Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We survived... (warning graphic photos)

Tabitha, myself and the kids butchered eighty seven chickens in two days.

I'll admit they were long days. It was difficult, tedious and left us raw. The whizbang chicken plucker purred most of the day. Feather clogs caused a little slippage a couple of times.

The kids were unbelievably helpful. Tristan and Kassi caught every bird for the killing station.

Anyone that has tried to catch chickens know what a feat catching eighty seven birds is. They both got scratches from chickens and chicken tractors climbing around arms full. Plus, that is not all,

Tristan cut, cleaned and peeled every gizzard while Kassi cleaned the hearts and livers. They also met the demands of their younger siblings. They made sandwiches, poured juice and milk and even cleaned urgent messes in the house. It was truly unbelievable they are just eight and six respectively. When it came time to do the final clean-up on the birds they both were right there picking pin feathers and doing a secondary inspection of the internals.

Tabitha loosened crops, cut feet and heads, killed, plucked and scalded. I eviscerated and cleaned the body cavity. I also leaped to where I was needed but mostly I was the bottle neck. We chilled the birds and did the final processing at the other station.
The kids really made a huge difference, at least thirty percent increase from their input.

On top of all that Tabitha is milking twice per day. Our refrigerator is full of milk products.

Milk, yogurt, fresh cheese, sour cream, and cream. Jocelyn in making over four gallons per day.

We are trying to find another fridge on freecycle--milk fridge.

I also finished work on the Houlahan's Photovoltaic system.


We have been busy and this weekend we have another thirty five birds to kill.

WHEW...

22 comments:

Polar Bear and The Dodger said...

awesome you guys! wait to go, high fives to tristan and kassi, oh and you and tabitha too! i get to meet kristine this weekend as we attend the traditions in western herbalism conference in nm. i am so excited.

karl said...

Molly, that is so cool. Kristine is great, are you driving? If you are you should stop for a visit or crash on the floor. We'll feed you, we eat really well here and love to share.

karl and tabitha

Erin said...

amazing job! And milking twice daily as well! I see how the killing station could get pretty tedious doing that many birds but Tabitha wearing a cheery apron makes it look like a fairly happy process, LOL! I will have to remember to wear a pink apron on butcher day to keep things moving along! Excellent job your kiddos are doing to help out as well

jenny said...

Man! You guys put me to shame-- I can't even kill 5 roosters and you all did 87 in one day?!? Plus you're working a full-time job and milking a cow 2x a day?? Excuse me, I'm going to go put myself in the corner now. Seriously, you guys rock! *standing ovation*

jacki said...

I am in awe of the amount of milk in your fridge. Really! Wow!

Whirliegig said...

You all have been such an inspiration to our own family. I'm glad to see that things are going much better for you this year! Keep up the fantastic work!!

tansy said...

nice! that is quite an accomplishment for 2 people to do! and way to go tristan and kassi, isn't it sweet when you can rely on your kids to help out?!

molly and i are both flying to nm and meeting up at the ato.

Ron said...

Wow... that is a LOT of birds. Congrats, I'm sure it is a relief to have them in the freezer or otherwise accounted for.

Ron

margret said...

I am always amazed at what you and your wife accomplish. you are wonderful and filling your children with an awesome bank of childhood
memories, that are more precious than
rubies

Ed said...

Looking good, both food and family! But I must say that you will probably have to expand your operations if your youngest two end up as hard of workers as the older two.

Wendy said...

Wow!

I want to say I'm speechless, but really, I just don't have any words to convey how impressed I am.

And, then, all that MILK! Holy cow! That's a lot of milk! I hope you guys find that extra fridge, because it sure looks like you need one ;).

kentuckyagrarianwannabe said...

Ol Herrick has saved a lot of people time with the plucker, that's a lot of chickens in 2 days I'm sure you wouldn't want to do that everyday! Keep up the good work.

Tim

Robin said...

I am impressed. :)

LannaM said...

Wow, you all amaze me. You're my homesteading heroes. :D

Woody said...

Whizbang chicken mania!

Rachael said...

We do 60 next weekend, and we are planning to do it in one day- minus the chilling. Somehow, it will be vaguely comforting to know someone else just did 87.

onesojourner said...

Hey Karl sorry it took me so long to get back you about the tarps. I am interested, can you tell me what size they are? If its easier for you feel free to email me at onesojourer at gmail

Jen said...

Ya'll are such an amazing family and your children are beautiful in every way. It is always nice to read about yer homestead happening's and working as a family. Yer children will remember this when they are adults. It is people like yall that motivate me to get going again on that lil place-o-mine. Thank you fer sharing this. -Jen

Lucky Lizard Ranch said...

What an amazing day and amazing team!
Major congrats!!!

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

Congrats on raising such great children! & to you all of you for doing such a feat of that many chickens in 2 days. Wow. Your birds even look way better then the ones I have butchered. O.K now I am just envious. I'm leaving. LOL.
But major kudos go to the entire Pile O'Melays!

Ozarkhomesteader said...

Wow, y'all got so much done!

MommaofMany said...

You are an incredible family. I wish I was close, I'd buy some of that liquid gold filling up your fridge! I hope you find that milk fridge soon.

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