Monday, September 12, 2011

Butchering time!

 I had a meeting one Saturday and this is what I came home to.  We were so busy this spring and Quest was coming up and we needed to get our chickens done.  So Sean called his dad and asked him to come and show him how to do it and he just started.  I had no idea he was going to do it that day.
 This is the set up.  When butchering chickens you have to have boiling water to dip them in to pull out the feathers.  Sean had seen on the Internet that some people skin them with the feathers on so they tried that first. It wasn't very fast so they went the old fashioned route.
 If you click on the pictures you can see it is covered in flies.  They thought it was yummy.  Sean said it wasn't too bad to do.  My dad thought it was disgusting.  He could smell that smell for weeks and weeks afterwards.  I bet just reading this will bring back the smell!  I was lucky to have been gone.  I just came home to several coolers full of chickens I had to cut up.  Sean tried to have London come out and help but I guess she just started crying so he let her off.  Some farm girl she is.  Next year we will all have to pitch in.
 I guess Grandpa White was the supervisor!
 My Mother in Law came up and showed me how to cut up a chicken into all the parts and really helped me out.  It was so nice of them.  I am so grateful for this experience of learning how to produce your own meat.  I know it is gross but it is important to know.  We learned a lot raising chickens and will do it again next year with fewer mistakes!
 The chickens were HUGE!  We should have butchered them several weeks before.  It only takes 8 weeks until they are big.  They grow so fast.  These guys were 12 weeks.  Sean only butchered 15 that day.  These pictures are only half of the meat. The next batch were like 14 weeks and they were even bigger.  I couldn't believe how much meat we got out of just a few chickens.  The breasts themselves are 3x bigger than any one I have had in the store.  They really are like a small turkey.  I had 50 to start with and ended up with about 44 chickens.  There is way more than we need.  We will get about 30 next year.
After Quest, we needed to finish the rest of the chickens before we left to go quadding.  Sean got a line on some people from Thailand that would come and help with the butchering.  He picked up 3 ladies and a man to come and it was so funny.  When he asked them if they had ever done this before they said teach!  So teach he did.  They did great, were really fast and very inexpensive.  The other part of the payment they wanted was all the feet and organs.....darn and I wanted Chicken foot soup with lungs!
This is blood on Sean's legs!  I ended up throwing his clothes away. They were too gross to wash!  Oh, the life of a farm wife!  Can you believe I am doing all this.  I was such a city slicker.  I freaked out at a mouse, now I'm raising chickens and cutting them up!


Anonymous said...

I could never do that. Tom did it all. The smell of dead chickens is horrible and especially dipping them in hot water to take off the feathers. One of Deans old girlfriends was city raised and had never seen anything like that before. At first she was repelled but she soon got into it. When it came to cooking chicken for dinner she would ask us.Was that chicken ,chicken or chicken? lol Chicken , chicken was the ones Tom killed and chicken for the chicken bought at the store. lol Tom used to skin them after years of hot water dipping because the skin and fat is no good for you anyways.

Jocelyn said...

I am still laughing at the part where you said "My dad thought it was disgusting" I have never smelt it but I am sure he was right.

Good for you! I think it's important to know. Now you have a great source of protein and a freezer full of chicken! And you know how to do it. I would have no clue.

All good things said...

Ahh! The annual butcher fest. Don't miss that at all. And I agree, the smell is enough to make one barf! Better your men folk than me!

Glad you survived the chicken raising experience!

Lisa C said...

way to go! I'm so impressed.

Kathy T. said...

Oh yuk, I'd so be out of there! You are a full fledged country woman now! Good for you!

Stacey said...

I'm with you and London, bring on some tears or be in out of town. ;) You're right though, even though it's gross, it's a really good skill to have...or for Lane to have. haha I bet those chickens taste delicious compared to store bought! You need to make a meal out of some of the chicken and post about it's deliciousness.