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Thread: Learned something new today that helps stock the freezer

  1. #1
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Last Christmas my husband got me something I'd been wanting for a long time, a chicken house and a group of laying hens. This spring I gathered up a bunch of their eggs and hatched them out in an incubator. I hatched out 16 but something got into my chick pen when they were still little and ate 7. It was fenced with heavy wire all the way around, but just chicken wire on top. Probably a coon 'cause it ripped open the chicken wire (lesson learned). So I had 9 left to raise up.

    Today was the day to thin out my flock so hubby and I got out there early and got started. The first couple were difficult for me to deal with but it got a little easier as we went along. After it was all said and done I was pretty proud of myself. Everytime I learn a new method of being self sufficient I feel that much more empowered. I also feel good knowing my family is eating food that has been raised in a healthy and humane environment. Just call me pioneer woman. :D

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  2. #2
    Senior Member B. Louise's Avatar
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    Congratulations. You can be proud of learning to raise good food for your family. Home grown chickens are the best!

  3. #3
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    That's cool.

  4. #4
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    That is awesome that you are able to raise your own meat. We are not allowed to have livestock or chickens in my neighborhood but i can grow a garden... just have to have time to do it... I did grow tomatoes this year... only enough to put in the salad but I now know that I can grow food if I have to. :D

  5. #5
    Senior Member trueimage's Avatar
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    Way to go! I'm jealous! I know you're proud.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Good for you. I've only got 2 hens for eggs only, but if I had lots of acreage I'd have some meat birds too.

  7. #7
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    Oh and this is Rachel getting ready for the "Chicken Huntin'....... :mrgreen:

    Billy
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    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    great job, I was raised on a farm

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm proud of you. I wouldn't know where to start.

  10. #10
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I don't think I could do it, but you have to know you're getting the best chicken available since you raised them yourself. You didn't name them, right? LOL! Enjoy those healthy dinners. Store-bought chickens can be kind of sketchy.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Oh and this is Rachel getting ready for the "Chicken Huntin'....... :mrgreen:

    Billy
    LoL, I actually asked DH if we couldn't just shoot them in the head instead of cutting their necks. (and when I say "we" I mean "him". :) ) It just seemed more impersonal that way. :? Needless to say we did it the old fashioned way.

  13. #13
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I used to help my daycare woman pluck the chickens as she cut their heads off. It seemed like a lot of work. You must be tired. Stupid question, probably, but after the heads I assume they must be gutted immediately? Do you keep any of the organs?

  14. #14
    Super Member Rachelcb80'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 used to feel that way until I saw first hand how food animals are raised and treated (we live near a bunch of chicken houses, 25,000 birds in one house crammed together, you can't breath because of the ammonia level). I feel like I'm doing my part to not support an industry that I'm strongly opposed to. That's also why I encourage DH to hunt and bring food to the table that way as well. Every little bit helps.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    That brings back childhood memories...

  16. #16
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I used to help my daycare woman pluck the chickens as she cut their heads off. It seemed like a lot of work. You must be tired. Stupid question, probably, but after the heads I assume they must be gutted immediately? Do you keep any of the organs?
    No stupid questions, trust me! DH and I did some learning online and then did the rest of our learning today. :)

    After you cut the throat and let the bird bleed out you dunk them in hot water (needs to be about 150 degrees). You dunk them in and out several times until one of the wing feathers comes out easily with your fingers. Pluck them all clean, cut off the legs and head and then you have to gut them from the neck and the rear. After they're cleaned out you put them in a cooler with ice and water to stay fresh until you're all done with each bird.

    We didn't keep the organs, just because it's more work than it's worth for me. I'm not much on organs. I did keep the necks though to boil and make stock out of.

    Sorry if that was more info than you wanted!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Baysidegal's Avatar
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    Actually, it's a great lesson on the issue. Living in the city dosen't afford us space, time and effort needed for raising chicks for food. We can keep hens for laying only in parts of the city. My yard is only around 10,000 sq feet LOL...only room for some veggies...but that's something. We had a great crop of taters this year...

  18. #18
    Super Member gmaybee's Avatar
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    My husband hunts, so I never have to buy beef. I talked to him a few times about getting chickens for the fresh eggs, but haven't been able to talk him into it. At least I can get organic fresh eggs from a lady I work with. They are so good and she seems to have an unlimited supply.

  19. #19
    JJs
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    there are chickens all around us, altho we don't have any - one thing you have to watch out for around here are snakes...

  20. #20
    Junior Member quiltnchik's Avatar
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    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

  21. #21
    Junior Member quiltnchik'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.
    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!

  22. #22
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    You should be so proud of yourself, well done. Apart from the fact you are not supporting the growth of "food factories" you are raising healthy, happy birds and providing you and your family with the best thing out...fresh, chemical free food.

    I am keen to get some chickens, but my husband is not so sure. He asked me if we would be eating any and who was going to "do the deed". I said I would deal with it...but he wasn't too keen on that!

  23. #23
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    Well, I don't think I'll share this with my grandsons, but I agree with you about self sufficiency.

  24. #24
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    You cut open the gizzard and clean it out, it makes real good soup and broth, and I love breaded and fried gizzards. Grew up with them. And the few times I can get some farm raised chicken livers I have to fight my two cats for them. I love chicken livers.
    One aside about gizzards...a friend who lived in the mountains above my town had a bunch of geese that escaped from their pen so she let them roam. When came time to butcher them she cut open the gizzards and found a couple of small pieces of gold. The whole family searched for years but could not find where those geese found the gold, and they sure did try!! Mariposa county used to be good gold country a long time ago!!

  25. #25
    a regular here MegsAnn's Avatar
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    Yum!

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