Many of you know that we’ve been raising meat birds for the first time. It’s been going very well, but yesterday we had to do a little subtracting.
75-1 = 74 One chicken developed funky feet that kept it from the food. By the time we noticed the problem, the chicken was small and sick. So, we had to say goodbye.
75-2 = 73 Another healthy chicken’s foot broke, so we thought it would be most humane to butcher it now instead of forcing it to limp around for 4 more weeks, fighting a losing battle for food. It was a tough decision, but I’m glad we did it. We figured we could eat it for dinner. Ryan tried his hand at butchering the chicken himself…
The set-up: Ryan cut the top and bottom off of a milk jug and attached it to a tree. You put the bird upside-down in the jug with its head through the funnel. Then you you-know-what the neck.
(You’ve got to notice some things about this picture: the cat, of course, got her front-row seat. And, two Canadian Geese popped their hissing heads up at us. We happened to have picked the tree closest to their nest. The kids and I weren’t sure what to freak out about more: the you-know-what happening to the chicken or the possible-attack of the hissing, goose-necking geese. I had been planning to close my eyes while taking pictures of the you-know-whating, but with the hissing geese thrown into the scene, my eyes were peeled.)
This is what a man looks like when he is saying, “We need to get a sharper knife.”
I did my part and got that big pot of scalding water to 147 degrees. Ryan did the rest. If you must know the details, you can watch the tutorial that Ryan watched moments before.
Only a couple of weeks old, this chicken weighed in at 2 pounds and promised to feed the lot of us. (This is a good sign that our other birds will be 5 or 6 pounds on butchering day.) The next evening, I smothered her with butter and a delicious texan rub, roasted her for 50 minutes and…
It was delicious! Wow. We knew exactly what we were eating: sunflowers, peas, corn, wheat, oat, alfalfa meal, fish meal, flax, water, sun, grass, and bugs. No soy. No drugs.
We have four more weeks until the traveling butcher comes, but I won’t hesitate to send the farmer out for another healthy dinner before then!
Enjoy your home,