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Thread: Learned something new today that helps stock the freezer

  1. #26
    Super Member NauDeeGal's Avatar
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    very interesting subject! I have been wanting to raise egg and meat chikens for a while but the city I live in does not allow it.... yet. If not one day we will move to a rural area so that we can start doing things like this. I would love to have at least an acre of land just for a garden too. I do grow a small city garden. Usually salsa veggies and herbs.

  2. #27
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltnchik
    Isn't it great to raise your own food and know where it comes from and what goes into it? We raised some meat chickens (11) back in the spring and, even though you have to process them at 7 weeks, at least I knew what they ate and that they had a good life for the 7 weeks that they were here. We also raise meat rabbits, and my husband's coworkers are always telling him how 'sick' he is to raise something and then kill it - we just laugh at them... :D

    Why at 7 weeks? Our chickens are Rhode Island Reds, so meant for eggs not meat, but they weren't full grown at 7 weeks.

    Another plus about raising your own meat is you're not adding to the air pollution by transporting this meat from the farm to the butcher to the store and then to your house.

  3. #28
    Super Member ICU_FOSTERMOM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I would only eat fruits and vegetables if I had to kill anything, watched my Mom wring chicken's neck when I was about 6, never left me. Made a bad impression.
    ---------------------------------
    I am with You. I could not do, or delegate the killing either.
    I know it is life...and many can do it...but that's not me.
    Oh well.....raising veggies is more my style. No hatchet needed there.. ! !! !! ......LOL

  4. #29
    Junior Member quiltnchik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    Why at 7 weeks? Our chickens are Rhode Island Reds, so meant for eggs not meat, but they weren't full grown at 7 weeks.
    Ours were Cornish X - genetically engineered to be ready for slaughter at 7 weeks. If you don't slaughter them early enough, they will literally either start breaking legs or dropping dead of heart attacks. Ours weighed around 5-6# each at 7 weeks of age.

  5. #30
    Super Member wanderingcreek's Avatar
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    I miss living on the farm. We raised our own pigs, chickens, turkeys and a cow every year. My kids were 12 and 13 when we got the first 4 pigs and we explained to them what we were raising them for. They named them "Pork Chop, Bacon, Ham and Ribs" because they said that is what they were going to be. They helped feed them and there were no problems when butchering time came or with eating any of the meat. Everything tastes better when you raise it yourself.

  6. #31
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICU_FOSTERMOM
    ......
    Oh well.....raising veggies is more my style. No hatchet needed there.. ! !! !! ......LOL
    Oh, I beg to differ, LOL!
    Several summers we had a "volunteer" okra plant that became a darn tree! I actually had to stand on the step ladder to pick from the thing. Boy did the ants love it!. By the end of the third year, the base, the "trunk" as it were, was as big around as my wrist and we had to cut it down with a hatchet!
    Jan in VA

  7. #32
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Wonderful job!

  8. #33

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    Go for it or become a vegitarian I say. Growers only care about size and money,not about the taste.
    We used to raise hens for eggs for a season then slaughter them,they tasted mmighty fine.

  9. #34
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltnchik
    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I would only eat fruits and vegetables if I had to kill anything, watched my Mom wring chicken's neck when I was about 6, never left me. Made a bad impression.
    We never wring necks - too much chance of them not dying and ending up being in pain. We just chop the heads off and then drain them over a bucket. I honestly feel sorry for a lot of people if, heaven forbid, something really bad happens and we have to fend for ourselves (no grocery stores, etc.). Quite a few wouldn't make it, sorry to say.

    Also, a lot of people have no idea what goes into store-bought chickens, cows, pigs, etc., or that most eggs bought in stores are approximately 3 months old when they reach the store - YUCK!
    After yesterday's lessons I can't imagine why anyone would wring a neck. It's much easier and less trauma for the bird to just get the neck cut. We actually hung some orange road cones (bought new) upside down and cut a little larger hole in the top. Put the chicken in head first so just the head and neck was coming out the top. Cut the neck and they stay put with no flopping around since they're wedged down in the cone. It's a quick death.

    It's unbelievable what goes into commercially raised meat. These chickens down the road live in the nastiest conditions, no access to fresh outside air or light, their feed is made from ground up leftover chicken parts and the day of collection is so brutal. They come in with big cages with spring loaded doors. They sling the chickens head first into the cages and many of the birds suffer broken wings, legs, etc. They ride on the back of those flatbed 18 wheelers, in whatever the weather condition is, to wherever the processing plant is. I have no idea what goes on from there but what I know is enough.

    My next step is getting a little weanling steer and raising him up. Right now all we have is an electric fence for my horse and that's definitely not enough for a cow, but someday we'll get a better fence put up.

    Milk is the one area I'm stuck on. I can't be here every morning and evening to milk a cow and it's illegal to buy/sell raw milk in the state of MS (and many other states for that matter).

  10. #35
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    That is a funny story! I remember when I was around 7 we moved from Detriot to a small farming community . My Mother got 150 LegHorns when it was time to 'process' our flock, we managed to almost do 1 hen before my Mother called a processor!.
    I do what you mean about gaining the knowledge and experience to be self sufficient. I make my own bath , laundry soap, softener, do as much 'urban gathering' as I can , I offer some of the processed produce to the owner of the tree in exchange for the fruit. Otherwise in my neighborhood it would rot on the tree..... My co-workers always comment on how crazy it is to go thru all that work when you can just buy it! I respond with " when civilization goes to crap, I'll have skills to trade" that always quiets them pretty quickly.

  11. #36
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Good for you! And what a fine group of processed chickens you have for the freezer. I raise my own egg birds and work with some friends every year to process meat birds. I have been doing it for years. My friends have all the equipment for processing such as a scalder for dunking them in the hot water and a plucker which is a big round drum with rubber cones all sticking out on the inside. It will pluck out 3 at a time and is very convenient. Then the chickens come to the eviscerators which is my job. The first time I did it the only thing that kind of freaked me out was gutting the bird while it was still warm. But after the first couple it was no big deal. This year I had way too many roosters so a few of them came with me to processing this year. These boys were too old to do anything with but slow cooked recipes but still taste fine as one has already hit my crockpot. Young birds are much more tender and easier to clean too. I have also done turkeys for thanksgiving.

  12. #37
    Junior Member quiltnchik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelcb80
    Milk is the one area I'm stuck on. I can't be here every morning and evening to milk a cow and it's illegal to buy/sell raw milk in the state of MS (and many other states for that matter).
    What about a nanny goat for milk? Goat's milk is the closest to human milk, which means humans don't have the problems with it that are prevalent with cow's milk (lactose intolerance, etc.). Just a thought.

  13. #38
    Junior Member K.P.'s Avatar
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    I grew up in the country and we bought 150 baby chicks every year, raised them to poulet size and slaughtered about half for the freezer for fried chicken. We kept most of the hens for laying and a couple of yard roosters; they too eventually got eaten, and made a great pot of soup, but not until months later and lots of fresh eggs. Also had setting hens that would always add to the flock throughout the year. It was a chore when it was killing time, but we never went hungry and we were never sick growing up from all the processing/additives. We raised our own beef/pork as well, made our own sausage, had fresh eggs and milked 2 cows for milk morning and night, had plenty of fresh butter/cream. It was a lot of work, especially slaughtering a calf and hog & cutting it all up/packaging for the freezer, but looking back now, I wouldn't change a thing. Many have no idea how much work that was. I agree with someone that said, if we suddenly had no available grocery stores, many would not make it...

  14. #39
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Not me! I have to be disassociated from my meat. I don't think I could eat something that looked at me!

  15. #40
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    I was raised on a farm and we raised chickens as well. With 11 in our family we had one day in the fall when we all killed, plucked and froze 100 chickens. The sure were good eating in the winter, and no blood around the bones like the store bought chickens have. You should be proud of your accomplishment !!! :thumbup:

  16. #41
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltnchik
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    Why at 7 weeks? Our chickens are Rhode Island Reds, so meant for eggs not meat, but they weren't full grown at 7 weeks.
    Ours were Cornish X - genetically engineered to be ready for slaughter at 7 weeks. If you don't slaughter them early enough, they will literally either start breaking legs or dropping dead of heart attacks. Ours weighed around 5-6# each at 7 weeks of age.

    Interesting. Thanks!

  17. #42
    Junior Member ceegee's Avatar
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    My friend has chickens and she shares her eggs with me. She has a chicken that lays green eggs. Now I know where the idea for "Green Eggs and Ham" came from
    ceegee

  18. #43
    JS
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    If I raised any kind of animal I could not eventually kill it or eat it. Guess I would not make a good farmer.

  19. #44
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelcb80
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltnchik
    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I would only eat fruits and vegetables if I had to kill anything, watched my Mom wring chicken's neck when I was about 6, never left me. Made a bad impression.
    We never wring necks - too much chance of them not dying and ending up being in pain. We just chop the heads off and then drain them over a bucket. I honestly feel sorry for a lot of people if, heaven forbid, something really bad happens and we have to fend for ourselves (no grocery stores, etc.). Quite a few wouldn't make it, sorry to say.

    Also, a lot of people have no idea what goes into store-bought chickens, cows, pigs, etc., or that most eggs bought in stores are approximately 3 months old when they reach the store - YUCK!
    After yesterday's lessons I can't imagine why anyone would wring a neck. It's much easier and less trauma for the bird to just get the neck cut. We actually hung some orange road cones (bought new) upside down and cut a little larger hole in the top. Put the chicken in head first so just the head and neck was coming out the top. Cut the neck and they stay put with no flopping around since they're wedged down in the cone. It's a quick death.

    It's unbelievable what goes into commercially raised meat. These chickens down the road live in the nastiest conditions, no access to fresh outside air or light, their feed is made from ground up leftover chicken parts and the day of collection is so brutal. They come in with big cages with spring loaded doors. They sling the chickens head first into the cages and many of the birds suffer broken wings, legs, etc. They ride on the back of those flatbed 18 wheelers, in whatever the weather condition is, to wherever the processing plant is. I have no idea what goes on from there but what I know is enough.

    My next step is getting a little weanling steer and raising him up. Right now all we have is an electric fence for my horse and that's definitely not enough for a cow, but someday we'll get a better fence put up.

    Milk is the one area I'm stuck on. I can't be here every morning and evening to milk a cow and it's illegal to buy/sell raw milk in the state of MS (and many other states for that matter).
    My mother has about 15-20 cows and they slaughter several every year. I could do this (send them off, they're way too big). But if I had just one cow, I know I'd bond to it and wouldn't be able to do it...same as the chickens. If I had a whole flock it would be o.k. to cull the group, but since I only have 2 you begin to notice personality traits etc. I think that's the key to NOT having an emotional attachment. If you have enough of them around, and don't name them or treat them as pets you don't get emotionally attached.

  20. #45
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Way to go!

  21. #46
    JS
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    without a grocery store I would be one of the ones that does not make it.Don't throw in the "if I were starving". I have too soft a heart for animals and babies ...

  22. #47
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    I have no problem with killing my own meat and I think that we might end up going back to the good old days before we know it. But the only thing I hate to do is sticking them to bleed them out and gutting them.

    When I was 8yo my Dad and I would go to my friends farm and slaughter several hogs and cows a year and I was always the one that had to stick them soon as they were shot. I was so glad when I was big enough to start shooting them instead of the sticking part.

    I am hoping to be self sustainable in the next few years on my land in the hills of TN. But I am with you Rachel, I think I would rather blow the chicken heads off then cutting them. Definitely less personal and hands on per se.

    Billy

  23. #48
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    My husband gave me a hundred one-day old chicken for my birthday one year,and a cow for Mother's Day another year, these have been great gifts, I learnt so much. I even used to make butter.

  24. #49
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    My mother has about 15-20 cows and they slaughter several every year. I could do this (send them off, they're way too big). But if I had just one cow, I know I'd bond to it and wouldn't be able to do it...same as the chickens. If I had a whole flock it would be o.k. to cull the group, but since I only have 2 you begin to notice personality traits etc. I think that's the key to NOT having an emotional attachment. If you have enough of them around, and don't name them or treat them as pets you don't get emotionally attached.
    Well this is exactly why I won't ever be able to kill my big rooster and the dumb two banty (bantie?) hens. The rooster is Rusty and the two hens are Broody and Broonella. The rest of the flock all look alike, act alike and I don't have any attachment to them. Muuuuuch easier to kill that way. :)

  25. #50
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    Pheasant and Quail season opened here on Sat. So hunters abound in the fields. Problem is harvest is done so the birds have gone to the creeks and wooded areas, so not many birds to be found.

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