Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Slaughter

I've been talking about it all this time.

It was a little anticlimactic.

The alarm went off at 5:00 this morning.  Some of us got up at that time.  Others didn't.

After a busy week of VBS and making cobbler for belated Father's Day and getting in late and sleepy last night and staying up to order various items online, my kitchen was quite a mess.  Besides that it needed to be clean because it's bad to cut up chicken on top of cobbler makings, we were also expecting possible company/help with slaughter.

All that to say, i got to work early.

It didn't take too long to get things spic and span in the kitchen while my favorite slaughterer got ready outside.

Here he is threatening the unsuspecting subjects of today's event.

In case anyone is about to call some animal rights authority, please note that these chickens were only confined to that small space for their final confinement and for ease of access for slaughter.  Up until then, they roamed and jumped and flew like chickens should.

First kill was at 7:10 a.m., and all the slaughtered chickens were processed and resting on ice before lunch.  It went very well.  I did leave the gizzards and feet until later, but i did that on purpose and could have finished them at the same time had that been my goal.  The whole day was surprisingly easy for me.  I'm thankful.

I had so much down time that i was taking pictures of my clean kitchen.

In the interest of journalistic integrity, i should tell you that i retouched the floor (which desperately needs to be mopped) with random images from around the kitchen.

The victorious slaughterer's brother arrived with his beautiful non-slaughtering children about half way through the process.  The kids got to witness was was called "the miracle of where food comes from," and then they came inside and were put to work shucking peas while i dismantled chicken carcasses.

I'm not sure they were enjoying themselves.

We didn't really make them shuck peas the whole time, but they did do a respectable amount of peas and were sent home with a bag of them, so mama could use their hard work to cook dinner.

They also played and watched t.v. and magnetized my name on the couch.

Very sweet.

We started with nine chickens slated for slaughter.  Somehow (i was not a witness) one of the carcasses was mangled during the plucking process and then fed to the dogs as a very special treat.  So i got to process 8 young chickens, and i had a very easy time of it.  I seem to have my process pretty well down.

Getting artistic with chicken feet.

I saved the feet, gizzards, and necks to make chicken stock, which i will can in my All American Pressure Canner when it arrives; i saved the hearts and livers for fishing bait; and i saved the other random innards to be fed to my dogs.  The heads were also fed to the dogs (i'm sorry if this grosses you out, but dogs love that sort of thing) during the slaughtering process.  It feels really good to use all the parts to benefit the farm in some way.  

I am very thankful to be able to be so close to the food process.  As my niece discovered today, chicken fingers don't come from the grocery store; they come from actual chickens.  And it feels really good to take responsibility for part of that process.

Sadly a very successful day ended bitterly when i found a very sick hen in the chicken coop, who died in my arms minutes later.  I think she was having some egg-laying trouble, but i'm still trying to sort out what it was. After that sad experience, i joined my husband who was already napping.  Neither of us slept much last night, and we got up early this morning and worked hard.  Then we napped.  

Not too bad for our biggest slaughter yet.


  1. If I am ever called upon to do this, I will quickly claim to be a vegetarian. I will once again eat chicken with the threat of killing them has faded. I couldn't do it. I can't even watch Iron Chef filet a fish.

  2. so very glad it went so well!!!! Praise God!!!! That's truly awesome!!!!

    On another note: I think that I agree with Kris about if i was ever to be called upon to take your role!!!! But I love how great you have become at it and how it makes you feel!!!!

    Great pictures by the way!!!!

  3. You lead such an exciting life! You brave woman, you!

  4. i think she died from shock.

    and i heard all about the slaughter revelations...they were quite scarey. (and they had a great time :)


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