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JackTaylor

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Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:30:02 PM »
In my area many city/town councils are revising animal ordinances to allow limited poultry keeping on private property for eggs, - supposedly for the family/personal consumption only, - say for example six hens and no roosters.

Anyone here processed a backyard grown poult for the table in the past year?
( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/poults  )

I met a young couple at a (November) Thanksgiving Dinner who were starting to do more about where their food came from.  They had about ten hens and gave away a few eggs, but, had never slaughtered ( I call it dressing ) a bird.  Went and did one with them and the wife is now a whiz and husband gets a little squeamish.

Neven, would it be taboo to discuss the procedures/gory details.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MODIFIED

3.  Third, no need to be boring - vociferous - wealth of information onLine.
https://www.google.com/#q=butcher+slaughter+kill+chicken

2.  Second, because it is the way I was forced (taught) to do as a youngster.  Decapitating.
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/how-to-butcher-a-chicken-5.html

1.  First Time killing your own chicken - watch this one first, especially the artery severing, (~ 3:20) First time how to butcher slaughter a free range chicken, Advice from rookie to rookie.  Has some nice introduction with a link to an experienced butcher farmboy procedure.
Preface this -       youtube.com/watch?v=F558NikTSu4
with http://www.    full link below

4. Forum member bkpr recommends
www.google.com/#q=polyface+farms+kill+cone




« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 02:22:25 PM by JackTaylor »

Neven

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 01:13:31 AM »

Neven, would it be taboo to discuss the procedures/gory details.

Not at all. This is actually something I've been thinking about on and off, as we also plan to build a chicken coop next year. I know how to cut up a chicken, but never killed one.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2014, 02:15:33 AM »
Jack, I keep chickens with a rooster or two around. Every couple years I  collect about 20 eggs and put them in an incubator, mark an X on one side an O on the other and dutifully roll them with the X up in the mornings and the O up evenings. This results in 20 little chicks after 18 days. Spring is the best time because the little chicks stay in the house till they grow in some feathers. They really get to stinking so putting them out in warm weather allows a little less house time.
 Although I have dispatched some chickens in the past the 10 roosters I get in the incubator ( after growing)are usually donated to Mexican friends that seem to really want them. I could pluck and dress some birds as I have done it before but I my case the wife would make me go make the boiling pot down by the barn.

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 12:45:30 PM »
Neven - OK - Thanks.
The chicken you have cut-up, was it of the type purchased from a butcher - supermarket?
If so, you're in for an amazing experience at first, when doing everything.  Then after numerous it gets boring - but better than going hungry.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bruce Steele,
I think it's great you can keep chickens with a rooster or two.  In my mind, it ain't natural and it's  awful not to have roosters with the hens.  Everyone should be waking up and getting out of bed when the rooster crows.  Some of the "noise" ordinances we have even outside city limits - zoned residential - are on the agenda for some county councils.

I think many people should hear about small scale "meat for protein production" activities.
Everyone is not a vegetarian.  I don't eat fried chicken anymore if I can avoid it - but baked/broiled/roasted is a regular.  If collapse occurs they need to know how to avoid getting sick/poisoned finding/consuming available calories.

BTW, as a youngster way back when, we fried chicken in Lard.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is a wealth of information posted online about dispatching (killing), butchering/slaughtering  and others aspects of getting rid of the blood - guts - feathers, so not going to duplicate those good works.  Will post Links by modifying my first post in this thread/topic hopefully to elicit some conversation on differences others prefer/practice.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 02:44:50 PM »
Jack, I only have a couple friends who are both young and willing to embrace some degree of
minimalism.Much of the discussion here is about those things we remember from 50+ years ago and Anne has some well written thoughts today on what we have given up. I was lucky enough to have at least been witness to the old culture, the working horse, root cellars, chickens in the yard, dawn to dark work days putting up the hay for winter. For me the family farm went away and even today the whole experience of that loss haunts me. I try in little ways to put back together the broken pieces and when someone brings a little child around I put them up on the pony. It may be as close as they ever get, but I try to give them something to remember. I wish it felt something like a new start rather than a requiem.
 I have meetings today and I will drive down into the city. There isn't any point in holing up completely. I will try to maintain some composure ,bury my emotions that swing wildly between
anger and sadness, and provide advice to people mostly younger than me. Try to be a good example,
try to offer up some advice without coming across as righteous. Dawn is breaking , the rooster just noticed and I gotta get chores done before I drive my 62' bug into the maelstrom .

 
   
 

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 03:24:03 PM »
Bruce,

On frying chicken in Lard.

In the pursuit of prosciutto from your Mangalitsa "Woolies" - anybody scrape the fat off the intestines to render?


ritter

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2014, 04:42:26 PM »
Tell me about the rabbits, George....

Jack, any thoughts on raising/dressing rabbits? I'm curiously drawn to them as a backyard protein source. Now getting my wife and daughter on board with that is another matter...

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 08:18:24 AM »
Jack, The processed pigs gotta have a USDA stamp on them. Intestines are something the
processor won't deal with. USDA gets very picky about even a few hairs , there aren't many
places left that handle us small producers and I may have to travel to Fresno (  300 miles )
in the near future. This is probably annoying some folks but maybe people should understand
how very difficult it is to run a small operation with the animals getting plenty of space , their manure cleaned up, vegetable treats, whole grains and cooked beans. I honestly can't imagine them on grates and the typical factory operation. I did cook chicken in oil from chitlens a couple nights ago.
Farm life does leave you facing things most people would rather not face but although it's uncomfortable for me too I try to give the animals as good a life as I can. I had 25 farm guests over the other day, I had them scratch the piggies behind their ears ( which they like ) and then smell their hands... No smell.   

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 10:59:06 AM »
Tell me about the rabbits, George....

Jack, any thoughts on raising/dressing rabbits? I'm curiously drawn to them as a backyard protein source. Now getting my wife and daughter on board with that is another matter...
ritter,

Don't do it anymore, but, if anyone can get past the emotional hang-up of killing and eating "Thumper" or "Peter Cottontail" it is a very good low space use way to go.  Their food costs may seem a bit much for the amount butchered - but - If the point is for knowing where the food comes from or what's in it you probably couldn't do much better.

A lot of information onLine - would guess you may have already checked it out.

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 11:55:47 AM »
Jack, The processed pigs gotta have a USDA stamp on them. Intestines are something the
processor won't deal with. USDA gets very picky about even a few hairs , there aren't many
places left that handle us small producers and I may have to travel to Fresno (  300 miles )
in the near future. This is probably annoying some folks but maybe people should understand
how very difficult it is to run a small operation with the animals getting plenty of space , their manure cleaned up, vegetable treats, whole grains and cooked beans. I honestly can't imagine them on grates and the typical factory operation. I did cook chicken in oil from chitlens a couple nights ago.
Farm life does leave you facing things most people would rather not face but although it's uncomfortable for me too I try to give the animals as good a life as I can. I had 25 farm guests over the other day, I had them scratch the piggies behind their ears ( which they like ) and then smell their hands... No smell.   
Bruce,

The FDA - USDA/FSIS is something good and bad.  For large commercial it needs to be expanded.
( it will shock a lot of people on learning about their permitted amount of "excrement" in canned corn ).

Unfortunately selling ( & giving away) venison (deer "Bambi") and wild boar (pigs "Porky"), etc,,,  supposed  to be inspected live on the hoof before dispatching (slaughter/killing) - don't keep up with it the way I used to.

Personal consumption is a different matter - thank goodness.

Speaking of FDA - California rules/regs, for your vegetables, is there something like
"a roadside market exemption" for "stands" ?

Any loud vocals you hear going around out there about the 2014 Farm Bill
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/farm-bill-2014-fsis-inspection-must-satisfy-the-requirements-of-the-fda/#.Uy1kMahdWSo

BTW, for the 62' bug you drive, are you a DIY for keeping the valves adjusted?
In case of a severe EMP - CME you shouldn't have to worry about electronic ignition  8)
just getting fuel (or have you modified? ) and lube.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 03:33:02 PM »
Jack, Personal consumption does allow you still a large amount of freedom so far. It might be interesting however to further explore what may have changed in England on this issue with the mad cow, and hoof and mouth type problems. That is when human pathogens start to crop up does government use that as an excuse to regulate personal slaughter and consumption? Maybe our European friends might elaborate. Chickens also might be an issue should coronavirus mutate again and spread.
  I am a fisherman and I just sent in my $1,350 in licenses to fish next year that I have to pay whether I fish or not as not paying would void several limited access permits. Once gone I can never get those permits back.
  The farm stand is really one of the truly unregulated areas of personal income but as you say the new farm bill only allows that exemption for a few more years. It will hit the largest producers first and then in five years work it's way down to me. The thing is based on income so as long as I gross under $25,000 I will continue to fly under cover for another five years. Mind you the farm stand is a cash business and although I dutifully track and pay taxes on cash sales there is room I suppose for a certain amount of cheating.
 In order to maintain the tax advantages ( annual business deductions ) I do have to show a profit most years. I pay for a weights and measures stamp on my scales and also pay for my well water to be checked for water standards but otherwise no inspections. Since 30 acres in Santa Barbara County is pricey I do keep a million dollar farm policy should for potential food safety issues. I also have to pay extra for extra sales at a farmers market. I have installed deer fence as they are the most likely source of e coli infections. I have no cows, sheep or goats. Using manure now requires a 9 month fallow which increased from 6 months recently. I grow eggs but don't sell them in the farm stand as salmonella cross contamination is a potential issue not worth risking. Also farm stand is an outbuilding , no electricity. Zoning issues otherwise. 
  I bought my Australian beetle in 72'( right hand drive) my brother is aV.W. Mechanic. Cost  me $ 350
 and now worth 10-12 k. The EMP issues aren't really relevant because I live within 15 miles of a large US missile launch site. They don't advertise but I suppose there are weapons in those silos so if the big boys start launching I and my VW will be melted into the sand. They practice intercepts from here so the foolhardy might take some comfort in that. lol


 

 

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Re: Chicken Dressing
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 05:13:20 PM »
Jack, Personal consumption does allow you still a large amount of freedom so far. It might be interesting however to further explore what may have changed in England on this issue with the mad cow, and hoof and mouth type problems. That is when human pathogens start to crop up does government use that as an excuse to regulate personal slaughter and consumption? Maybe our European friends might elaborate. Chickens also might be an issue should coronavirus mutate again and spread.

In the UK at least, slaughter of livestock is more strongly regulated now. Things my parents did when I was a child would be illegal now. Some animals (cows at least) require a passport unique to that animal tracking it through it's whole life.

One can get a flavour by glancing at this page - there are plenty of government sites out there with the rules and they are not necessarily the same in Scotland as England. As usual as you go deeper into the rabbit hole of legality it can be difficult working out what you can actually do legally.

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/glos/bus1item.cgi?file=*BADV693-1001.txt

Personally? F--- the government and their laws. Legal and moral are not the same thing. Of course the more the livestock market is regulated the more they can squash options anyway (as most people comply).

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 01:55:00 PM »
ccgwebmaster,  thanks for the link

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/glos/bus1item.cgi?file=*BADV693-1001.txt

it has a link to sheep slaughter ( bolt &/or bullet ) which many idealistic (urban hippies)
should be aware of if forced into survivalist - minimalist way of life.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2012/06/diy_animal_slaughter_urban_hipsters_think_it_s_a_good_idea_it_isn_t_.html

If they don't have a "blank fired bolt" or a "bullet" for an old firearm is where it really gets to be back to an older lifestyle.  If collapse causes us to go back that far - humane dispatching (killing) will no longer be a concern.  As a youngster there were in-family arguments about saving the pig brains (great with scrambled eggs) cooked in fresh churned butter.  Gets kind of mean-messy to gory from there to describe.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2014, 02:35:53 PM »
Anyone who has ever spent time around animals should be fully aware that their perceptive abilities are finely tuned. I read the guidelines Ccg linked and they obviously leave the farmers willing to do their own livestock slaughter in a very grey area. When does the animal experience stress? Very subjective.So if I read this correctly you better not be in public view , that is out of sight out of mind.
Now if you keep an animal on metal grates in metal cages and feed them antibiotics and totally processed feed( of unknown origin ) and send them into huge processing facilities where the stench of death gets through to even our blunted human perceptions you are good to go. Corporate manipulation plain and simple.

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2014, 03:06:10 PM »
-- Corporate manipulation plain and simple --
Bruce, as you have explained in other posts about difficulty of small or family farm,

over the years I've formed the opinion some of the food rules & regs are (lobbied in) to stifle competition and maybe to punish a class of people for voting certain ways or to put heat on a class of politician/bureaucrat for pointing a finger.   
Yes, I have some paranoia, but is it truly false suspicions? 

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2014, 03:44:54 PM »
Jack, I suppose we are fair game in a capitalist system but what really gets my goat is when I read something like the British slaughter rules that have obviously been pushed by the far left . People gotta know when they are being used as shills for corporate motives and think through the unintended consequences . I am a fisherman and we are the favorite whipping boy for the enviro left wing. We provide the boogyman for their funding campaigns and as a result over 80% of our seafood is imported from places with terrible regulatory oversight or enforcement. I avoid fishing issues here on the forum although that is where I cut my teeth in politics. I am afraid someday I may draw my detractors, causing Neven undue grief and also forcing me into silence. If and when that happens you will know why I disappeared as I value the forum far more than trying to fight both my friends and detractors at once.

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2014, 05:01:35 PM »
Anyone who has ever spent time around animals should be fully aware that their perceptive abilities are finely tuned. I read the guidelines Ccg linked and they obviously leave the farmers willing to do their own livestock slaughter in a very grey area. When does the animal experience stress? Very subjective.So if I read this correctly you better not be in public view , that is out of sight out of mind.

I suspect most farmers wouldn't dare to do their own slaughter - they have too much to lose and if they're generally supplying meat to the commercial market it's categorically illegal unless they've got the full facilities setup? The grey area is for personal consumption - it's pretty much black otherwise.

Personally I have no problem with killing an animal one raised - if you looked after it and it had as pleasant a life as reasonably possible to that point and was killed quickly and humanely - it's streets ahead of most factory or commercially farmed animals. I think a poor family doing it for personal consumption in the countryside would likely be able to fly under the radar (and have sympathy from some elements of the rural community, such as is left) but if you were trying to do it with the oversight of neighbours in a more built up area (as most people in the UK live in) I think you would be much more likely to have problems - even if you did everything properly, they'd likely be calling the RSPCA, the police, whoever (whose people would likely be just as ignorant...).

If they don't have a "blank fired bolt" or a "bullet" for an old firearm is where it really gets to be back to an older lifestyle.  If collapse causes us to go back that far - humane dispatching (killing) will no longer be a concern.  As a youngster there were in-family arguments about saving the pig brains (great with scrambled eggs) cooked in fresh churned butter.  Gets kind of mean-messy to gory from there to describe.

With poultry, single blow decapitation with a sharp axe works fairly well. Overkill for chickens perhaps.

Mistakes can still happen though - my parents only kept pigs once. The main reason being that they came to kill them (all two of them) and the landlord recommended using a .22 to do the job. Pigs being larger than anything they'd killed to that point, they took him up on the loan of one. The first pig was then merely annoyed by the first shot and ran around complaining and bleeding a little bit and they fell back to the shotgun they then had (which did the job and at least it was conveniently on stand by). I think they went straight to the shotgun for the second one and decided not to do pigs again.

Personally I would prefer a gun (more powerful than a .22) for something as large as a pig. In the UK of course, guns are regulated almost out of existence - as the government no doubt wishes to ensure their primacy over the population. If you were to build your own one in the UK, you would do serious jail time if caught and the population density is high enough it would be difficult to use it for humane slaughter in most places without being reported.

My understanding is you can dispatch a pig with a relatively small knife (presumably by cutting the carotoid) but I can't honestly say I know where and how deep you would need to cut for a pig. I'd have to be pretty desperate to learn on a live animal...

Neven

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2014, 08:59:18 AM »
Quote
I am afraid someday I may draw my detractors, causing Neven undue grief and also forcing me into silence. If and when that happens you will know why I disappeared as I value the forum far more than trying to fight both my friends and detractors at once.

Not to worry, Bruce.

My understanding is you can dispatch a pig with a relatively small knife (presumably by cutting the carotoid) but I can't honestly say I know where and how deep you would need to cut for a pig. I'd have to be pretty desperate to learn on a live animal...

In the Croatian village where my grandfather lives they did that once with a very big boar. They missed the big artery though, or didn't cut it through all the way, and the pig wrestled itself loose (4 men holding it) and ran around the village for 15 minutes, screaming and bleeding everywhere, until it collapsed. That's a story that is told every now and again.

I wasn't there at the time, but I remember seeing as a boy how they killed goats for a wedding, by sticking a butcher's knife right in the head. And my father once told me that every year when they killed the boar my grandmother would lock herself up in her room and cry, because she fed the animal all year and thus built up a sort of relationship.

This is my personal contact with killing animals, except of course for a short spell of insect sadism during childhood.

I'm not looking forward to killing our eventual chicken. It's even possible that my daughter (and then wife) won't allow it. For that reason rabbits are absolutely out of the question, and I wouldn't even know where to start with a pig.

However, in a village, 15 km from where we live, there's a small firm raising pigs organically and humanely. They now have a plan to build their own slaughterhouse (also for other people's animals) where the emphasis is 100% on animal welfare. They were looking for small investors (shares of 1000 euros and up), but unfortunately we can't contribute right now.
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Laurent

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2014, 10:36:49 AM »
Wouldn't it be possible to anesthetize the animals before killing them with some plants found locally ?

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2014, 05:07:16 PM »
Wouldn't it be possible to anesthetize the animals before killing them with some plants found locally ?

You know, most of the really good anesthetics from plants happen to be illegal...

On a marginally more serious note - you need to be careful, for exactly the same reason you need to be careful if you're eating slugs or snails from the wild - anything the animal eats before you eat it, is potentially still in its system to go into yours.

If you're using an implement with a blade, I think the main thing is that it's sharp - so that it cleanly severs nerve endings and causes less tearing of the tissue. You need to do it fast and accurately to keep pain and distress to the minimum. If you sever the carotoid (or presumably cause any major loss of blood pressure) I would think the animal would be unconscious (and hence feeling no pain) rapidly as with humans.

I'm not looking forward to killing our eventual chicken. It's even possible that my daughter (and then wife) won't allow it. For that reason rabbits are absolutely out of the question, and I wouldn't even know where to start with a pig.

While I'm not sure anyone should look forward to killing anything it gets more routine in short order.

However - there are quite a few things I think people who abhor/deplore killing animals to eat overlook. One is the question of if they eat meat - that has likely been killed in much worse circumstances in an industrial facility. Why should it be OK to eat meat where the pain and suffering is invisible to you and pretend that makes it alright, but not OK to do it personally as well as you can? There is a form of denial going on here - that makes it easier for out of sight out of mind suffering to occur.

Also, death is a natural part of life. Everything dies sometime - and I'm not at all sure it's less cruel to let an an animal die of old age or whatever condition (including wild animal) might otherwise kill it prematurely. I think parents do a disservice to their children when they tell lies about what happened to family pets that died - that they went away, went to puppy heaven, whatever - it's about as good a teachable moment for death as you could wish for, given that later their grandparents will go the same way (and later still their parents).

If I might make one comment about family animals and not making them hard to kill I would say - don't give them a name, not unless it's "breakfast", "lunch" or "dinner". Once named there is a tendency to build up an emotional connection (and some animals do genuinely have personality, not so sure about chickens in that way though).

The one animal that my parents wouldn't ever kill was a duck I rescued - it had problems hatching that had lasted so long they wrote it off and assumed it would die. I took it on, kept it warm, helped it a little to get out (which you're not really meant to do) and fed it etc and it made it. It got a name ("ducky", not very imaginative, now that I look back on it) and it was off limits for slaughter (as it was my duck - a drake actually - and a fairly large one when it finished growing as it had a touch of Aylesbury).

With both chickens and ducks they can be productive egg layers for years before they start to get old and stew starts to make sense. If you're letting them mate (you don't want too many males - but you will need at least one for ducks which only lay fertilised eggs) you can always do meat and eggs simultaneously, though I get the impression you're talking a singular chicken - where eggs might make as much sense?

TerryM

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2014, 08:25:33 PM »
A friend raised three pigs when his children were young & named them Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Dinner became something of a house pig with a wonderful personality & if it hadn't broken a leg might have remained more a pet than an entree.


Terry

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2014, 10:52:14 PM »
A friend raised three pigs when his children were young & named them Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Dinner became something of a house pig with a wonderful personality & if it hadn't broken a leg might have remained more a pet than an entree.

Well, OK - it's as much a matter of attitude as name then  ;)

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2014, 01:24:35 AM »
However - there are quite a few things I think people who abhor/deplore killing animals to eat overlook. One is the question of if they eat meat - that has likely been killed in much worse circumstances in an industrial facility. Why should it be OK to eat meat where the pain and suffering is invisible to you and pretend that makes it alright, but not OK to do it personally as well as you can? There is a form of denial going on here - that makes it easier for out of sight out of mind suffering to occur.

I'm fully aware of the denial, which is one of the reasons we want a chicken coop. We never told our daughter those fairy tales, but she won't accept it any way. And that's okay. It's good for her to see how life and death really work.
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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2014, 03:20:31 PM »

Google Joel Salatin or polyface farms and watch the series on chicken processing for a small operation.
Several other vids feature using the funnel method to humanely harvest your birds by slitting the cardioid artery using razor sharp knife. 
We live where the services of a farm butcher are still available for personal consumption. I have been with him when we killed beef, pork or lamb. He uses a .22Magnum and I have never seen him miss or need 2 shots.  Whether beef or pork, he parks one round between the ears and when the cow or pig is down, their throats are cut and they bleed out .  Having been raised to hunt, I was still a bit squeamish the first couple of times, but to deny where and how our food reaches our table is foolish and our children are the poorer for it.

The disconnect from where our food comes from, how it is harvested, how far it had to travel and from where is one of the causes of our disconnect with life itself.  :(

The assault on small family run farms, ranches and orchards by the mega marts and the demand for one size fit all regulations will end our ability to source real food, free from foreign  DNA, antibiotics used to stimulate growth, etc.

Folks today can live their entire life and never smell a pig, feed and apple to a horse, sheesh, often the closest they come is the park, beach or zoo for any viewing of critters other than us bipeds. 

We teach kids how to propagate seeds and are saddened by how many have never raised so much as a tomato.  How do you tell them that no there isn't an app for putting your hands in the dirt?

bkpr

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2014, 03:19:06 PM »
bkpr,

Added a Link in 1st post per your recommendation.

Thanks - JackT

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2015, 07:30:17 AM »
Neven, Hope this is O.K. I hope Jack is still willing to share some of his memories with us.

The clock was set for 4:45. The truck and the fish tote with 150 lbs. of ice 
were staged so we could jump in and get away as soon as I finish feeding the pigs and put the horses out. It has been a busy week with several sows farrowing and one maiden sow dying in (childbirth). Pigs can have a small pelvis and even a good vet with small hands that can reach the stuck piglet , a vet willing to make a Sunday night farm call , couldn't get both her hand and the piglet through the tight spot.  We both thought the sow wouldn't make it as the vet drove away.
Last thing she said was "  miracles happen ".  So I waited another hour and the poor doomed sow did deliver the stillborn that had been holding up the litter. 
The miracle part was the next couple piggies she delivered live before another large piglet ended a very difficult delivery. 
 I am a farmer ,and when I had hands small enough, smaller than the vet because I was 12 or 13  I  had my part in trying to pull a lamb. It didn't help the lamb or the ewe and ended not well. Sheep and horses can be difficult at ( lambing or foaling )  but pigs are usually hands off / no issues. I still maintain a nightwatch as the sows farrow and after 1.5 - 2 hour visits night after night this week the loss of the sow was emotional damage added to a lot of just plain tired. 
 After the young sow passed I took the 3 young orphans up to the house and bottle fed them until the next sow farrowed and I could pass them off . So  every two hours up with a flashlight , minding new sows, and feeding orphans did get the young piggies a new mother and as far as miracles go all three orphans are doing just fine now. 
 This morning we had market orders and a long truck drive to cap off a long week 
of baby pigs. As I walked down the driveway I couldn't help but notice the full moon was blood red. I looked around and all the stars were bright and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I've seen a lunar eclipse before and the color gave it away so I watched as I did the hour of feeding pigs with a flashlight. After an hour there was about 75% still in eclipse .  So I will remember.  I suppose I could find out if I will ever see another total lunar but I hope if I do it will come like this one with no foreknowledge.  It is better that way.

Neven

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2015, 08:10:06 AM »
My condolences wrt the sow, Bruce. Sounds like a lot of hard work.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2015, 08:36:26 AM »
Neven, I did see an amazing eclipse. I would credit the chores. Still not the work gardening acreage can be. More damage to your nerves , less damage to your knees.  Life is amazing either way.

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2015, 06:12:39 PM »
~ ~ I hope Jack is still willing to share some of his memories with us. ~ ~
Bruce,

Regretable hearing about the sow but happy to learn some of the litter survived.

Believe it or not I do not remember having ever been present for assisting in birth of any farm animal.

We did have in our community an older couple that would attend cow (calf) and mare (foal) births.
One old vet about 10-12 miles away, but unusual to find him 'sober' especially at night.

Don't remember anybody working with hogs-pigs, maybe we were lucky or I didn't hear about it.
Feed'em  - slaughter'em - salt & cure - eat'em is what's in my old memory.

BTW: You mention "market orders" - hope you're doing well toward the "prosciutto market."

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2015, 08:11:32 PM »
Jack, The old couple that attended births is an interesting take , necessitating good communications ,timing and allnighters in other folks barns. Always seems to be nighttime.
 Markets are doing well , it takes about a year and a half to cure a prosciutto so the first few are starting to get sliced. That is someone else's job but I get to dine in some nice restaurants checking out the results.
 We have sold some young breeding pairs and it is interesting seeing other farmers wanting to grow pigs out in pasture again. Confinement operations are a sad sad thing, miserable.
Kinda walking back ag science but maybe the illusive dollar isn't worth the misery it sometimes causes.
 Check out the nifty acorn collecting tool I found on-line. It's called Bag-A-Nut. Now I am set up for tonnage in acorn harvesting potential. I swear I am going to figure out how fatten up few pigs with acorns and forage collected with an electric solar powered car. Each pig is about 400,000 calories and that is a bunch of calories if you have to grow those calories in your garden.
   http://baganut.com/nut-harvesters/acorns-large/
 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 04:31:16 AM by Bruce Steele »

JackTaylor

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2015, 12:12:20 PM »
Bruce - sorry about reply delay - off on other tangents.

We have sold some young breeding pairs and it is interesting seeing other farmers wanting to grow pigs out in pasture again. Confinement operations are a sad sad thing, miserable.
Kinda walking back ag science but maybe the illusive dollar isn't worth the misery it sometimes causes.
Pasture/grass fed - free range seems to be gaining a lot of momentum in what I see.  Annual/Winter Rye Grass Seed has become a very big seller.   A lot of it is based on the illusive dollar around here, along with the healthier food concept.  No small farmers becoming millionaires - but - advertising and availability for "local organic" seems as if it's becoming big business.  No longer a part-time pursuit of folks - it's their only source of income.  If I was about 20 - 30 years younger, instead of mid-70's, believe I would be right there with them. 

Non-industrial Food is gaining by leaps and bounds, it's amazing and 'oh' so gratifying.

Now this is scary, but worth repeating and re-linking:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/food-fascists-gmo-and-pesticide-manufacturers-down-and-dirty/5395944
"After decades of rearing hogs, Danish farmer IbBorup Pedersen was alarmed at the growing incidence of malformations and biological defects among his newborn piglets. Deformities included gaps in piglets’ skulls, deformed bones, missing limbs and even a female piglet with testicles."

This a 'rant' - and off topic - I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again"
"Arctic Ice Melting caused by Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming - AGW-
AND
Genetically Modified Organisms -GMO's - particularly where herbicide -n- pesticide residue accumulates up the food chain
will eventually
be the down fall of the Republican Party in the United States.

And it will happen long before any collapse.

I do have a question in my mind,
? How do small self sustaining growers/farmers protect themselves in the future, not only from giant industrial agriculture corporations, but also from marauding - hungry - unscrupulous - dangerous  people willing to thieve and perhaps kill for a meal ?

We ain't seen nothing yet.



 

anotheramethyst

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2015, 10:26:08 AM »
"? How do small self sustaining growers/farmers protect themselves in the future, not only from giant industrial agriculture corporations, but also from marauding - hungry - unscrupulous - dangerous  people willing to thieve and perhaps kill for a meal ?"

there's only one way that i know of, and it's not 100% effective.  immediately include and feed your neighbors, so that a community is invested in protecting the farm. 

on raising pigs in rural backyards:  my friend katy, a long time rural animal lover with experience on cattle ranches, as a vet tech, and horse breeder and trainer, recommends buying one young sow and raising it to reproductive age.  name her.  fall in love with her.  she's your pig.  breed her ansd raise up the piglets, but don't name them.  "by the time they're ready for slaughter you'll be so annoyed at all the pigs around that you'll be ready to eat 'em."  it wirks great for her, but ymmv.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Chicken Dressing (Modified for Links in 1st Post)
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2015, 01:14:24 AM »
Anotheramethyst, How to prepare for tough times ahead?  I have run a vegetable operation and recently switched to pig farming. The drought makes me feel guilty pumping a bunch of water even though my riparian well water is still available , cheap, and produced with on farm solar P/V. So spring  transition into summer has things brown and dusty around here but lots of pigs. You are right about which pigs to name , it's very easy to become attached to them no matter. Here is a story about a few
local pig operations ( and mine ) making similar efforts .

  http://ediblesantabarbara.com/raise-high-the-pig-farms/

Pigs are about 100,000 calories each and with some salt, and a  little nitrites you can store dried pork products ( like prosciutto ) for years without refrigeration. Living without refrigeration would eliminate a lot of food habits we have accumulated in our modern lifestyle. Living without fossil fuels or at least trying different ways to produce and store food calories without fossil fuels is a little hobby of mine.
Canning fruit, drying seed crops , and using solar P/V to produce food calories via electric tillers seems pretty eccentric but really it's the old way to be new. Many of these food procurement and preservation techniques should be community efforts but that's a whole different challenge. Without some plans about how to provision for winter most peoples gardens will be an inadequate food source.
Pigs are a way to address winter calories and winter is the best time to do your butchering and curing, spring is when that winter work pays dividends.The archdruid recommends practicing skill sets we may need in the future. I am going to work on hard goat cheeses next as they seem to fit the storage and low fossil fuel requirements.