Monday, January 19, 2015

Nothin' but love

Pure, unyielding love. It is the most fantastic state of all mankind. Let it run through you and radiate out.
Love prevails. Love is the intent, the means, the ends. The best.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Bye-bye, birdie(s)

The circle of life on chicken husbandry is this: When the ladies stop laying, it's crock pot time. It sounds easy, and in some ways it is,  but it's also messy for just a brief and fleeting couple hours. I think this round took us just about over an hour and that included prep time. Like a chef, we prefer the mise en place and then it's bye-bye, Birdie. Birds are collected from the coop the night prior and await in a pet carrier, eliminating the grand chase and impending hen hysteria that a daytime chase can involve. We thank the birds for their (previous) eggs and then to the cone they go.

After a little scald time at 145f in a big pot over a propane burner, it's pluck time. We fashioned a drill with a rubber-nub-in-PVC attachment (see affixed to our fence in the photo) that works as a fast plucker. You still have to do a tiny bit of finish work but not much. There are WizBang DIY plucker assemblies that are great if you have loads of birds to process, but we're just a little backyard farm so we don't need to go that far. Then comes the gutting with a very sharp knife. If you're good, everything comes out in one pull.  Then rinsing, then into a cooler for settling, then freezing or the stock pot/or crock pot. It's definitely soup season and for us, this works perfectly.

There are a lot of aspiring chicken people out there. We've been doing this for about 6 years and we see it all the way through. If you're not willing to deal with the blood and guts then you need to either plan on having rather expensive pets or let them meet their maker by mother nature (raccoons are a common predator in these PNW parts).

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