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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Butchering Day

This is not a how-to on butchering, friends, but I have a few bloodless pictures to include.

cooling carcasses
Yesterday was a long day of processing 53 chickens (including a mean year-old rooster).  I didn't help with the actual butchering as I probably would have vomited all over the chickens in my pregnant state, but I was support staff.  I brought ice, cleavers, bird scissors, more ice, etc., to James and the friends assisting us.  I supervised kids and prepared lunch.
the mean old rooster
We discovered, after the fact, that only James removed the crop from his chickens, so I will be doing crop removal surgery before cooking any of our chickens.  Sigh.

We will probably only raise chickens in smaller batches, as 50+ was simply too many at once.  We also figured we have about an 11% mortality rate as we raised them! which is less than half what we were expecting from reading about raising Cornish X.  Our average weight was 5.4 lbs, which was a little lower than I was hoping, but pretty good according to everyone I told.  What do I really know, anyway?

Chicken pluckers are awesome.  We need at least two pots of hot water going, one for plucking and one for shrink wrapping the chickens.  Our friend Myle is an eviscerating machine.

I did help with cleanup after everyone else had gone home, and I think James and I did a pretty fine job gathering trash, disinfecting tables and so on, and returning the area under the trees into a less bloody, less muddy place.
the kids declined any interest in butchering
The coyotes were active last night, no doubt picking up the scent of blood wafting from a specific corner of our property.

Turkeys... spared until the fall
I'm still wiped out from being on my feet so much yesterday, so this slightly disjointed post is all you're getting for now.  Enjoy!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

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