Friday, June 25, 2010
This is the chicken that crowed at 5:30 Tuesday morning. It took me a few days to finally butcher him but I did it yesterday. He was very good eating but I made a major mistake in the scalding process for plucking.
When I scalded the ducks I left them in the water for just a few minutes. The oil from the duck feathers prevents the water from getting to the skin quickly so leaving them in the pot of boiling water for over a minute was just fine. The feathers plucked easily. Unfortunately I used the same amount of time for this rooster and over did it. He was practically cooked when i started removing the feathers. this cause the skin to remove as well. The wing tips where completely cooked through. So I ended up skinning him anyway.
He was very tasty and gave enough meat for my family of 3 and a friend to have a nice dinner together. I don't know what type of chicken he was. A friend had purchased him for Easter pics when he was just a chick and the purchase was based on cuteness for the pictures and not breed or grow rate. The next batch of chicken I get will be a breed that has a high grow rate.
We still have two more chickens that I will be butchering soon. I hope to do before and after pics if I can get the scalding process right.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
We had two beautiful tri colored guinea pigs born this morning. They do not have a tortoise shell markings but that is o.k.. we have not started to breed for show qualities and I ma not sure that I want to put that much time into the cavies.
What really surprises me about them is that they are born fully furred, eyes and ear open and looking just like miniature adults. I am use to rabbits, kittens and puppies who are born with little to no fur, eyes closed and not able to care for themselves for at least 5 weeks. The picture is of hours old cavies. They were born sometime in the night and are now walking around enjoying the day.
Of the 3 chickens we have one of them started crowing a few mornings ago and I have not had the time or energy to butcher him yet. I do need to do it soon. I have realized that neighbors are willing to ignore a rooster Monday thru Friday. But Saturday and Sunday mornings need to be rooster free. The good news is I perfected the scalding method for plucking when I butchered the last two Muscovy/mallard mixes I had. The feathers came off easy and I was able to cook it perfectly. I don't have a mechanical chicken plucker yet so must do it all by hand.
I read an article about a butcher that is able to clean a cow from hoof to freezer in 25 minutes. 25 MINUTES!!! That is amazing fast. Each chicken takes me about 25 minutes at this point. Though I can do a rabbit in 5 minutes.
Speaking of cows! We are getting ready for fair and hope to purchase a cow, pig and sheep at the Almeda county Auction. If you are interested in food that was cared for locally by youth, and meeting your grower consider getting your meat for the year from a 4Her or FFA kid. The meat is top quality, the purchase is partly tax deductible and you are keeping your carbon foot print. If you are interested in splitting an animal you can do that as well.