Thursday, June 20, 2013

Creepy Meats in Mah Freezer (warning, graphic pic alert)

Sunday was the big day to finish off the rest of the Creepy Meats. We did four of them earlier in the week. We just skinned them and parted them out. The other ten got the whole works. We set up the killing station, the camp stove with the big pot for scalding, the butcher island for plucking and gutting.

I went out and picked up the birds one at a time. We actually had some volunteers wander into the garage here and there so I didn't have to go looking for them. Flipped the birds upside down to relax it, slip it into the milk jug tucking in wings and feet. Then I reached up and pulled the head out the bottom. We didn't wack off the heads, just a quick slice where the head and neck me under the ear. They did flap and jerk as the blood drained into a bin full of shavings, but most of it was contained in the jug.

After a quick dunk in boiling water at the camp stove, Scott and Pat made really quick work if pulling the feathers. The was we did it was bringing the water to a boil, then backing off the heat to a simmer, somewhere around 157 degrees. Too hot, and in the water too long and the skin starts to cook. Too cold and the feathers won't pull out. 

After they were featherless, Larry made all their insides be on the outsides, the legs and neck came off, and into a cooler full of ice water to cool down. We rested them in the fridge over night, then I parted out some and froze others whole. We barbecued Tuesday evening and had wings, legs, and thighs. 

My thoughts on how the meat turned out was it wasn't exactly tough. It was hard to explain. It was like the difference in Al detente  noodles that are just barely done, and the mushy soft mess that Macaroni and Cheese gets to be. Store birds spend their whole life laying about as they grow. The get up, go to the feeder, walk over to the water, and then laze about again. My birds ran, jumped over things, they free ranged and actually used their muscles some. I didn't let them gorge and eat as much as they wanted.  I believe it made a healthier bird. 
Today I'm going to try a whole bird in the crock pot. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Norman makes a friend, Red Rangers, Creepy Meats

Life is slowly adjusting for the blind horse and his owner. I know he can still see some out of the right eye, but I can see the silver growing in the pupil. I'm learning all sorts of new things. I'm learning that Apache swinging his head side to side to see out of the "good," eye will smack me in the head with the lead rope every time. I can ask him to Whoa and he will stand there for an hour, until I turn my back to hook the fence, and then he walks into me. Whoa is just a silly mouth sound that humans make when there is no lead rope attached to his halter, and therefore should be ignored. Dusk is the hardest time to work around him. Earlier and he can see better. Later and he can't see crap so relies on me for guidance. Dusk is the only time the horse eating monsters that live in shadows on the ground will come out and try and eat his ankles. I'm more nervous about the fact I'm riding a blind horse, than any of the responses he makes to stuff around him. Ben being lazy trips far more often than Apache trying to pay attention.

Apache was calm enough today out on his own to be turned out in the pasture all day. Sometimes he gets so worked up looking for the other horses that I'm afraid of him hurting himself on the fence. We've been throwing Ben out there over night and bringing him up in the mornings. After I let Ben out to run and get the farts out, I take Apache out there and let him graze for about three hours till dusk. He's learning where the fence is, and running around like a ninny is not doing anything good for him.
(Psst, Mom. See all the green grass? Your horses would love it. Move to Idaho)
See Mom, this is why you want to move to Idaho with me. 

Norman has been nibbling hay and trying out his calf grain. We go for a walk in a leash into the pasture to nibble some grass. Today I decided to introduce him to Apache.

Run little steer, run

He thought all that grass was the best thing ever. It was taller than he was in places.

 Apache watched him zoom around the pasture, but he wasn't spooked by the little bugger at all. 

They were grazing side by side after a while. 

The Creepy Meats are HUGE! Just last week I was looking at them thinking they were right about six weeks or so, and with restricting their feed, and letting them free range, I prolly had about another two weeks or so to go before starting to butcher. Nope. Them suckers are packing on the pounds over night. It's like trying to wade through a pile of puppies in the morning when I go out to feed. They're climbing all over my feet, weaving between my legs trying to trip me, pecking at my pants, anything to make the food drop down faster. I'm almost afeared of loosing a limb when I set down the pan full of crumbles.

I do the, "Here chicky chicky chicky," call when I feed so I know I can always call them in for the night with food. Feeding the Rangers in the garage and calling chicky chicky, I hear this tapping on the back door. I open it and there is the whole flock of Creepy Meats. Just standing there. Staring at me. "Yo Lady, you gonna feed us?"

The other morning I tried going out the front door so I didn't have to wade through a seething mass of white chickens. The next morning this is what I found when I opened the door. They were going to walk right in and make themselves at home.

I think they're stalking me. 

Here's a pic from today. The black hen is the Jersey Giant that thinks she's their momma.

The new Red Rangers and the five new pullets are outside full time now. I didn't have another pen for them and the momma hen wants to run them out of town. The Creepy Meats want to eat them along with anything that holds still longer than three seconds. So I had to find somewhere to put them. The boy and I drug the brooder crate outside. I wrestled up against the side of the chicken run and layed it on it's side. The wire top is now a side and the solid bottom is now the back. It's all hillbillied together with the bed extender from the Ford, temporary fence posts for the horse fence, a tarp that got blown against the barb wire fence and is full of punctures, and what ever pieces I could find to make a door of sorts. I did honor Scott's one request, and used none of the damned hillbilly bailing twine. I used the thin wire that was wrapped around the roll of chicken wire that I rolled up and saved, (hid so it wouldn't get thrown away like it prolly should have, but I knew I could find a use for it)

The little banty pullet is so cute with her feathered legs and feet. The grand baby calls her Phyllis 


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