We used to butcher our own, did it for twenty-four years, but last year we wanted to raise more birds with less hassle, so we caved to hiring someone else to do it. So happy we did. No more freezer burnt birds because my package sealing didn't take. No more huge feathery/offal mess in the yard. No more horrible fresh bird in hot water smell, AND...we got to hang out in the cute little shops in Arthur, Land of the Amish , while our birds were processed. Oh how I love a good "Date Day".
The big bonus for me, besides a clean yard and tidy kitchen, is the whole horse and buggy scene. My most favorite animal in the whole stinkin' world is the horse.
Grandson Wesley (then age 8) with my horse Ennis.
Our birds this year are the same as other years, The Freedom Ranger Chicken. We buy them for $1.70 each, feed them certified organic feed, raise them outdoors on pasture with plenty of grass, weeds, and bugs. They grow so well. No huge leg deformity problems like the common white Cornish Chickens. I also love their pretty red color and their meat is moist and tender even when the broilers get over the five pound finished size. The carcass is dense, and ordinarily it takes about two hours at 325 degrees to bake them to perfection. Low and slow is my manta,
unless I am frying them, then it is quick and hot in our own pig lard, then finished in the oven. Coated with flour, copious amounts of hymalayan salt, and pepper (after soaking in our own raw milk for an hour). The results are fabulous. I am now thawing our last chicken from the 2018 crop for tomorrow's lunch, which means we will have a three week dry period between chicken dinners.
Therefore, our first meal from our 2019 chicken crop, will taste that much better. Absence makes the heart, and the stomach, grow fonder.