Just like a real one! We put the birds in the fridge overnight, as I was too tired to cut them all up so I did that yesterday. Cutting up a whole chicken was also a learning process for me, but once again, after the first one, it got easier and I had it pretty well sorted for the last 3. These are the cuts out of 1 chicken.
The breasts, drumsticks, wings and thighs. See how dark the thigh meat is....much darker than factory farmed birds. The drumsticks are about the size of the turkey drumsticks you buy at the supermarket, and the wings put those tiny little wings at the supermarket to shame. Out of 5 birds we ended up with 7.1kgs of meat pieces, plus 5 frames, weighing about 4 kilos all up, for stock and soups etc. I cut all the chickens up in to pieces, I didn't keep any for roasting, as I think I need to really flavour the chickens in curries and casseroles etc., so I can get over my initial "iffiness" of eating our own chickens. Once I have got in to using our own, then I don't think it will be an issue to roast a whole bird, especially as we will probably get just one breed for our meat chickens, and they won't be individual breeds like these ones were. I don't think this is something I could have done five years ago, but after losing so many chickens over the years to dogs and foxes and illness etc, I think you tend to harden up a bit. The major loss last year of 40 birds really toughened me up and I made a point of not getting so attached to my birds. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to buy chickens from the supermarkets and have only be buying "organic, freerange" birds, but I still don't believe these birds live a particularly great life, and I know that our own birds are truly free range. If we are going to eat chicken, then at least this is the more ethical way of doing it. We are looking at either Australorps or Plymouth Rocks as being our main breed, and these are a dual purpose bird, good laying, mothering abilities,and meat. So, we now have true farm grown, grass fed beef in our freezer from our friends, and our own chickens...that's gotta be a good thing.