August 7, 2016

Another chicken harvest

Recently, we were calling around to anyone we knew nearby with birds to see if we could find a mate for our little Cupcake when one of my husband's co-workers offered us several roosters.  He explained that he had had dreams of being a chicken farmer and someone had offered him two free birds so he took them.  It turned out, however, that they were both roosters and they got to be highly aggressive as they reached maturity.  They were all carrying a broom when they went outside, and he didn't know what to do with these birds.  We agreed to take and harvest them for meat.  

Josh picked them up one morning last week and we isolated them with just water in the far run of the coop for a day to let them clear their systems of food.  Then we cleaned our little makeshift harvesting station and set to it.  

You can see the whole process for how we do it on my previous post: We survived our first chicken harvest; the rooster did not.

Here is the first bird starting to be plucked.

And this is what they look like after plucking.  Next is the disemboweling.  

We ended up doing the two birds that we were given and one of our five roosters that had started to get aggressive towards my husband.  It took us several days to get our bird done though.  That stinker wanted to live!

The first day when Josh went in to get him, he escaped by flying up at him and then slipping between his legs.  He ran off and hid in the woods.  We got him isolated again that evening when he came in to roost.  The second time around Josh got him quickly captured and finished the process.

Two of the birds went right into the freezer.  The third I cooled off in the fridge for a day then stewed using the technique I wrote about in my Countryside article titled "How to Cook Stewing Hens and Roosters."  Someone left a comment on my story saying that she used the crockpot to make her broth so I tried that this time.  First I cooked the whole chicken in the stockpot, but after I separated the meat and the bones, I poured the broth and bones into the crockpot.  I left it to cook, on high, overnight.  When I strained out the bones in the morning, I had a beautiful rich broth.  I would definitely recommend this method!

The meat from the one bird went into two chicken pot pies for the freezer.  I'm excited to have these wholesome and easy dinners ready to go!

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