Warning Graphic Photos!: My weekend Learning to process Chickens

I actually debated on if I should post these photos or not. Many people are very sensitive about butchering animals. But my goal here is to share with everyone things I have learned through our adventures in homesteading. Too many people now a days are disconnected with their food. They would rather buy meat from factories where the animals have no quality of life whatsoever and are pumped full of antibiotics and medicated feeds. These birds that we butchered were free ranged in EVERY sense of the word(NO chicken tractors for them) even though people will swear up and down and left and right that you cannot free range meat kings that their hearts and legs cant handle it or that they are too lazy and wont range. The methods that I was taught were both ethical, fast, and respectful. The birds that were lovingly raised weren’t stressed by a long trek to a facility and they were killed in a way that they only thrashed after their hearts actually gave out(Death throws).

we processed. All 25 birds with no issue at all thanks to the plucker our friend borrowed. I’m hoping I might be included in a co-share on a plucker in the future if all goes well!

Our friends dog enjoying processing day!(Chicken feet are GREAT for dogs teeth!)

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WARNING: Graphic Photos Below!

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New chickens! And morning feeding is the best time for photos!

Time to feed the chickens! I finally took the camera out to get some photos of the chickens in their new coop(Well technically its just a huge part of the barn)

Here’s one of our Buckeye roosters. He doesn’t have the slate barring I want though so he might be one of the roosters we process.

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Looks like I have a groucho easter egger as well(For those who have seen Les Farms little Groucho!(Look at the easter egger in the left corner and you will see what I mean!)

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One of the Silkie Polish crosses in the old Manure pile scratching for bugs

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Jim the fish(Runner cross)  and Tammy the call duck

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And this is why I call hubby the chicken Pied Piper!DSC_0268

Some of the easter eggers enjoying some bugs in the old manure pileDSC_0276

My turkeys are getting so big! I cant believe how small they were when I first got them.DSC_0284 DSC_0287 DSC_0289

One of my beautiful little Blue Australorp hensDSC_0290 DSC_0291

Sid Vicious my Blue Australorp rooster with my Mottled Houdan henDSC_0293 DSC_0295 DSC_0301 DSC_0302

Here’s our new Naked neck turken barred rock cross we received from Les Farms. Loving this little fellaDSC_0303

My Buckeye rooster pegleg. He got stepped on by a horse a few days ago and is limping but getting better. He has the slate barring we want and I’m hoping his limping fully heals so I can show him!

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The pullet and cockerel naked necks together. You can see that their sex linked(Dark female, light male)

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And our new Silkie rooster we received from Les Farms finally came out to say hello. Isn’t he handsome? DSC_0312 DSC_0313 DSC_0319 DSC_0320 DSC_0325 DSC_0326 DSC_0327 DSC_0330 DSC_0332

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Their not the best but getting better I realized a setting on my camera was wrong as I’m using old film lenses. That was the reason I have having a lot of issues with overexposure.

Oven Roasted Herb chicken with Balsamic potatoes and carrots

I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with Justine and Sue of Les Farm learning how to Process/Butcher chickens. As a thank you gift They gave me a whole chicken(The second largest one they processed) as well the skinned carcass of the last chicken that had the breast and wings removed which I brought to make stock but it still had the drumsticks and thighs on it. I also came home with ALL of the hearts and gizzards which I am going to make stew with but that is a future post. This meal was absolutely delicious and I decided to share it.

I tried as much as I could to only use ingredients from my garden or friends gardens.

I used a green onion from my herb garden

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On a lark I decided to try digging in my potato patch thinking there was no way that it would yield anything and It was full of baby potatoes so I decided to use some to make Balsamic potatoes!

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And the gorgeous chicken that I helped Process/butcher

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Herbs freshly picked from my garden(Basil and Thyme)

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The first thing I did was melt 2 tbsp of butter then I chopped up 1/2 a tsp of fresh thyme and basil as well as some sage(Sadly my Parsley smothered my sage so I had to use powdered sage), I chopped up two garlic cloves and added that as well as a pinch of salt and pepper.

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I took a brush and liberally painted both sides of the chicken and placed it in the pre-heated oven at 350FDSC_0208

While that started cooking I chopped up some carrot and the potatoes and got my main ingredients ready (Balsamic vinegar and oil) I placed all the ingredients in a ziplock bag then added a quarter cup of oil and half a cup of balsamic vinegar as well as a tsp of thyme and salt and pepper to taste.DSC_0209

zip it up and shake well.

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I then took the chicken out and placed the potatoes onto the pan to finish cooking with the chicken(40 minutes or so)DSC_0211

Look at my beautiful new to me oven! I don’t care that its not super fancy it WORKS and its super clean. And by work I mean all of the burners, the timer, the clock AND the oven! It also doesn’t fit where the previous oven was and my large cookie sheets don’t fit into it but I don’t care because AT LEAST I can bake! DSC_0212

Once everything is done Plate up cut some chives and sprinkle and take some of the drippings you have left that mixed with the balsamic vinegar(We didn’t have much) and gently pour over top and Bon Appetit!

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Pumpkin Drop Cookies

Adapted from the Betty Crocker Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • Flax eggs (2 Tbsp Flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp water whisked then let stand 15 minutes) Or 2 eggs
  • 2 Cups Pumpkin Puree(I had one cup spaghetti squash one cup pumpkin on hand)
  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Clove
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1 C Hemp Hearts(Or any kind of nuts of Chocolate chips would be amazing)

Heat oven to 375º F Cream butter and sugar together then Beat in the flax egg and Pumpkin pumpkin.

Mix Dry ingredients in separate Bowl.

Combine wet ingredients to dry and mix.
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Fold Hemp hearts into the dough
Use two small spoons to drop dough 2 inches apart onto parchment paper or oiled cookie sheet.

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Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool a few minutes then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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These make super light and fluffy cookies. They feel almost like cake more than cookies, Very delicious! Their not overly sweet either I think adding chocolate chips would make these perfect.

Photo of the cookies in my cookie jar. The tag was from Justine and Sue of Les Farms wedding Favor. Now this made a beautiful photo but I don’t suggest putting these in a cookie jar like the one I have their very moist cookies and will stick one on top of the other. Id probably put parchment paper or wax paper between layers of cookies in a container.

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