It was amazing to see how fast these animals grew. They went from hatchling to fully mature and ready for butcher in 8 short weeks. I used a old hog feeder we had and an automatic dog watering dish to keep them with feed and water at all time. Sometimes it seemed like you could almost see them get bigger from day to day. I only had one die so I did pretty good.
When the time came to butcher the chickens we set up our stations for processing them right outside the barn where they were living. Paul was in charge of the first step which is the head removal. He had a board with 2 nails on it to hold the head in place and use a sharp knife to quickly remove it. The chicken feels no pain and the body is placed neck down into a tile to allow the blood to drain our. The wings do flap around for a few seconds after the head is removed but they don't run around the yard like you hear in the stories.
After they have drained for a while Paul then dunked them in hot water, about 140 degrees, until the feather pulled out easily. It was a little tricky keeping the water just the right temp to loosen the feather but not scald the skin. Next they were placed into the chicken plucker.