It has been many years since we butchered chickens. If memory serves, the last time was in about 1991 when my Mom raised a batch of cornish cross.
The whole family was involved: My Dad did the beheading and dunking; my cousins girl-friend, my Mom and I plucked until we got quite a few done and then Mom went into the house to clean and package; my just-a-friend-at-the-time-future-husband and my cousin eviscerated and carried them into the house for the final cleaning and packaging.
We had quite a few, I think 50!, and they were HUGE... my Mom had let them go a bit too long and they had over-grown, bending their leg bones and producing an enormous chicken, enough to feed a family of 6 adults. But they were still yummy, tender and juicy and home-grown!
So, 21 years later, here I am, gathering up supplies to put my personal families first home-grown chicken into the freezer. We used the bar-b-quers' side burner to heat water in my giant water-bath canner, set up our camping table, gathered knives, bowls, clean water, a garbage sack and set to work.
Because the children had grown fond of one of the meat chickens in particular, whom they called "Baldie", my husband and I did him first while the kids were still in the house. It was a little harder than I thought, maybe because I too had grown a little too fond of Baldie, but once that first action was done, the rest were considerably easier.
We found that putting the chicken into a cardboard box after the be-heading kept it from flopping around and bruising the meat, as well as from getting blood everywhere. My husband dunked and the kids and I plucked... and plucked... and plucked! The white cornish rock chickens were easy to pluck and even after the initial plucking looked pretty clean and neat. The black broiler chickens, however, were not as easy to pluck and the carcass looked dirty because of the black pigment left by the feathers.
Once we had the birds plucked, my husband eviscerated them and removed their feet. Then it was into a bowl, and into the house in sink full of cold water. When we had all the chickens done, I went it and did the not-so-fun task of plucking out all the pin-feathers. A final wash and the chickens were packaged and in the freezer! (some people recommend letting them rest in the fridge for a day or two, however, we do not personally feel this is necessary because of the size of the animal being processed - for a larger animal like a deer or cow, letting the meat hang or "cure" does affect the flavor and tenderness of the meat).
We processed 5 cornish rocks and 4 black broilers... one of the black broiler roosters we decided to keep to see if he would be affective at producing our own meat chickens - lucky chicken! :) The kids named him "Copper" because of the lovely markings he has.