On Saturday, we butchered chickens. This was a meat bird experiment. Normally, we raise those gargantuan Cornish cross birds. They have all kinds of issues and over the years, they seem to be getting worse. This batch was some kind of meat bird cross that was light red and slower growing.
It worked out pretty well but they were noticeably smaller. Who knows what we will do next year.....
Anyway, this was the first time that I really got an idea of how well this new barn kitchen idea was going to work out. We are not any where near done or really even started. Having the big sink and the stainless steel table made things go so much smoother.
We just shuffled the junk around and swept the floor. We were able to butcher the birds outside and then move them into the barn to finish up the job. The wind was pretty brisk so it was very nice not to get so cold.
Sis was home for the holiday so she got to be part of the assembly line. Everybody had a job. Seth was the outside man. He did the actual butchering. Neil brought them in and he and Adam took turns with the dipping and using the plucker. Salena and I did the rest.
We have had this plucker for more than 15 years. Several people have borrowed it over the years. Some returned it promptly.... others I had to go get it. This old thing has probably processed thousands of birds. We bought the fiberglass dipping vat at the same time and it has endured years of neglect and still heats up water nearly as well as it ever did. I was looking through a catalog recently and was shocked at just how expensive this equipment is these days.
All in all, the whole process only took us about two hours from start to finish. About thirty minutes of that was just getting everything organized the way we wanted it. We had filled up the dipping vat and plugged it in at morning chores. By lunch, the water was hot enough at 150 degrees. We had gotten our other projects done and we were ready to start.
At a little after 2:00pm, we had 19 birds cooling in the refrigerator, ready to go into the freezer later, and two stewing in the pot.
Fewer chores to do now, too. Generally speaking, we try to simplify things during the coldest part of winter since we will be hauling hay to the cows and breaking ice for them, too. These two milk cows are kind of putting a kink in that plan......