We have now successfully harvested half of our chickens. It's taken our trial run plus two harvesting sessions. We are getting more efficient but we are liking it less each time. Killing chickens is messy business. I suppose the killing isn't really the messy part. The feathers and the insides are the messy parts. We find ourselves wishing for chickens with zippers.
We are extremely thankful for the chicken plucker. I'm not sure how we'd manage without it. It cuts the processing time and effort down considerably. However, each time we use it I feel bad for the chicken, even though it's dead and doesn't feel a thing. There's just something about the sound of the rubber "fingers" slapping against the chicken and seeing the feathers fly that seems disrespectful to the bird.
I even learned to process the chicken myself. I never cut up a chicken before. Until the farm, I only bought frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Yesterday, I divided three of the birds into their parts. Breasts, thighs, legs and wings neatly placed in a pan. For someone that hates touching raw meat, this is huge. Bravery is something I can add as a useful tool for farming.
After this experience of harvesting chickens, I think it's safe to say that we will not be full-time chicken farmers.