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Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :)

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1 Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:01 am

CynthiaM

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Yes, so a trip to the Lower Mainland of our province occurred, a celebration of life of two wonderful men passed. In tow was a couple of buff orpington cockerels that did not come close to making the grade with any breeding prospects. Each was 28 weeks old. One was slightly bigger than the other. We bunked at my youngest Sister's home. My Sister is a mirror image of me in many ways. Mostly gardening and love of the farm stuff. Yes, so two males came in two, in our trunk. A nice, quiet and dark place, and cool too. The two boxes that held the boys were stuffed in amongst other stuff, well insulated and I am sure they had a nice ride. Brought them to my Sister’s home and immediately put them outside in a dog kennel, cool, the sunshine was shining, so they were enjoying the sunshine too, and on grass (yes, they have grass growing), so were enjoying life. Quiet, enjoying life. The intention of the two males was for processing for a beautiful dinner in a couple of days for my Sister and her family. With 6 kids, probably two would be enough, smiling. Each male took his turn at giving his life for to feed my family. I helped and learned some more good stuff about processing. Only been involved in a processing event once, that was when Uno’s Husband processed some of their friend’s birds and two of mine. I watched and learned that day, as I did that day with my Sister. She made it seem so easy, and seriously, I think that I could perform this myself, but only a bird or two, here or there. When I have mass numbers, of course they will attend the abattoir for a visit. Head off. Bird held and bled into a bucket (yes, I held the bird). I was shocked at really how little blood is in the body of the bird. No mess at all, this also surprised me. Onto the table. And what she did next even surprised me more. She had told me that she was going to skin the two birds, not remove feathers. I thought to myself, oh well. I would like the skin on, cause I love the skin, but to her, the skin must not be overly important. Skinned the birds, oh man, so simple. Really? Never realized it was so simple. Then the evisceration. So simple. Really? Never realized it was that simple, it almost seemed like it was not really done, but it was. Cause I took the birds in and washed them, inside and out. And then into the fridge. I told her that I like to rest the birds 3-4 days (most times they end up being on the fifth day before I get around to freezing). I weighed each boy and I was even more shocked and impressed.

Hold on....hands waving in air...happy....I am seeing even more improvement. These two boys were raised by broody hens (their counterpart cochin pals had gone for processing just before Christmas). I think the raising by broody hens contributed to size. Get this. After even the skin was removed (and wondered how much skin on an entire bird weighs, could not test that, as feathers were attached to the skin). Each male dressed out to 5.2 pounds, without skin (oh by the way, anyone have a good guess on how much the skin of a bird might weigh? Would really like to get a good idea on that). I venture maybe two ounces? So, if the skin was 2 ounces, that would have been almost a 5 and a half pound bird. I was impressed. That is a big bird, for one that is dual purpose, not specifically bred for meat.

This leads me to my excitement this year with the cockerels that I will be growing out for our freezer again. Still got a good many in the freezer, but those numbers are going down quickly, smiling.

Yes. So....new plans this year. No clue what this year’s males’ weights will be, but I am very excited. And....I have another plan too, smiling. If I can convince Daughter number two, that LOVES the roosters so much, to allow to fix up the end of her barn to a male grow out pen (this would only be for the last 2 months of life), and be fed proper broiler finisher, that those males might be even bigger than what has been raised on just free range and 18% layer pellets. Yep. All the males have only had this type of feed, no where to have them eat anything but what the other birds eat. So yes. This year, another year of testing and I am so stoked. All the way around.

I like that it takes 6 months for the birds to mature to age of maturity. Because I know that the longer the bird lives, free ranges and grows, the deeper the flavour of the meat. That is a given. So yes, some say, grow the breeds that are designed to be processed at an early age, as they mature so fast. But that side of me says no. Let them grow for months, let them eat the bugs and grasses of the world, let them run and be silly, and I firmly believe that this gives the most deliciously flavoured bird one can imagine. Just me, my inner thoughts, but I bring them on.

5.2 pound roosters, without the skin, pretty impressive I would think. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

2 Re: Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:52 am

bigrock

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That is impressive Cynthia, good job! Have heard people talk about skinning, but have never seen it done. I so like just sending them off to the butcher and receiving these tidy little packages back.

3 Re: Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Magdelan

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Cynthia that is cool reporting. Thank you. I wonder if this is the same sister who you were looking to help find chickens for? My roosters are for the chop next week. deep sigh. going to skin them too.

4 Re: Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:01 pm

lady leghorn


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Ohhhh but the skin is the best part.  cheers 

5 Re: Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:23 pm

Magdelan

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I like chicken skin - well I used to - but I am looking at the state of the family and we need not to be eating more skin right now.

6 Re: Food we eat, getting bigger and bigger :) on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:50 pm

lady leghorn


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Me either, but darn it's so good! You don't have it that often, and only live once. Smile

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