My brother-in-law, who has butchered out chickens fairly regularly, walked my son (who had come home for the learning experience) and I through the whole thing. We skinned rather than plucked and ended up with more meat than we expected. He was something like 16 months old, so we don't expect the meat to be really tough, but just to be sure when the opportunity presents itself he'll go into the slow cooker with some homegrown potatoes, onions, and spices out of the herb garden.
|Sept 2015 - Yep, It was time.|
As I mentioned in my last post, Fred was never able to 'Rooster Up' and get the top spot in the pecking order, so he was always picked on: Hen-pecked as the saying goes. As a result, he had lost all of his beautiful tail feathers and a big part of the feathers on the very top of his head. Yep - It was definitely time.
- While Fred was, in his prime, a beautiful bird, that crown made it difficult for him to see. Since he couldn't see the hens or people coming he startled easily and that may have contributed to his tendency to be picked on and to attack. No more birds selected 'just for looks'.
- When we grow and process our own meat birds in the next year or so, we need to gear up a little better. A killing cone would make that process easier, especially if we are doing several at time. I also need a couple of good knives more suited to processing poultry.
On the plus side - No more worrying about Fred bullying family, friends, neighbors, visitors, and passers-by. (Yep, it was time!)
Also, the one thing I expected to miss most with Fred gone was hearing him crowing on a clear, cool morning. That always evoked wonderful childhood memories of growing up on a working 1960s family farm with all the livestalk that came with small farms of that era. Just in the last couple of days Ivan Crossbeak, who is about four months old and is now the rooster of the flock, has started belting out (well - squeaking out) his own call. He's far from full-voiced but it is good enough for now. I see that as a blessing and am very thankful for the privilege of enjoying it! For now, we've decided to keep Ivan through one batch of chicks and see how he does.
|Ivan Crossbeak - The new 'Roo' of the flock|