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And then there were thirty-four

I had been wondering about this for a little while, and then recently it became quite obvious – one of these is definitely not like the other.

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He was up to 8 lbs, far beyond the 6 lbs I was hoping for and his legs were reaching the limits of what they could support. I think he could take about ten to fifteen steps before needing to rest.

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We experimented with heating the water for the “scalder” (stock pot) outside, but after twenty-something minutes there was no noticeable difference so we just used the stove to heat it.

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He was not nearly as complacent as the small hen we did a while ago – and the neck was much tougher to cut through. I am really looking forward to receiving the cones; will make life easier.

Turned in at a respectable 4 lbs 14 oz, with the breasts an even 1 lb in the end. I’m wondering why people don’t just raise roosters instead? The meat tastes the same to me….

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First chicken slaughtered

Well, I thought there was hope, but the chicken I’ve been keeping in the shed

In the end, for this one, I went with a sharp knife to the throat, a pot of hot water at around 70° C (160° F), and hand-picking the feathers. I will only put links to the video and some pictures here; if you are squeamish I suggest avoiding them.

Video of bird before, during, and after slaughter.

(Apparently YouTube examines the soundtrack and since I’ve used copyrighted music in it, refuses to play the audio

In case anyone is curious, the first two pieces of music are Zero Seven’s Waiting to Die and Un Bel Di from Madame Butterfly. The third is fairly recognizable :) I had debated using Only Happy When It Rains (it was downpouring), Up N Down (just to throw in some dance music) and I Would Die For You. At the end of the day, taking four-ish hours to cut together a video is too long as it is :)

Pictures

Was it difficult? A little bit, although most of my concern came from trying to find the right place on the throat to cut. I definitely should have cut higher and will remember that for next time (plus they will be in a cone then). The rest of it went well; the plucking was quite straightforward, but needs to be done as soon as the dunking is complete – we decided to take it inside to finish off and it had cooled down by then. Eviscerating was a bit tougher (I was following these directions

In the end, she only weighed 1.25lbs after picking, and there may have been .5 lbs of meat there. Certainly not worth keeping alive for another two weeks in terms of comfort or food.

Anyway; I’m glad I have some experience now. Looking forward to getting slightly better equipment setup for the remaining thirty-something of them in a couple weeks time. It looks like I may be giving away a few live to people who want to grow them even larger :)

First catch

Went fishing yesterday for the first time – caught my one (and only) trout thirty seconds into the trip :) One of the other guys caught one a few minutes later, and then that was it for the day. Good experience; would definitely go again when the weather was nicer.

Here was my appetizer for supper last night :) It kind of fell apart in the pan so there’s no “after” picture, but they were tasty. By the time I got the backbone/bones out there wasn’t a lot of meat; part of undoubtedly due to this being my first time.

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It’s still not real food

It is easy to take almost any belief in life to an extreme (including The Primal Blueprint). One of the unfortunate commercialistic side-effects of the rise in vegetarianism is the creation of meat-like products: “food” based on soy and a multitude of other ingredients to mimic the taste/feel of meat. Take, for instance, “Chick’n Nuggets” – a tofu-based concoction surrounded by bread and corn.

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The famous Chicken McNugget was demonized for being deep-fried, not containing enough chicken/protein, and removing the last trace between animal and food in many children’s minds. All of these facts are true. However, creating a similar monstrosity based on soy is not the answer, and I see no reason why people should feel “good” about eating something with fourty-some ingredients just because it doesn’t contain meat.

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Of the ingredients listed, soy appears four different times and corn thrice. There are barely any real seasonings and the added vitamins scream that something has gone awry in the process. How anyone could purchase this and consider it ‘healthy’ is beyond me.

I will be the first to admit that meat coming from inhumanely-raised chickens should be left alone and that deep-frying / trans-fats are indeed the devil. You can still enjoy a ‘chicken nugget’ with a simple, tasty, home-made recipe like the ones available on RecipeZaar

Only eat food made from ingredients your grandmother (or great-grandmother) would recognize.

  • Michael Pollan