Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An unpleasant homesteading lesson

Our chickens have dwindled away over the past 1.5 years.  We're down to 11 hens and one guinea hen.  But the hens have been eating their eggs!

It wasn't as bad when we had them in two enclosures.  I'd get lots of eggs from the chickens in the permanent enclosure, and a few from those in the chicken tractor.  But then we lost a bunch of chickens and combined them together.

Bad idea.  Now we're lucky if we get two or three eggs, and it takes frequent trips out there to get any before they're eaten.

So we've decided we're not going to feed these bad chickens all winter long, when we're not getting any eggs!  But that means we have to butcher them.  Neither of us have ever butchered ANYTHING before, let alone 11 chickens.

We're nervous.  We're wondering who we can get to come walk us through this process.  Our boys are excited, and our girls are not.  One of our girls refuses to eat any chicken until ours are all used up.

We need to do this, but it's a lesson we aren't sure we want to learn.  I'm a wimp.  A homesteading wanna-be wimp.  Let the truth be known.

April E.

4 comments:

  1. Never do things the hard way if there is a better way - how about this method? =)

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/grim79.html

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  2. Eww, yeah, I've seen it done. It's messy and not that pretty, but they're food - you're making a great choice!

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  3. This is our third year raising chickens and it's not always pretty. My husband has had to butcher a few. Once they start eating their eggs they won't stop. I would definitley rather eat them and get something out of it then have to continue to feed them. There is something you should feed them 2-3 days before you butcher them to make the meat more tender (can't remember right now what it is wheat something?) You might already know or you could google it. Good luck!

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  4. We(as in hubby) butchered a rooster last summer for the first time. Set aside lots of time. I found a blog that had step by step directions with pictures of how to clean the bird. Good luck!

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