Tag Archives: meat chickens

Day is Done, Gone the Sun.. Part II

When we entered the barn early, early in the morning I felt like I was a character in  Charlotte’s Web.   They (the goats, chickens, guineas and turkey) were quiet and tucked in.  Their eyebrows  raised with curiosity.  “What are the people doing here this early?  Is something the matter?  Are they coming to take us away?  Who are they going to take?  Where would they take us?  It is still dark outside.”

When we grabbed our first chicken, then they knew.  “It is the chickens they are after.”  Then all heck broke loose.  All the animals were running about, back and forth, this way and that.   I just had to remind myself, this is farming.  This is what it is.

Loadin’ up the truck

Off to the Amish farm we go.  It took about two hours to get there.  Pops and I drove separately because we cant figure out how not to.  It would be too complicated. What if,  heaven forbid, one of us wanted to go somewhere different than the other while we wait for the birds to get their haircut and other stuff.   So, we followed each other there.

Amish farm bright and early

The farm was lovely.  I don’t know what it is about farms, nature, animals. But when you  put all that together I feel like I am going to burst with joy.   I was so taken with this farm.

They were unloading chickens from two other vehicles.  One guy brought 275 chickens and the other brought about 20.  All I could think about was what if they gave me their chickens back instead of mine.  Their chickens we dirty and skinny.  Ours were the “suburban” looking chickens.  Clean, plump, shiny and new.  Beautiful color.  “I don’t want their chickens,”  I said to the kind Amish man.  He said, “You’re not getting their chickens.”  I said “ok”.

We got our chickens back.  26 of them.  Weighing in at 4-5 lbs to 7 lbs.  Some of them are monsters.  We got them home and I am starting to feel a little queasy about eating these things.  The day was extremely emotional for me.  By the time I got home late in the afternoon I was physically ill.  It was like the day the goat died at my hand.  This farming thing is really emotional.  I know I will get use to it as time goes by but this was the first time I have ever eaten an animal that I have raised.

Pops kept making me take photos of the chicken.  I have decided I don’t like taking pictures of food.  Seems really odd to me.   I will take them, but it makes me feel the same as when someone makes me pose for a photo.  It is unnatural.    I am weird.  But aren’t we all?

We grilled the birds and ate them.  OKAY.   So what did they taste like?  The white meat was perfect.  The dark meat was a little chewy.  Not tough.  Just chewy a little bit.   We attribute that to free ranging.  Running around here gaining muscle on their little bones as opposed to force-fed birds in confinement.  The flavor is outstanding.  And we are happy about it.  It was and has been an adventure.  It would be really cool to find someone closer to process them and I think we probably could do it ourselves but that discussion is for another day.  We will enjoy for now.

God bless,

Karen

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Filed under Farm, Food/Recipes

6:38 am Wake Up Call – US GOVT.

While you may think that this farmer gets up at 5 a.m., I am here to tell you that is not the case.  Not until those goats that have been pregnant since September drop their kids in my lap.  Then I will need to get up at the crack of dawn.  Actually,  I have been “nesting” since September in anticipation of the delivery.   Trying to get rest before the sleepless nights.  Wait….I already don’t sleep at night.  I have noticed the goats seem to have been ordered bed rest.  They aren’t movin’ much this last week.  Maybe soon!

As I was contemplating getting out of bed at 6:38 the phone rang  and the caller id read: US GOVT.  (Isn’t funny how that is always in caps? )   So my first thought, of course,  being the mommy that I am, was that they were calling to tell me that my son, who is in the ARMY,  had done something wrong or something had happened to him.   That is just where your mind goes when an office of authority calls you.  No…..It was the  US POST OFFICE in my little itty bitty town telling me that my chicks were in and come get them. Thank goodness that my boy is safe! He is.  He is on a pass this weekend having a ball not too far away from here.

When you order chicks on-line they come in the mail when the chicks are 1 day old.  They have enough nutrition stored up in their little bodies (One of God’s miracles among millions of others) to keep them flyin’ for a couple of days. 

They are alive and WELL! And yes,  they were hungry and were able to distinguish between the water, food and bedding.  Quickly, I might add.

We have somehow ended up with 64 birds here.  “How did this happen?”, the rooster said to the hen.  We don’t know.  But this gaggle of 26 that showed up here this morning are meat chickens.  Did you know that the chicken you buy at the store might be as young as 9 weeks?  They very well could  be younger than that.  I never would’ve thought…  We will keep ours for 12 weeks and that is o.l.d.  We are going to provide them a feed that is lower in protein to slow the growing rate down.  What happens to these poor chickens when they are allowed to grow too fast,  which is the case in ALL commercial outfits,  is their legs break under the weight of their bodies and they cannot walk.  ugh.  Dont want that to happen.  We are just venturing into meat territory and I don’t want anything scary to happen.  It is scary enough just raising the  stuff!

Speaking of meat chickens,  ever get tired of the same ol’ same ol’ barbecue chicken?   This is a wonderful change that DOESN’T INCLUDE SUGAR OR CORN SYRUP which is in almost every bottle of BBQ sauce:

This sauce is probably enough for 1 whole chicken.

1 stick Melted butter

a couple of T. Worcestershire sauce

lemon juice of 1 lemon

2 or 3 garlic cloves minced

melt and mix all together on stove top and baste chicken on the grill.  YUMMY.

Have a SUPER holiday weekend!

God bless,

Karen

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Filed under Farm, Food/Recipes, Health/ Nutrition