Smallholding Courses

Chickens for the Table:  Dispatch, Plucking and Dressing

Come and learn the essential skills required to prepare your chickens for the table.

You will prepare a free range meat chicken from start to finish (with as much assistance as needed)  These birds have been reared free range here on our smallholding.

This course will be run for small groups (maximum 6 participants) to ensure that you have plenty of supervision.

We will teach you how to humanely dispatch a chicken, looking at different methods available, and how to ensure welfare is maintained throughout (mechanical neck dislocation and electrical stunning will be demonstrated)

If you are comfortable with the process, you can then carry out this stage yourself.  

You will then dry pluck your chicken, and look at the options for hanging to mature the meat.

Lunch is included - we will treat you to a delicious homecooked lunch, featuring produce from our smallholding.  There will be an opportunity to have a wander around the rest of our smallholding too.

After lunch, we will cover the dressing stage - again, each participant will be individually supervised to ensure success.

You will take home with you a lovely, free range chicken ready for the oven - all prepared by you!

This promises to be an enjoyable day out in a small, friendly group atmosphere.

Cost: £95

Booking form here.

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Your Instructors:


Jonathan and Catriona Benson run Argae Cottage Turkeys - selling award winning free range Christmas Turkeys from their farm in the Welsh borders.

We are both veterinary surgeons, running the farm alongside our work at our veterinary practice.  Our focus is on animal health and welfare.

Each year, we prepare over 100 turkeys, as well as free range meat chickens, carrying out every part of the process ourselves on the farm.

Jonathan holds a WATOK license (a legal requirement for anyone preparing poultry for sale), and we have a 5 star food hygiene rating.  We can talk you through the requirements for those, if you are considering selling your poultry.

We'd love to guide you through the process of preparing poultry for the table, ensuring that you leave with the confidence to carry this out on your own smallholding.