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Oct. 30th, 2009

Haven't posted here in a while, but this seemed like the most appropriate place to tell you guys about a real food contest.  On http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/10/u-s-wellness-meats-giveaway-99-95-value.html, they're giving away a 36 lb bucket of grassfed rendered tallow.  I've been reading about the omega fatty acids being favorable, similar to the ones in fish oil, but without the fishy taste and a WHOLE lot cheaper!  Obviously my vegetarian family wouldn't eat it, but I would, and I hear it makes the best french fries ever!


I hate to write this, even though it's all over and done with, but writing makes me sad all over again.  Due to circumstances out of my control, we needed to move and rehome all of the animals.  Most of the chickens found good homes, a few ended up with my brother in law.  Shortly before we moved, one of the ducks died, so only one was left when we sent it to go live with my brother in law.  And then most of his animals were attacked and eaten by some predator, so I'm down to nothing.

This month, however, I'm hoping to start all over again raising quail.  My big question is whether to spend 10 on a class B license, which lets me raise them for myself, or to spend 50 and be able to sell eggs and meat at the farmer's market. 

Forgive me for not posting for a long time, but life got very complicated. We needed to move and are now living in Kingston, NY. I am hoping to get quail this summer.

Dec. 21st, 2008

I processed three today, three yesterday and two the day before.  I am decidedly improving in terms of efficiency and effectiveness... but getting burned out.  I've been giving up before they're totally plucked clean and putting them in the fridge to clean without regret.  Well, much regret.  Tomorrow, I think I'll stick to TWO.

But I''ve got six birds in the fridge, one in the crock pot and and upstairs neighbor pomeranian who is rapidly learning to love her downstairs sucker, errr... neighbor.  I've got another bowl of treats for her to get upstairs in the morning. 

I promised one to my mother in law and one to my sister in law and will put the rest into the freezer.  Then... back to the barn.  I've got another 18 or 20 left to process.  I MAY be halfway competent by the time I'm done.

The colored rangers are no longer cost effective to keep feeding, so we're processing as rapidly as possible.  I'm doing 3 today and the last four have weighed 4 lb 7.7 oz, 4 lb 4.5 oz, 4 lb 2.something oz and over 5 lbs (the max my scale will go).  Those weights are not including their heart, liver or HUGE gizzards!

neverending stream of questions!!!

I processed a bird this morning and noticed that he had a bruised thigh and the underside of a wing on the same side.  I think I may have overscalded him a bit and we dispatched him by hatched for the first time and he thrashed around (while being held and then tied upside down to bleed out)  more than with throat cutting. 

Did either of these cause it?  If so, what can be done to prevent it?  How will it affect usability other than looks?


Needless to say... the inlaws aren't getting *THIS* bird!


Nov. 30th, 2008

Hatchet was faster than the knife.  Off to pluck...

Nov. 30th, 2008

Oh.  I said I'd process a bird for the inlaws today.  Blah.  I don't feel so awful after it's  over, but I DO dread it... and may I always dread it.

I did it!

I've been practicing, as much as I hate it. Today I went to the barn and saw an injured bird, so we culled it and processed it for meat.

This is what the birds are looking like at this age, though this picture is a cockerel (young male) and today's bird was a pullet (young female).

The bird was limping, though we didn't know why. I dispatched her by the compost pile but because it was cold out, we brought her into the kitchen to process. I scalded her for longer and at a higher temperature this time, so the feathers came out perfectly. Really. PERFECTLY, I was very proud of how well it went.

Once naked, I could see two spots where the bird was injured. I think the hawk that killed another bird this week ripped her open before it got the final selection. She had a surface wound that ripped open her skin but did not go deep into the muscle by her tail, which I saw before removing the feathers, but was surprised by another more serious injury on a wing when the feathers were gone. The bone was exposed and protruding and caked with something nasty, so that wing definitely had to go to the trash. Originally I thought I'd have to toss out a leg/thigh quarter, but in the end, just had to remove the tail and part of the back. (So why did I bother trimming off the oil gland? Oh, well, I can use the practice either way.)

Here is a photo of the bird before I removed any of the injured parts.

And the injured wing.

That bird (minus half a back and one wing) is now brining in the fridge and I will do something on Monday or Tuesday.

As an afterthought, my thanksgiving dinner, which I processed last Wednesday. Fried boneless breast meat and homemade mashed potatoes with onion gravy. SO GOOD!!!!!!