Our first batch of chickens is in the freezer! We’ve seriously considered sending our chickens out to be butchered, but after lots of thought and discussion, we decided to keep doing them ourselves. We really like that we’re the only ones that have handled each bird from start to finish. We’re able to treat each bird with respect as we process and package and are confident that what we’re selling is a product that we’re proud of.
That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sending the chickens to a processing plant. We do that with our pigs and lambs, but for now, it’s something that we’d rather do ourselves.
I didn’t take any pictures of the processing and packaging, since sometimes pictures of how people’s meat is produced aren’t met with a warm welcome on the internet, but if it’s something you guys are interested in seeing, I’ll document the process next time (moderately, of course).
We never take a processing day lightly, and processing one’s own food definitely isn’t for everyone. My mom constantly asks me if I ever saw myself doing this, and I always say that I never imagined doing anything like this. I get nervous before we start and make sure to thank the chickens for what they’re going to do for us. It sounds hokey, but I feel better knowing that I’ve told them that I appreciate them. And every time I eat one of our chickens, taking care to use the entire thing, I’m thankful for them.
It’s a sad reality that we don’t know where much of our food comes from, so I feel lucky to have the opportunity to know exactly where my chicken comes from and to be able to provide that same knowledge for others.
If you’re interested in trying one of our Spiked M Ranch chickens, let me know.
3 thoughts on “Thoughts on the First Chicken Processing of the Summer”
There was a big barbecue at work today, and the leftovers were saddening. I am certainly no proponent of veganism or vegetarianism, but is it still sad to see so many animal products wasted. I tried to get guests (employees) to take the leftovers, and I took some. If I had freezer space, or the time to can them, I would have taken more, although, in the end, I am confident that the waste was only minimal. I suspect that guests took most or all of it after I left. I think that we would be much less wasteful if we knew where meat products came from.
I agree. Since we’ve started butchering our own chickens, I take care to use all of each one. I want to respect their sacrifice while also cutting down on our waste.
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