Sweet Abram
Amber Waves of Grain

Better To Be A Duck


Would you rather be a chicken or a duck?

Well, if you find yourself in Farmer Kim's barnyard, the same crates that carried the ducks to freedom carried the chickens to their final destination.  Let's just say they weren't flapping happily...

Disclaimer:  If you are squeamish, you may want to stop reading right here and not click on the link below.  You can check back on Saturday for a more pleasant post...



But it's the whole reason we buy those darling little chicks in the first place.  Some grow up to lay eggs for our table, and the others end up as the main course on our table.



The actual butchering is done as humanely as possible.  Kim (the head executioner) puts them headfirst into a metal cone...



...and in the blink of an eye and the slash of a very sharp knife, the head is off and they are allowed to bleed out without flopping around all over the place, avoiding a huge mess as well as preventing them from bruising themselves in the process.



It may seem brutal, but it's life on the farm.  And believe me, it's much more humane and sanitary than huge chicken processing plants...yuck!



The dead birds are then scalded in a vat of very hot water.  Precise temperature is critical...too hot and the skin rips, too cool and the feathers won't come out.  It's a science, I'm telling you.  Kim and his dad Kenny pluck off all the feathers...



...and then they are put in a pan to be thoroughly and meticulously cleaned. 



Yes, that's me stylin' with my Jamberry nails...getting ready to cut the feet off the chicken.



Anyone want a bucket of chicken feet, neck skins, wing tips, chicken tails, and other assorted poultry delights???

Actually, the coyotes love them!



Kristoffer, our oldest son, has been cleaning chickens since he was tall enough to see over the table.  All of our children were raised cleaning chickens a couple of times a year.  Hey, it's a life skill that most people don't have!  But my kids know how to clean a chicken, oh yes they do!!!



Kim's brother Kent is the cutter-upper (a highly technical term!).  His job requires the finest skill, knowing how to slice them in just the right spots and gut them properly...a skill not to be taken lightly.



Each one has his/her specialty, and we run a pretty efficient operation, if I do say so myself.  In the past when we've had lots more chickens to butcher, this table would have people working all the way around it.  But since we only killed 32 this year, the 5 of us did just fine and got them all finished in about 3 hours.



The cooling out is critical, so the chicken parts hang out in ice-cold water for about an hour to be sure they get cold-cold.  Then we bag them up...some for fryers...



...and some left whole for baking chickens.

By noon, all 32 chickens were in the freezer.  It takes me a couple of days to get hungry for chicken again, but they sure do taste good!



These gals are fortunate that we don't like duck.  Otherwise, they'd have probably met the same fate as those chicks they grew up with.

If a baby bird finds itself being raised in the Gray chickenhouse, I think we all agree that it's much, much...

...better to be a duck.



Ryan Kilian

oh my word! love chicken and appreciate the process..but wow just wow lol

The comments to this entry are closed.