Saturday, June 2, 2012

Butchering Day 2012

The morning started really early since I had to bake and package soap before we started processing our meat birds. By 8 a.m. I had all the bread baked, soap ready to go and the kitchen cleaned. Luke's job on butchering day is to get ice and deliver bread since doing the chickens is on the bottom of his "favorite things to do list." SOMETIMES he will help wash. So he was sent off on errands and I headed to get started. Doug had already done 3 by the time I got there to help.We have done this for so long we just settle into an easy routine. I kill and pluck. Doug does final plucking, the wing feathers, those that are missed by the plucker and guts. He either leaves them whole or cuts them up. When I get several ahead, I stop, change gloves and help wash and put in coolers. And so it goes. Usually it is during these times that I change the scalding water and let it reheat. By the time it is hot, we are caught up and ready to go again. Today I had two escapees. They were both smaller hens and after one good chase I gave up and decided to get them next go round. They will probably be fairly large but will certainly make good stewing hens. That made our total today 45 birds. We finished around 11 and started cleaning up. That done I fixed a quick bite to eat and headed to the barn to milk. Being that I was very late in milking, the girls were super testy and pushy. Can't really blame them, but it was annoying for sure. Milking and feeding done, I checked the birds to make sure they still had plenty of ice. It was then off to weed the blueberries and stake the rest of the peppers. I picked the first cucumbers, more squash and a small bowl of blueberries. I started weeding the herb bed but the day was about gone. It was time to finish evening chores, gather eggs and think about supper. A long day, but a good one!

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