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Beautiful Baby Ada

Chicken Day

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Normal folks celebrate Memorial Day with fun summer activities.

Not my bunch. We start the summer season off right...with a good (?), old-fashioned chicken-killing.

 

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The cast of characters and setting for this year's event:  49 fat spring Cornish Cross pullets (which Kim has raised for 2 months since they were day-old chicks)...


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...the killing tree...

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...the farmer-turned-butcher, my husband Kim...


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...and the cleaners/gutters/cutter-uppers and water specialists (the twins). Our adult children grew up doing this and now they are passing the family tradition on to their children.

What a legacy we are leaving....

 

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But I will say that they make a well-oiled chicken-dressing machine! We started at 6 am. and had all the chickens killed and cooling by 10:00.


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Kristoffer, being our resident chicken expert, has become the chief cutter-upper/gutter. This year, he taught Emily the fine art of preparing a chicken for the freezer.


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Often in the course of cleaning the chickens, they need a bit of rinsing out. Kelsey helped with that, and she and her sister Kassie kept fresh water in everyone's pans. That's a full-time job!

 

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Big brothers Karter and Kaden have "graduated" to the next level and now get to experience the joy of scrubbing away the pin feathers and cleaning them up.

 

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There is something very satisfying, in a crazy way, to pull out the guts intact and clean...


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UGH!!! Nothing like a bucket of chicken guts...


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I know Zach (and Dana too!) are SO glad they married into our family and hence inherited the opportunity to participate in our holiday rituals.  :)  We assumed Zach, being the only doctor among us, should be a natural to learn the chicken-gutting skills and he proved that to be true. Three gutters/cutter-uppers sure makes the job go a lot quicker!

 

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And then there's a bucket of mostly feet (with a few neck skins thrown in for good measure)... Would you believe that in my freezer right now there is a bag full of chicken feet, all ready for a "special" feast Kim plans to make and share with his dad and brother?! Oh yes, it's true... None for me, thank-you-very-much...

If you think that's gross, you'll probably want to shut your eyes and keep scrolling past the next photo. (Consider yourself warned...) But this is the killing tree after 49 chickens have sacrificed their lives for our dinner tables...


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Now THAT is a MAJOR UGH!!!!!

 

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And these are the blood-splattered legs of my man after butchering 49 birds...



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These chicken halves are cleaned and cooling in cold water. Cooling them completely is very important, and it takes a couple of hours to cool them out.

 

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Now that is one fine-looking piece of chicken, if I do say so myself!


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The final step, after they are completely cooled, is bagging them for the freezer. It's my favorite step!

And that's a wrap for this year's inaugural summer event...

...Chicken Day.

 

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