Last night we placed four of the meat birds into two dog kennels and let them spend the night in the shed. THis allows them to empty out their systems before the butchering process, helping to keep things cleaner. Herogian set up the chopping block with two nails about 1 1/2 inches apart so it would help keep the head trapped on the block.
This morning I set up our table, two ladders with a pole between them, four wires to hang the birds from, and the ice chest full of boiling hot water. Two buckets were under the hanging area to catch the drippings, and a lined trash can was ready for the feathers and innered. The boys had received a nice knife set at Christmas with three different sized blades, these really came in handy.
Herogian actually got out of bed to help. That was a major plus to the morning. Before I was out with the last pot of hot water he had one ready for the dunking. THe hot water bath really helps the feathers to let go and come off easily. The gutting of the bird is a lot easier without the feathers in the way. I feel like I'm getting the knack for it when I can reach inside and get everything plus the trachea in one good swoop and pull. We didn't have one spill of the messy stuff by keeping everything intact.
After another dunk in hot water, we cut through the knee joints.
Great timing for the dishwasher repair man to show up. This was probably the first time I've had a service window of four hours and they actually showed in the first hour. Hawk wouldn't let the guy into the house until I was there, so I came in with blood splatter and four naked birds ready for their last washing. I think he was a bit surprised but impressed that we had raised our own food. I later found that my face was splattered with blood. That probably caused his surprise. Blood splattered woman answering the door and telling you to come inside. I'm surprised he didn't run the other way.
It was good to get the job done, but too much time on the feet. I'm taking tomorrow off. We will probably try to do the other two chickens and the peking duck on Wednesday. Gotta get these jobs done before the boys head off to boy scout camp for two weeks and church camp.
Herogian smoked two of the birds on the grill and the other two are in the freezer. Yeah.
Gluten is at Science Camp http://www.myanimalcamp.com/ but he must be dodging the camera or he ran away from camp. Just kidding. Didn't see him in any of todays photos, though. Hmmm.