Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food! From our farm!

On Thursday we took our first batch of birds to the slaughterhouse.  25 of our ducks and 16 of our roosters.  So that leaves us with 5 ducks: 1 drake and 4 females, and 26 chickens: 1 rooster and 25 pullets.  We learned a couple valuable lessons on that day.  First of all dual purpose heritage breed chickens do not grow fast enough to reach a good slaughter weight in 3 months and secondly, neither do Rouen ducks.  Suffice it to say, our chickens and ducks came back looking a little small.  The chicken carcasses were about 2lbs so they will make good fryers and the duck carcasses were about 3lbs.  Next time we plan to raise a chicken breed that was meant for meat production.  We will probably stick with the Rouen ducks but raise them for at least another month.  The good news is, we had one of the chickens for dinner Friday night and it tasted delicious.
We were however very happy with the slaughterhouse itself.  It's a very small operation run by an Amish family, and the waiting area has a large window that allows customers to see everything that goes on.  Nevertheless I felt terribly guilty dropping our birds off to be slaughtered after having cared for them from the time they were less than 2 days old.  But I just have to remind myself that they had very happy lives and they died for a good cause: feeding people in a healthy way that is not harmful to the environment.

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