Animals, Food, harvest

Butchering the meat chickens- 2 days & counting

Just 2 days until we butcher the meat chickens. And what more appropriate timing that the day after Thanksgiving? Fresh chicken meat is something to be thankful for.

Fresh Meat

I’ll admit, I didn’t think I was cut out (get it…cut out) for this when we did processed the first bunch last spring. But really, it’s not that bad (personal opinion). It’s not for everyone, you know- killing an animal. And depending on your lifestyle, you may not have time to raise (or help raise) meat for consumption or the time to process them. It really is a personal preference. And personally, I’d rather do it myself than purchase it from the grocery store.

My opinion is that unless we are all going to be vegetarians in my family (no judgement to you if you are, but it doesn’t meet my families nutritional needs), we are going to eat meat at some point. We probably eat meat several times a week. I’d like to know where the meat I am eating came from (besides the grocery store), how it lived it’s short life, if it was medicated, and the conditions the meat was kept in before it got to me. These are important things to me.

Chickens are going to be killed for human consumption because people will continue to buy them. I don’t want to support the CAFO industry with my hard earned dollars. I like to vote with my dollar, even it that means a little hard work on my part.

It’s not about doing it the best, it’s about baby steps & trying the best you can with the information you have.

Like I said in previous posts about this, we didn’t go the au natural, non-gmo, organic route this time. We weren’t well researched into the matter when we purchased the chicks, and decided that it’d still be better to raise them humanely & without medications/vaccinations than to buy CAFO meat from the grocery store. It’s really hard to get affordable, non-gmo, organic chicken in our area. Maybe this winter I can spend more time researching how to make our own feed mixture & chicken-tractor to let the chickens be in a more natural environment.

The totals so far….

So to date, 5 birds have died- bringing the total from 50 down to 45. And because there are a few that are smaller than the rest, those few may get another week to put some weight on. Between the birds themselves & feed, the total cost per live bird is currently about $5.25. They should weigh between 3-5 lbs each before they are plucked & processed. That’s not much difference in the price of a whole chicken at the grocery store (although I haven’t checked prices in the last 6 months or so). We will be saving all the edible chicken parts, like the hearts, livers, misc. boney parts and even the feet & heads for broth making like our great grandparents did. Waste not, want not.

In the meantime, my hubby & his grandpa will be gathering up all the supplies & making sure everything is in working order to get the job done this Friday.

Like sharp knives, cones, buckets, the homemade chicken plucker, buying more food saver bags, disinfectant, paper towels, and the boiling water pot.

Killing cones


Chicken Plucker

Happy Thanksgiving!






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