Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Home Grown Chicken!

First prize goes to Sarah, for the first correct guess! :-) And she's followed closely by Dad F. and Mom M.

Yes, yes! Monday morning was butchering day. And might I add here that this post DOES contain some butchering day pictures, so if that would be disturbing to you, you may want to skip this one. However, none of them are terribly graphic! :-)

A couple days earlier I snapped some pictures of our little farm girl and her flock. The white birds are the meat chickens. The red ones are the layers. Unfortunately, these were also the final pictures of our turkey (he's the tan and white one). He was missing Tuesday morning.

And then butchering day arrived. Our chickens were about 7 or 8 weeks old. We started small and only had 4 of the meat chickens (a 5th one had already fallen prey to some critter).

Some very good friends of ours willingly came to show us the ropes. Different members of the family are pros at various parts of the process, and they demonstrated their expertise and gave us lots of great instruction. Thanks again you all!!! You were super teachers!

We also had a neighbor as well as a co-worker of Stephen's who both wanted to come observe, so we had quite the crew out there!

Stephen... trying his hand at gutting. He did a great job!!! He's gonna be a pro in no time!

Plucking and head and feet removal:

Clara had such a blast with her friends!

We weren't sure if we should let her watch the proceedings, but in the end she did, and seemed very calm and undisturbed.

Our precious little farm girl!

My involvement in the slaughter process was "observation"... and then cooking the first bird the next evening!

It was fun to eat our first "home grown" bird. We found the meat moist and with quite good flavor, but unfortunately, it was also rather stringy and chewy. We think that may be from letting them run around and be too active. If we have another batch in the future, which is quite likely, we will probably try to keep them contained. Any of you chicken experts out there, feel free to give us more advice!

And our little chicken fan consumed great quantities of it!

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