellent stew. See Coq au Vin. Take notice that the meat of these active backyard animals is dark red, nothing like the factory-farm chickens that hardly get any movement at all.

The main concern in processing an animal is to avoid perforating the intestines because the feces will contaminate and poison the meat. I find my method a lot easier and safer than the more commonly used  method of slitting the belly and digging for the internal organs in a whole animal. But then, I don't care about roasting these whole, because they're going to be stewed.

Directions (rooster)

Chicken roosters are longer legged and overall skinnier than the plumper chicken hens.

No white meat like factory-farmed hens. Because backyard roosters are very active animals, their meat is 100% dark red, which makes them good substitutes for wild birds like pheasant or quail.


Pic1: five roosters from the start ...
 Pic2: ... to the middle ...
Pic3: ... to the finish


A. Head and neck skin: for stuffed neck.

Do this only if you want to keep the head and neck skin to stuff it. (Pic3)
If not, cut off the head and cut off the neck close to the body.


B. Neck, feet, wingtips, legs.


C. Wings.


D. Separate the breast from the back.


E. Remove the internal organs.

F. Finishing up.