Anyone can butcher a chicken if they have a sharp knife and a strong nerve. Most of us are several generations removed from anyone who had to butcher meat to survive so it does not come naturally, if it ever did. Chickens headed for the table should not be fed for twelve hours prior to slaughter although they must have access to water. The bird needs to be held upside down over a surface suitable for allowing it to bleed out. A special killing cone can be used. The bird is inserted upside down so its wings cannot flap and its neck is exposed for a swift slash of your very sharp blade. Once the bird has bled out it should be scalded in boiling water to help loosen the feathers for plucking and then stored in a cool place ready for the swift removal of head, feet and total gutting.