Slaughter Day – 2 old hens and friends

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chickenslayinghensThis past saturday I finally got around to slaughtering 2 of the red chickens we had, two old layers who weren’t laying anymore. There isn’t much meat on them but each is still a meals worth or two considering broth and roast or whatever we decide to do with it.

I took the two birds to a friends house, he who had 3 of his own birds to slaughter and clean and 4 more just to cull. We did the whole thing, start to finish.

We slaughtered with his homemade vinegar bottle kill cone, I got to make real use of my grandpas old hunting knife which was passed down to me and it turned out to work really nicely actually. We then plucked them  after heating up some water with the help of a third friend. Plucking took some time, its the most tedious part of the process though a no brainer.

Next we took the plucked birds into the kitchen and had a good old fashion chicken cleaning party. Ok, wasn’t much of a party. Neither of us had cleaned birds all by ourselves, the previous one I cleaned I had a knowledgable instructor looking right over my should showing me each step.

This time with not much memory of that initial lesson a couple months ago we setup a laptop with a gory list of images and directions and our classic ‘self sufficiency’ book with a pictorial on the whole slaughter / cleaning process.

We made a mess of the first bird that we each did a little, but with the second and third ones, we were on a roll.

I feel very pleased and gratified that I was able to bring home two fully cleaned birds for our freezer to really complete the whole circle of keeping chickens in the old fashioned method of keeping them. Its definitely a lost skill for  most people these days and an under appreciated one, even one people thing is disgusting or primitive. I think most however would be surprised if they saw what are sometimes even more gory situations for the food that we eat and less humane.

I officially know enough to teach the next generation – which will hopefully be my kids soon so they will have a full understanding of where their food comes from. It gives one respect for that which he eats and gives us all the more reason to be thankful for what we have, the abundance we live with in Canada and the effort our grand parents and their parents went to to sustain themselves as well as all generations before them.

Next up, hog slaughtering! And I think we may just try that next year!

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