Usually we have some late hatch cockerels that are too small to butcher in fall. So we watch them and the weather and when everything comes together it is “chicken population reduction day.” We also take out some older hens so there are enough birds to make the preparation and process worth it.
Just before I left to visit my parents we butchered 20 chickens. Here is a photo of the final step of the process: pressure canning soup stock and jarring up some chicken fat. We use chicken fat to saute vegetables and as the oil in baked goods. Lard makes great pie crust and chicken fat makes great cakes. We will use the soup stock for soups all season long.