Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baaaak Bak Bak Bak Baaaaak

Monday, 01 November 2010

  • Baaaak Bak Bak Bak Baaaaak

    88 chickens - raised from peeps to full grown to freezer (had started out with 100, but some died).   All sounds (and looks, as you will see) so inhumane, but these broad breasted broilers were bred to be eaten (try saying that tongue twister 3 times real fast!).  We order them from Moyer's Chicks and they arrive through the mail when they are 2 days old.  We keep them under a brooder till they are a few weeks old, then they get moved to the range hut out in the pasture.  Each morning and evening, we move the hut onto fresh grass, and give water and feed.  That process continues till the birds are 6-8 weeks.  Our aim is to have the birds grow to be roaster birds, which takes a little longer, but this year with the cold weather coming and feed prices rising, we decided they need to be done sooner.
     butchering chickens 001
    Friday night, we took the cattle trailer back and loaded all the birds so that it would not have to be done early next morning.  We set up the butchering equipment in front of the barn.
    butchering chickens 006
    Chickens are put head first into killing cones.  The executors were Gordon and Ben.  While still in cones, they removed the legs (the bottom part).
    butchering chickens 007
    From cones, they are put into the scalder, which has water the temperature of 155 degrees.  The rack rotates them around in the water 6 times.  Dave likes to put Shaklee's Basic H in the water.  It seems to aid in the feather removal.  The job of turning it on & off was Uriah's.
    butchering chickens 009
    From the scalder, they were put into the plucker, which is a tub that spins VERY fast and has rubber fingers on the inside.  The birds literally tumble around for 45 seconds, while a mist of water is sprayed into the tub. The birds come out feather free with all skin intact.  This was Georgie's job.
    butchering chickens 025
    Dave put the birds on the cutting table, removed the tail gland, slit the neck skin, and cut the backside open in preparation for gutting.  He also would pick any feather that happened to be left on bird from plucker, which was very few.
    butchering chickens 012
    Kelsey & I removed the innards, windpipe and the gullet, which is on the outside at it's neck.
    butchering chickens 015
    Go ahead - just reach your hand in there and pull that stuff out!
    butchering chickens 010
    butchering chickens 014
    I know - it is really gross!  Out of this lump of insides, you can eat the heart, liver, and gizzards.  My grandma would have a fit if we even thought of throwing those away!  From the cutting table, the chickens were put into a wash tub, rinsed off and put...
    butchering chickens 026
    on the drying racks.  Oliver helped with this and wherever else he was needed.
    butchering chickens 027
    Once dried off somewhat, we put them onto a table where we prepared them to be bagged.  Notice the color of the skin.  They are not pasty white, but range fed chickens have rich yellow fat that makes delicious broth and is actually not bad for you.
    butchering chickens 028
    Those legs sticking up just don't fit into a bag, or a roaster, very nice, so we tuck them in.  We make a slice in the skin and tuck the legs in.
    butchering chickens 029
    The wings get tucked in under breast and they look perfect......
    butchering chickens 030
    inside a roasting pan!!!!    Best chicken you will EVER eat!!
    butchering chickens
    Oakley's first butchering experience.  She wasn't so impressed.
    butchering chickens 018
    All this took us about 3 1/2 hours, including clean up.  We had a great time together and no more moving the chickens twice a day.  Now we are getting ready to butcher beef...
    Until next time.........

No comments: