Saturday, June 13, 2009
Well today was butchering day for the cornish cross. Sure don't take 5 people long to make parts of 24 birds. All done with the butchering part in about 3 hours. Dressed weight for the birds average about 5 1/4 lb. each. We do things the old fashioned way, decapitate, scald, pluck and dress. In the decapitation process with big birds holding them without causing injury or bruising the meat can be tricky. So as intentions go we never got around to making or buying a "killing cone". So we improvised one. Made from a gallon milk jug, cut off the bottom and then cut off the top of the jug to accommodate the chickens head and neck. Stick their head through the hole in the top, hold their feet and then to the chop block. Works much better than trying to hold them and breaking wings and legs. We all got a good laugh out of the improvised killing cone. After all the messy work is done its on to bag the meat for the freezer and make stock to can from the bony parts such as backs, necks, ribs and wing tips. Had about 20 lb of stock material which gets put in pressure canner along with about 2 stalks of celery, 3 cups carrots in chunks, 3 cups onions, couple tablespoons salt, tablespoon pepper, handful of parsley and good splash of vinegar and cooked at 10 lb pressure for about 1 1/2 hours. After pressure goes down, strain and pour broth in hot quart jars, cap and pressure can for 90 minutes at 10 lb pressure. With homemade chicken stock you will laugh at the store bought version.
Now its on to clean the brooder house and get it ready for more chicks to move in. So till next time blessings from the McGuire homestead.