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Smallholding Courses Wales

Chickens for the Table

Dispatch, Plucking & 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)

Plenty of discussion and demonstration will take place, to ensure you are confident with what you are about to do.

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 look 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!

A note on watok training and requirments

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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.

watok training

Looking for WATOK training?

If you are considering setting up a business to sell oven ready poultry, you will need a watok license. 

(Watok = Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing.  Click here to visit the relevant page on

We cannot issue you with a watok license, but we can help you take the first step towards obtaining one.  The electrical stunning taught on this course is one of the acceptable methods under the watok legislation.  We can talk you through the process of applying for your watok licence.

Booking Information:



Introduction to Smallholding:    £145

Sheep  (Health & Husbandry)     £145

Sheep  (Breeding & Lambing)     £145

Cattle for Beginners                     £145

Chickens for the Table                 £145

  (includes free range, oven ready chicken to take home)

Your Own Christmas Turkey     £160

  (includes 4kg free range, oven ready turkey to take home)

Pigs to Pork                                         £130

 10% off for two people attending together

Dates:  Courses run from May to October. 

Current dates for each course are shown on the main booking page

Times: Courses run from10am to 5pm     

(Pigs to Pork:  10am - 4pm)

Food:  Lunch is included.  Let us treat you to a delicious, hot meal,  featuring our own free range meat and homegrown vegetables.  Home baking and plenty of tea & coffee are provided during the day.

Ages:  Minimum age 16

Gift Vouchers can be purchased here.  

Course Info:  We will send you a confirmation email after booking.  2 weeks before your course, you will then receive a reminder, containing all the info you will need in advance of the day.  Feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions!

How to Find us:

Argae Cottage is situated on the banks of the River Severn in Wales, just over the Powys/Shropshire border.  

Argae Cottage




SY22 6SQ

Satnav is usually reliable here!

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