Showing posts with label Poultry Processing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poultry Processing. Show all posts

Monday, March 3, 2014

Relaxing Weekend

I made some progress this weekend, even though the weather is still not quite cooperating.  I sorted eggs and loaded the incubator with 41 of them, due to hatch March 23 (give or take a day).  And because I had so many eggs laying around (no pun there) I decided to make a lovely frittata sort of thing for my breakfast.  And that turned out to be a very good decision.



Then, I had to butcher a young rooster, who was approaching his 6 month birthday.

I also made some soup for my work lunches for the week.  How productive is that? 

I hope you all have a lovely week, ~A

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February, Good-bye Ethel...

A lovely, quiet weekend on the farm made for a great beginning to February. Saturday was a day for butchering two of the Turken (aka "Naked Neck") hens that had approached the ripe old age of two years.  But really I was in a hurry to butcher them, because they are constantly eating everyone else's eggs, and because they are just plain mean to the other chickens.  Roosters included.

So the deed was done, and on Sunday I made a nice dinner of roasted chicken with a side of au gratin potato. The butchering chore was preceded that morning by a breakfast of French toast sprinkled with summer blackberries pulled from the freezer.  I even tossed a chunk of butter on top.

Mmmmm.... French Toast

The potatoes were easy; one potato-sliced thin, grated parmesan and heavy cream...

The dogs needed to get out and run, so I took a nice walk late afternoon to check fence lines and have a look around. The creek back in the woods was frozen, but I could still hear the little waterfall underneath the ice and snow. The dogs very much enjoyed the walk and slept well in the warm kitchen the rest of the day. Although, they seem to be confused as to which bed is in tended for which dog.

Louie on the hunt...

Checking the Fence

There's a waterfall under there somewhere...

Later in the evening when it was time to bring the horses in for the night and feed everyone else, I ended up needing Louie's assistance to help catch the turkey hen that escaped her pen.  She's done this three times now, so last night I clipped her wings. Hopefully this will put an end to that.  Her name is now "Lady Houdini..."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teaching a city kid where chicken dinner comes from.

Here I am cleaning them up while Brother and Grandma look on...
Some believe that eating meat without regard to where it came from, how it was cared for, or how it came to our plate, or that even eating too much meat, can cause physical and spiritual damage to an individual.

Some also believe that meat is “made” in the store, and always comes from plastic or cardboard packaging.

As a child, I was not ignorant to where meat came from because I lived on a farm.  We raised two beef cows that I can remember were so small when we brought them home, my father could carry them in his arms.  We fed them bottles of bovine formula and crinkled our noses as they slobbered all over us during the process.  Cow slobber is gross.

When it came time to butcher them, I remember being directed into the house as the butcher showed up to shoot them.  We were spared viewing the shooting, slicing and dicing, but I do recall how fascinated I was when the meat came home all nicely packaged in butcher’s paper.  It was hard to believe these little white packages contained the two cows (though mean little bulls they’d become) that were just out in the pasture not long before.  I had no reservations eating the meat.  And I wasn’t sad to see the cows go.  I understood what their purpose on the farm was.

Also, when I was a young kid, I was taught to catch and fillet fish.  So I knew that fish did not start off in the form of a perfect fried square on a McDonald’s bun with tartar sauce, or finger-food friendly “sticks” in a box in the frozen food section.  Real fish started off with gills, guts, bones, scales and fins.  And slime. Slime is gross.

This past Saturday, I had family visiting the farm.  And I had some chickens to butcher.  After some discussion between the grown-ups, and then finally with my five year old niece, we decided to let her take part in (whatever way she chose) the butchering process.  We all thought it would be good a good experience for the “city kid” to see first-hand how a chicken makes its way to her dinner plate, start to finish. 

My chickens are free range, and my niece gets the opportunity to hold the little chicks, and observe how the older ones make their way around the farm eating bugs, laying eggs, and roosting at night.  She loves to collect the eggs.  She sees what a happy, good life the chickens live, so I was curious to see how she would react to their lives ending. 

She chose to help select the three chickens we corralled into the trailer to wait for processing time.
A determined little girl choosing the first chicken to process

My husband decided on the “break the neck” killing method that day, and once the first chicken was dispatched and hung up to bleed with its head severed off, my niece was okay with it all. I believe it was the first time she had ever seen an animal die.  We had to explain carefully why the chickens continued to move even without heads attached.  Whether she had nightmares about any of it that evening I have not heard, but somehow I think she was fine. 

Proudly, my little niece went home that day with her chicken that she helped butcher, a lot more knowledge about where meat comes from, and one hell of a story to tell her kindergarten classmates.

Standing beside her beheaded chickens, with one left to go!

Google +1