The processing experience

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by FaereChicken, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    N. Central Maryland
    It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, on a lot of levels. (of course, there's always the after-shock. I'm feeling a bit trembly after doing the preliminary butchering - Sweetie's finishing up making parts)

    First we assembled our gear: table in yard on sawhorses, pot of scalding water on camp stove, rubber gloves, rope and stepladder to hang from. We declared the space sacred, and offered up prayers to the spirit of the roo, the god of the hunt, and the land.

    We walked out to the coop armed with towels, to throw over the "big mean roo". I stepped into the coop, and I'd forgotten that everyone gets real submissive when you're chasing them around the pen. I caught a leg, then both legs, and had him hanging upside down, at which point he stopped struggling. (I almost backed out at that point, remembering I'd read that if you dangle them upside down regularly, it keeps them from jumping you) But we went ahead with it, and walked him over to the tarp, and Sweetie slit his throat over a basin, and we tied him up to bleed out. He flapped a bit, and we tied his wings up with the end of the hanging rope. In five minutes his life was done, and I untied the rope and started dunking.

    Scalding worked as advertised, and went very quickly, except for the big wing feathers and tail feathers, which took some muscle to remove. We saved some into a tub, and very quickly he looked like a roasting fowl. But bigger, very small breast, very big legs-typical for Speckled Sussex

    I took him inside for the butchering, and followed the very excellent instructions to be found at . Mostly it went as suggested, except rigor set in pretty quickly, and made it hard to work. I didn't mess up too much - the intestines, gall bladder and oil vent came out clean. Rinse, and turn over to the cook. The parts will rest in the fridge for several days, for tenderness, we hope. I could really tell the difference between this bird, and store bought ones I've cut.

    Now I'm drinking tea, remembering how pretty he was, and contemplating the infinite. More as warranted.
  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I think it is always normal to not enjoy the job but we know it is necessary.
  3. ssledoux

    ssledoux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2007
    I've never raised meat chickens and am just getting mine this week. I just keep telling myself how much better it is than the alternative (for us AND them). If we're going to consume meat, and I believe that God did put animals here for us to eat, then they have to die at some point.

    Is it more humane for us to give them a nice life and quick, as painless as possible death, or for them to live a miserable existence in some factory farm cage until a brutal, fear-filled experience? That question doesn't even really require a response.

    I don't know if I'm trying to make you feel confident in what you've done or psych myself up for what's coming for me. Either way, it's the truth!!

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