Monday, September 24, 2012

:: Experience Under the Belt- Processing Chickens::

Saturday:  Our first time to pluck a chicken Or The Whiz Banger First Attempt

Sunday: Experience Under the Belt   Or  The Deed is Done's done. We got up and got our tables set up, got the water ready...Lots of rinsing. Rinse the bird after you kill it. 
Skin it. 
Clean it. 
Rinse it. 
Put it in the Apple Cider Vinegar and Water Ice bath
Rinse it. 
Wrap it. 


My daughter came over and took these pictures.   Not sure what happened to my previous photo...  


Notice at NO. Time. did I say: " PLUCK IT" in my list above. 

Here is what happened... Our Whiz Bang chicken plucker... or shall I say our version of it WORKED. But not like what we expected. We need to make some modifications and adjustments.  
This weekend being our target 'gitter done'-- I was not going to be deterred. 

So after Saturday's experience; I decided I better get a plan 'B' in place.(back to the internet) We got up and The Honey dinked around with the machine. It didn't happen for us.  So glad I had a plan "B" in place. 

There have been lots of good videos done already on YOUTUBE I'm sparing myself the effort of up loading any of ours. 
This one below is a pretty good video. There is some wind; so the sound quality isn't that great. But I found it very helpful in the gutting process. 

If you're interested in watching it.... here it is. Thanks to the Custer Family Farm for this great video. 

And here is my first batch of NUGGETS! 

Now... I must say ... Just because our Chicken Plucker  didn't work how we expected it to. I am NOT going to label this event a total FAIL. NO.  

This is what I decided today as I skinned each of these chickens and cleaned them. If we are to be living a sustainable life style; then it was definitely good for us to clean these chickens WITHOUT the chicken plucker. Without an electrical machine. We did it the old fashioned way. It wasn't pretty. It never was meant to be. We did this together The Honey and I.  I caught them and strung them up. He cut their necks and removed the feet and heads. 
I did the skinning and gutting and rinsing; while he prepped for the next bird. 
It took us 7 hours to do 9 birds...that was with a 1 hour break and we each took a respective sit-down while the other did their job.I don't think it could have gone much quicker really with just the two of us.   
I actually cleaned one bird in 16 minutes total!!!  

Eventually, my daughter showed up and she took some photos and video...but she is a little on the squeamish side; and still very proud of her Momma and Daddy.  

I'll review some of the details later of the costs of raising meat chickens and talk about some of the benefits and some of the aggravations later on...right now, I'm SUPER TIRED. I'm off to bed! 

I'm linking this to the Homestead Barn Hop


Kristina said...

Thanks for sharing. We raise our own meat chickens and do know the benefits. When commercial meats are processed, they inject it with sodium and of course are fed an unhealthy diet etc. When you process yourself, you bypass the junk that most add to the meats. I hope to double our amount next year.

The Boston Lady said...

Okay, I admit it. I could not watch the video, but bravo to you and your husband for learning and doing this. I imagine the more you do, the quicker it goes just as anything is. Sorry the plucker didn't work as well as you hoped, but nothing is a fail when you are willing to try and learn from it. Wow! Love my pumpkins!! Ann

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

I'm on my feet clapping! I applaud you and your determination to take on the challenge and then to have the tenacity to persevere! Wow, what a long day, but it does sound like you made good time. What a team you two are! Can't wait to hear more and go check the other links for any parts of the story I might not have read yet. Bravo! Amazing!

Lynn Wood said...

Can I just say I am majorly impressed! This is some major league stuff you have taken on. I remember hearing stories about my great-grandmother (a widow) who could kill and pluck a chicken by herself, no problem. It's something many of us just take for granted. Bravo to you!!


Anonymous said...

I still remember processing chickens in Poultry class in college as an Animal Sciences major. No machines, plucked by hand. Some sort of hot water cold water bath and then pluck.
I was thankful that they pass out when you hold them upside down. Made the slaughter part so much easier.
Ok, I'll stop now. I do enjoy your blog, though!

Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm said...

Good for you, it is work to pluck. The last time we butchered our chickens my husband skinned them,seeing how I was going to skin them anyway before cooking. I can't wait to see whats up next.

Lisa said...

You did a beautiful job! and yes! you did it the "old fashioned" way! now you have even more skills as a homesteader! I love it that you decided to skin them instead of plucking, might try that next year! One of the best things I ever did for myself was get a cone...I actually "stole/borrowed" one from our local road construction! it was very humane and easy to use when having to dehead the chickens...blood all in one spot, no squawking and very quick! less traumatizing for me, lol!

Revi said...

Impressive. I admire the sustainable lifestyle - and we may well need to know these things before long. I know we're not very far removed from the family farm sustainable lifestyle - but how quickly we all forget, as we drive through to get our fast food, and shop for prepared chickens at the local grocery store. Thank you for this.