Monday, July 13, 2009

Chicken Time

Another busy day today, with chicken butchering on the agenda. We managed to take care of 75 so far, and hopefully we'll be able to do more later this week.

This is the Director of the North Dakota Home School Association's side job! And he does a good job of it at that!
I didn't take a photo of Jonathan doing his main job, which was doing in the chickens. This was the first time the deed was done in full view of my kitchen window, but I was too busy to think much about it.
These chickens are the result of Jonathan's diligent work in raising these broilers from chicks. It has taken 10 weeks.

Peter, doing the eviscerating, which is a fancy term for gutting a chicken. Notice how close Samson is laying to the box of scraps. He was very good about not helping himself.

David got the job of using the chicken plucker. We borrowed this one from a neighbor, but hope some day to make our own Whizbang Chicken Plucker.

We used to use the bottom of an old pressure canner to scald chickens, but this batch was too big for the pot. So, Jim cleaned out and heated water in a metal garbage can. Andrew did a very good job of dipping the chicken until they were ready to be plucked.
We had some trouble getting broiler bags ... Apparently some companies don't like dealing with checks instead of credit cards, and when Jonathan finally called them to see what was happening, they were just sitting on the check. It was a good thing he did give them a call, as the person on the line said they would begin processing our order. They have yet to arrive.
So, I volunteered my bread bags that I purchased through my friend Marci of Down on the Farm blog fame. She has a wonderful online store, and I was able to call her to see if she had more bags for us. She did, and they will soon be on their way. What a blessing. Marci told me these bags are what she uses to freeze her chickens.
When Jonathan produced his brochure in preparation for selling these chickens he stated they would probably weigh in between four to five pounds. However, partly due to waiting for the bags to arrive the chickens had a tremendous growth spurt and actually the dressed weight was more between six to a little over eight pounds! I am thrilled with that, since our family needs something like an eight pounder to feed my growing boys. Hopefully others will be thrilled with it as well.

We cooked one of our eight pounders tonight. I love my enamel covered cast iron baking pan; it helps to make things delicious. The only problem is getting the pan out of the oven!


Marci said...

Ya'll are doing a good job!!!! They look wonderful. I like the bigger chickens too!!!

Anonymous said...

We had to leave ours to 12 weeks last year and ended up with birds well over 10lbs - just try finding bags to fit those monsters!