Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Harvesting chickens

Remember our first hatch? We finally got around to harvesting the two big hens, leaving the two bantams to fill out our bantam flock.

If you have never raised your own meat, you don't know what you are missing. Sure, it's messy and a little gross. But you know how it was raised and processed. You know the animal was healthy. And you know it wasn't rolled around in sewage before it was popped onto the store shelf. (Ew!)

We did all of the processing ourselves. I'm kind of glad the first hatch was small, since we really didn't know what we were doing. But, after the first chicken, the second was easy. Well, other than me dodging the headless chicken. That was hysterical.

Anyway, after the processing, we put the chicken in the freezer. Then last weekend I made time to cook a decent meal. We had fried chicken (our own!), green beans, mashed potatoes, made from scratch biscuits, and blackberry cobbler. The beans, potatoes, blackberries and chicken were all raised here. It was all amazing. There's nothing like raising your own food.

Our next harvest will be 14 chickens, then another 25 after that. These aren't broilers, so they look kind of small when we butcher them, but there's a surprising amount of meat on these scrawny looking birds.

I am considering ordering 25 broilers, just to compare. But that, most likely, will have to wait till next spring.

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