Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to go from A to Z (graphic pictures)!

We have harvested three of our meat birds with much success. The killing is done as most humanely as I researched it could be, and I feel very little pain is administered to the birds. Getting all the feathers off is quite a chore, and you must be thorough. After additional research, dealing with the innards and final cleaning became routine to us both. We weren't grossed out, since we had cleaned all the fish we caught ourselves in Alaska, and this was no different.

The first time we finished with a bird, we didn't allow the meat to "ripen" for over twenty-four hours, and made the meat less tender and flavorful. We roasted it whole. It was still delicious, and we ate every bit.

The second time we did two birds and decided to divide it up into sections of meat for later meals. We just tried the breast meat, and made awesome chicken strips out of them, moist and an amazing taste! It was very rewarding after all the work put in, to get a meat that was raised with love and respect, and I feel they had an amazing life before giving up theirs for mine. Still my dark sense of humor makes me post this lonely looking picture of chicken tracks in the snow, with none in frame...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More chickens?

Yep, and they are absolutely adorable! We decided to get four more to add to the permanent flock, and this will be the final fill out of egg layers as long as we live on this property. We continued the old lady name tradition, with the following ladies born on February 19th, 2011:

First we have Mildred, a beautiful Ameraucana chick that will grow to be an exotic looking bird. She will lay a pastel like color ranging from green to pink, so we are excited to see when she lays her first egg!

Next we have Beatrice, a Buff Orpington. These breed are a fluffy looking bird, with a tendency to become broody, or turn into hatch egg mode, frequently. Known to be a very sweet and gentle girl.

Then we have Agnes, a Blue Cochin breed. This bird, again, is a fluffy bird with feathers covering the legs, giving her a very cool look when they are older.

Finally, we have Josephine, a New Jersey Giant. I am excited to see this bird grow, and grow it shall! A full grown hen can grow to weigh as much as ten pounds! She is just for show, however, and we are anxious to see how big she will get. She lays a brown egg said to be pretty big, so that is always a bonus.

This brings the egg laying flock to nine now, which I think is plenty for us, maybe enough to sell some back to the Craigslist community or something!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Chicken Process.

I love food. Trox and myself have started to take an interest in not only what we eat, but how the food we eat is produced. We began trying to grow our own vegetables over five years ago, in an apartment complex. We have never had a huge bounty of fruits or vegetables to eat, but it has always been rewarding and a great learning experience through the years.
Now living in Newberg, we find ourselves wanting to take it further, and include our meat into self sustainment on our property. Last November we purchased twelve Barred Rock chicks, and got to the long journey of raising chickens for meat!
It has been a pretty fun process so far. It has been great opening the coop in the morning to find eighteen birds flutter out and set out for the day's delicious pickings. We even constructed a brooder for them to live in, till their true feathers all came in. The garage stank for a few weeks, but soon the coop was home. We didn't name any of the birds, for fear of attachment, but we still enjoy watching them interact with the permanent ladies already in the flock, and feel their lives are lived with contentment and ease.
There is this great article,, a little long, but it set our plan of attack for getting some meat done.


Okay, been awhile, and a lot of things have happened and occurred that I could have blogged about extensively! Moreover, people have been waiting anxiously for another bit of my mind...The wait is over!