Poultry Processing Day - September 6, 2020 @goldenoakfarm

in #homesteading4 months ago

Roasted vegetables  ingredients crop Sept. 2020.jpg

On Saturday I spent the day making roasted vegetables with these ingredients, and a double batch of chicken meatballs for the potluck on Sunday. I also got the kitchen cleaned out and set up for food and utensils.

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On Sunday morning early, I got up and finished set up at the house and headed to the butchershop. I had to give all the lower surfaces a sanitizing. I got a quick shower, collected more equipment for the butchershop and went up and set up.

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People arrived on time and the canopy was set up and the scalder started.

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This family came all the way from near Providence, RI to learn how to process birds. They brought 4 roosters of their own.

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We all headed up to catch roosters. First we got all the birds out of the coop, and then the kids did the catching.

Freezer Camp  catching roosters Phoebe, Autumn, Josh crop Sept. 2020.jpg

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It turns out there were even more roosters than we thought. We found 7 Australorp roosters, and the single Barred Rock one.

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My intern and her sister and the scalder and plucker set-up

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The killing cones set-up

Freezer Camp  Cheryl, Wiley, Phoebe, David crop Sept. 2020.jpg

Our wizard and my intern’s dad, Tom, teaching the finer points of poultry slaughter

The single Australorp rooster from the layer flock was used for the teaching.

Freezer Camp  Josh, Cheryl, Autumn,Arissa, Phoebe, Wiley, Tom crop Sept. 2020.jpg

Tom then went out and explained the finer points and how crucial a good scald was to the process.

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A learning oops! In the scalder far too long and started to cook

Freezer Camp  Cheryl, Josh, Karina, Wiley, Tom crop Sept. 2020.jpg

More instruction on scalding

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Learning to use the plucker

Freezer Camp  Tom, Karina, Josh, Wiley, Cheryl crop Sept. 2020.jpg

Freezer Camp  Wiley, Karina, Arissa3 crop Sept. 2020.jpg

Once the plucker is done, the birds go back to the scalder to do the feet. The kids like this part. They perch the birds on the edge and make like the birds are having conversations around a hot tub.

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Inside the butcher shop, my husband taught the eviscerating.

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I was in charge of cleaning carcasses and weighing them.

We finished up all the birds around 11 and cleaned up the outside equipment and mess. I did a quick cleanup in the butchershop then headed to the house to get the meal ready.

We had a leisurely meal that included a crockpot sausage and pepper mix to be eaten in rolls, a kale, onion, and cabbage salad to die for, sliced peaches with cinnamon, ripe tomatoes from the garden and some cherry tomatoes, the roasted vegs, the chicken meatballs with my spaghetti sauce or an Asian sauce, and a chocolate cake to celebrate my intern’s brother’s 11th birthday that day.

Freezer Camp  David cutting2 crop Sept. 2020.jpg

About 1:30 we headed back up to the butchershop to cut up carcasses. The family that came so far decided to stay and learn to cut up their 4 birds, and then they headed out. Tom, my husband and I, and my intern stayed to process the 9 roosters.

Freezer Camp  Arissa vacuum sealing crop Sept. 2020.jpg

While Tom and my husband cut birds into boneless breasts and legs, then halved the carcasses, my intern and I made bags, labeled them and vacuum sealed the meat and carcasses. The old rooster was kept whole for a trip through a crockpot.

Once we’d finished, Tom and my husband did some cleanup outside and my intern and I scoured the butchershop. We made sure we left nothing for the mice’s party Sunday night. On the way out we realized my husband had forgotten to empty the cold room. It was going to have to wait another day or 2, as we were too tired to tackle it.

Tom took home his 6 pullets which were caught during the lunch break. A friend who had brought us the table and chairs for the outside meal came back at 4:30 and picked them up and took 3 more pullets. These had also been caught during lunch by the kids.

We were finally done just after 5PM and really exhausted.

Monday I will attempt to get laundry done, and set the house to rights. I think the cold room will wait until Tuesday when my helper friend is here.

I took many of these photos and the rest were taken by various people during the day.


That must have been a long day. Always much nicer to do these things with company.

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Thank you! Yes, even though we did just a few birds, it was a very long day, and with all else we've been doing, it caught up with us. So we took Monday off.