Today is processing day.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by krcote, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are first time raisers of meaties. We have 50 Freedom Rangers, and we did a test bird last night to see how our setup would work out. Then he went straight onto the grill so we could get a feel for how resting the birds a couple of days will add to the texture and to taste the fruit of our labor. He was AWESOME! By far the best chicken we have ever eaten. I will come back tonight to add pictures!
     
  2. GoChick

    GoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool! I'll be doing the same next Spring, so I'll be following this thread. Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Good luck with the processing. You were wise to give it a trial run. Having an operation with a smooth flow is over half the battle. Glad your grilled bird turned out so well. Makes it all worth it! [​IMG]
     
  4. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very satisfying to have raised, harvested, and stored your own food. The fact that it is superior in quality is your personal reward for a job well done.
     
  5. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At what age are your freedom rangers? Did you find the just-processed meat to be tough? I've read and been told that you should let the meat rest for 48 hours after you process to let the rigor subside. Maybe from process to cook was so quick, rigor never set in. Congrats on the successful processing. I want to get into meat birds but I don't have the setup at home to provide what I think is a proper arrangement for keeping meaties.
     
  6. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The birds were shipped to us on May 18th, so about 11 weeks if I have counted correctly? The just processed meat was tough in a way, but we had expected that because he was not rested. That was part of the reason we wanted to try one right after harvest, so we would know the difference after a resting period. I thought the meat would be dryer maybe? But it was very juicy, and did required some extra chewing. Despite that, it was soooooo delicious. I made a sandwich with the leftovers after we were done processing today with our own lettuce and tomatoes [​IMG] There is NOTHING like eating your home grown food. We only have 3/4 acres total, including the front yard which was not used for "chickening" as we call it. Here is a picture of what we built, before the finished the hatch door. We moved it everyday so they had fresh grass to eat, and less poo to sit on. We live in suburbia, so for the last 2-3 weeks I was on pins and needles when the roosters started their crowing. We did not hear a word from our very close neighbors, we owe them big time!
    [​IMG]
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    A shot of a particularly hot day, enjoying some watermelon rinds.
    [​IMG]
    Here is what they looked like this morning as we got going. These birds were HUGE. I will have to post some wights for you all, I just got so wrapped up in getting the job done I got very few pictures and information.
    [​IMG]
    And a shot of our setup from the wrong side [​IMG], my dad came to help us and got the better pictures. In this shot, you can see how very close we are to an elementary school. We were very lucky that no one on the playing on the jungle-gym came to "investigate".
    [​IMG]
    Once I get some photos from my dad I will add them. Our setup goes to show you, meaties can be done anywhere. In the end, it was a great day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  7. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a great setup. Is that tractor 16' x 8' and did all 50 make it through to harvest? I understand what you mean by enjoying your own home grown food. I grow watermelons, pumpkins, mammoth sunflowers (to roast the seeds), and sweet corn. The in-laws take care of the more common garden items. My concern is the crowing. Fortunately my neighbors enjoy or don't mind that I have chickens but they also never hear them or have to deal with them indirectly. But I'm not beyond bribery using a fresh meatie for payoff. And last question.. are you planning to raise/harvest another batch of the same?

    Ed
     
  8. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The tractor is 10' x 12' x 2'. I think 48 made it to harvest? We lost very few early on. You should be concerned about the crowing, it wasn't something we took into consideration at all. Due to scheduling, we couldn't process them any earlier than we did. When we do it again we will let them go only to 8 weeks or so in order to keep peace with neighbors. I think we will definitely raise Freedom Rangers again. We had temps get up over 95 this summer and they did great. I can't imagine more traditional meatie breeds living through that heat.
     
  9. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great story, Thanks for sharing. Good luck on your next batch.
     
  10. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for sharing, great to see your setup. Glad to hear from someone nearby about the Freedom Rangers. We want meaties next year, but are still not decided how we want to do it (FR's or just increase our DP flock for the summer and harvest the extras).

    Your tractor is great, doesn't look too hard to built.
     

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