From Pasture to Table in 24 Hours

It doesn’t get fresher than that.

We plan to do all our own butchering of our animals on the farm.  It is a much more peaceful and stress-free process for the animals than being loaded up and taken somewhere else.  We respect and care for our animals, wanting the best for them in life and also during the butchering process.  We want to be in control of what happens to them and how they are treated.

Ryan made two “kill cones” out of 5 gallon buckets.   We placed two of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens upside down in these with their heads poking through the bottom.  Being upside down and held by the cones puts the chickens in a relaxed trance-like state.  Two cuts were made on either side of the neck, severing the jugular veins and releasing the blood.  The bucket under the cones collect the blood, which gets added to our compost pile to feed the garden.  Nothing gets wasted on our farm.WP_20160515_16_35_51_Pro.jpg

From the cones, the chickens went into a pot of hot water for scalding to loosen the feathers for plucking. WP_20160515_16_36_36_Pro

Ryan and Elijah plucked the chickens by hand.WP_20160515_17_55_17_Pro

Ryan eviscerated the chickens.  The kids were fascinated to see and touch real organs.  WP_20160515_19_15_49_ProMuch different than pictures in a book!  It was a great anatomy lesson.  We won’t need to purchase dissection kits for biology class when we have real-life lessons happening outside on the farm.  As a homeschooling mom, I love natural learning that takes place outside of our school time.  When the kids are engaged and using multiple senses, I know that information is being retained.

After cooling in an ice water bath, we wrapped the chickens up in freezer paper.

The next evening, we roasted a chicken for dinner. WP_20160516_17_16_13_Pro.jpg

It was an amazing experience to place a roasted chicken on the table that we raised and butchered on our farm.  It felt completely satisfying.  WP_20160516_17_37_12_Pro
Not to mention, it tasted great!

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We found it to be juicy, tender and a bit more flavorful than store-bought chicken.  It will be interesting to compare the flavor of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens with the Red Broilers in a few more weeks.

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The whole process was a learning experience and I think we’ll be better prepared and more skilled for the next chicken harvest.  We plan to process the rest of our Jumbo Cornish Cross chickens this Saturday.  To speed up the process, Ryan purchased a new tool he’s pretty excited about.  It’s a YardBird Chicken Plucker. yardbird The tub spins the chickens around while rubber fingers pull the feathers out.  It completely plucks two chickens at one time in about 15 seconds.  He can’t wait to put it to the test!

Becca

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3 thoughts on “From Pasture to Table in 24 Hours

  1. Loved reading this and catching up on your farming adventures, Becca! You all look like you are really enjoying your new life!
    Sent you an email 🙂

    Like

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