Monday, 27 May 2013

Chicken Raising - From Start to Freezer.

Well. We did it. The chickens have been raised, slaughtered, plucked and cleaned. And you know, I am really happy we decided to do it this way. Saying it makes you appreciate your food is an understatement. Saying it was easy can go either way. It was not easy to take a life but I definitely took comfort in knowing I was going to be eating a chicken that had never been treated cruelly, stuck in a cage it's whole life or been fed any antibiotics or growth hormones. I've decided to explain how the process went so if you don't want to know I advise that you stop reading onward. On the other hand I encourage you to put your reservations aside. We had heard about an idea where you nail a javex bottle that had been cut in half on a fence post an put the chicken in it upside down. This to me seemed a bit too disconnected and harsh so we decided to revise the idea a bit. We took a burlap feed bag and cut a small hole in the bottom. We then put the chicken into the sack so it's head was coming through the hole. I spent a few minutes holding it and keeping it calm. Kind of thought of myself as the calm energy of the day. I then took it over to a stump we had put to nails into. The chickens head went inbetween the nails where I then sat with it until it was calm again - they almost fall asleep. At this point I would walk away and Steve and his brother Dave (Food With Legs) would do the deed. One would hold the chicken and the other would cut off its head with a hatchet. We then hung them upside down to let them drain and to pluck them. The worst or hardest part is definitely plucking them. A couple we are friends with showed up in the process and lent a hand. The girl was a real trooper and even helped Dave and I with the cleaning out along with putting in a lot of plucking time. The cleaning out is actually quite easy, especially after a few tries. You can basically get all of the insides out in one scoop which is qiute interesting to see. Tomorrow my mum is coming to spend the night and cook us up one of the chickens. I really am proud that we were able to put food on our table start to finish. We now have 6 chickens in our freezer that we know what exactly they consumed and how they lived their lives. Amazing to be able to say. 

First chicken cleaning experience. Skeptical I think!

Pigs just being trouble makers.