Today we were talking about last week’s processing, and noted how much NICER it was this time compared to 2020! It definitely helped having the boys be 2 years older, but simply doing less chickens allows the entire process to be significantly more chill ,and lack stress.
To anyone who has ever processed chickens, there is a distinct “smell”…Yet this time, there was a startling lack of that smell! I dispatched our happy plump boys in the woods, and was able to calmly place each in the cone, and thank it for feeding our family and giving its life.
Once they fell asleep fully drained, Jason carried them to the scalder, and made sure the water remained at the perfect temperature with the propane.
Tyler and Micah worked hard to hand pluck, which was definitely the only significant challenge of this batch. Our plucker had arrived but was significantly damaged. We hadn’t heard back from the company yet, and there was no time to wait for a replacement. The old fashion way it was!
Jon had the nasty part…gutting, legs, necks, and icing.
Once we got all washed up, leaving the birds to soak in their “Ice Tank”, it was time to bag the birds. The boys carried the chill tank so I could clean the birds up, pluck any stray feathers, weigh, shrink wrap, label, and freeze properly in one of our freezers.
We have already fulfilled one order and have 3 more to complete. All our equipment has been cleaned and put away for the next time.
Our Delaware roosters are still growing, and as a heritage breed it does take them longer to grow to “kill size”. But we are thankful for all the customers who have been so patient through this process, able to watch their birds live and grow as free-range poultry, and by next week will all have their birds securely in their freezers to feed their families.