I can't believe I miss these creepy little meat balls.
Thru a series of freezer failures and exceptionally bad planning we were left with a treasure trove of pork and zero chicken. Technically I don't think we even have any turkey left. It's all pork all the time. Good thing we aren't picky.
But I just had to get some of that sweet chickeny goodness the other day so I broke down and got a package of chicken at the store. It was fine. Expensive. But fine. Not as great at our own but it was fine.
Shovel sized meats. Just about right.
We really need to get our poultry production back on track. I found myself slowly driving passed the Tractor Supply looking for their "Chick Days" signs...... soon. My friends in the South said they are starting to get chicks available locally this spring. I can't wait.
So why don't we just order more chicks now? It's still too cold. Remember that chicks are shipped thru the mail. Even tho our local post is terrific - everyone has some terrible story about getting a box of dead chicks either thru back luck or neglect. So we aren't chancing it. Also - we don't have anywhere to put them. We can't have them inside right now and the garage is too cold for baby chicks.
We actually prefer overwintering meat chickens. We've had more losses from the summer heat than from the cold. But we need to have our meat chicks ordered by October or early November to make sure they are feathered out and strong enough to over winter. We didn't do that last year and now our chicken coffers are empty. We'll be the first ones in line when meat chicks are available locally.
Dog #1 supervising creepy little meats.
If you are gearing up for getting creepy meats then here are some links for you:
Top 10 Butcher Day Tips - my complete tool list and what you need to know to cowboy up and get out there to butcher chickens.
Did you know that fatty meats ladies lay eggs? Who says you have to butcher at 7 weeks? I could not get these free meat eggs to hatch but I'll be working on it next time.
Should you let your meat loose? Sure - but be sure to supervise them or have a hoop house.
Gross things we've found while butchering. Not as bad as it sounds but check out the fatty livers on these guys.
More gross things and how to render all that chicken fat into a lovely and delicious cooking fat. Sometimes your find eggs IN the chicken. Can you believe that? Hands down chicken fat is my favorite cooking medium. You can call it schmaltz if you'd like - but anytime I have to saute something I reach for a jar of chicken fat and not vegetable oil.
What a bucket of chicken means to us. My favorite meat chicken related day and how to move them.... when you aren't using the Creepy Meat Wagon of DOOM.
I just realized that I don't have one simplified "How to raise meat chickens" post - I'll have to work on that. So stay tuned.
One last thing I'd like to call out is that if you are in Washington State or are willing to travel there, the guys over at Farmstead Meatsmith are offering a hands on chicken butchering class. These guys are really terrific and I learned a lot about breaking down a side of pork by watching their video.
Happy Wednesday everyone! Did you have to buy a package of chicken? Anyone excited about creepy meats?