All in all not near as hard as I thought it would be. We had some young Roosters (3 months or so) that just were not needed for the flock. Now I have two dressed birds in the freezer. Not much meat on them as they were egg layers and not meat chickens. Should be enough for some enchiladas and some chicken stock though. I skinned mine and my brave and wonderful wife used a pot of scalding hot water to help her pluck hers. I finished first but she had skin left on hers so I will call it a draw. Also have an appointment with my old butcher (retired) to have him call me and show me how to dress a goat when he slaughters his next one. Anyway if anyone wants to see the end results and pics of my wife finishing up hers they will be on her blog soon. here: http://knitsnweeds.blogspot.com/
KIlled and dressed my own Chickens today
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I have 15 chickens that semi-free range on my property and a rooster (just one now). They have a 400 square foot enclosure that they stay in most the day (keeps them out of my garden) and I usually let them run totally free near the last hours of the day. they can't do too much damage in that short amount of time.
No I do not think she is name after Bean from Ender's Game and then of course the second one Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card. She is on loan from our semi-partner farm (we are doing a breeding program to get a nice strain of Mini-LaManchas), we needed more milk and her owner wanted to ween her kids from her, so we have her for about 6-8 months. By then we will have done more breeding with our herd and have plenty more milk.
Yes I try goat every chance I get, There is a Mexican place near me that serves awesome Goat Burritos and Tacos as a special and the Asian Market I go to sometimes has it at the lunch counter inside the store.
edit: Bean's full name is Vanilla Bean, since she is a whiteish goat I guess it's as good a name as any.
lol, The Roosters themselves do not lay eggs but they are of a egg laying variety of chicken and not a meat variety. While meat chickens lay eggs as well I am assuming they are not as prolific as a breed designated "egg layer" just as mine are not going to ever have big plump breasts and thighs.
Edited by Gunnar - 10/31/10 at 10:32am
It is probably too late this time, but the next time you butcher some birds, save the feet, skin them (not too easy, but managable with pliers), and use them to make stock or add to your stock. They are relatively fat-free and are chock-full of collagen for thickening soups and sauces.
I have been buying free-range birds locally, not so much for the meat, but because the folks give me the chicken feet. I have a few gallons in the fridge for winter soups. I actually added some to my last batch of tomato sauce when I made manicotti and it thickened it nicely.
Total koudos to yourself Gunnar. I would only do the same to save my life.
I was traumatised at the age of ten to see my dad drawing the guts out of one, then he bent the legs over the top of the pantry door, pulled on the feet and yanked them off with their sinews attached. These were placed on the kitchen windowsill to dry. The smell was gut wrenching.
Then came the fun value...For my older brothers...They were both given a foot each and shown, that if you pulled each sinew, it made the foot do stuff. They scared the bejeezuz out of me and my younger brothers. Luckily for us the feet got nasty after a couple of days and the novelty wore off
BTW I wouldnt even do the gutting at college. I told the tutor i would always get someone else to do it and he dismissed me from class with the knowlege my final qualifications would be lacking... I sat in the locker room for all his classes with a few others that couldnt hack it.
What a woos eh?
Laying pellets, scraps (carrot peels, mushy veg, old rice) out of the kitchen and whatever they scrounged during their time of total free roaming which includes grain and alfalfa from the goats feed bins as they feel they are entitled and the goats are patient..
Meat looks extremely lean, will post when I have eaten them, have other food ahead of them in the kitchen.
so cooked one of those birds, while not a lot of meat it was plenty tasty, not gamey at all and made a nice soup. Wife said it was one of the best she has eaten in a while. I poached the bird first so I could easily pull as much meat off it as possible, oddly it cleaned alot faster then any other chicken I have done this with. Muscle definition was clearer and the tendons didn't hold on as much as they have when trying to clean a roast chicken.
Wow, I'm impressed, there is something very grounding about killing and preparing your own food. IT reminds me of killing trout my father had caught. I think more people should be killingtheir own food because I think it will breed more respect for the providence of our food while bringing us closer to nature.
I like you did it, based on the fact that people have grown complacent and don't know how to do this themselves.
Personally, I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.
It is sure nice to know what is in the meat.
My mother in law has free roaming chickens. At first I was apprehensive when I saw what she fed them. Any concern I had became nonexistent when I cooked a couple of her eggs up for breakfast.
Because as anyone (here) knows, fresh eggs are a world apart from grocery store eggs.
I soooo agree with that. I am floored when some of my friends think it's inhuman or disgusting to kill an animal, but don't hesitate for a second to throw away several pounds of leftover meat a week.
That's what kills me. I was raised to hunt animals, and the most important lesson my dad taught me was don't shoot something unless you are prepared to clean it and eat it. I visited my parents' house last weekend and helped my father butcher a deer he had killed. We smoked some of the tenderloins and ribs that night. It was probably some of the best venison I've ever had. And it couldn't have been fresher.
You missed your calling as a Fear Factor Chef :P
milk goats are also bonier than meat goats....we get some of the boy meat when they're about 19ish pounds, from friends who are cheesemakers.
pork heads, shanks are also very high in collagen...roasted pork bone stock that's jelled up is a beautiful thing.
cool pics of your slaughter, thanks for sharing.