I can't wait to clean out this pen. It stinks!
Well not entirely gone - they are still cooling in the downstairs fridge. But thank heaven we finally got this done.
Our new schedule has made it hard to keep up with some of the "two person" farm chores so we were really overdue to butcher this group of meat chickens. Fortunately they weren't much trouble and they were laying eggs. Mostly they just happily meat-ed around and kept to themselves.
They were enormous. Like. Hugely fat. Filled with fat. Fat, fat, fatty-fat-fat. Which I've rendered down.
Our next project is to fire up the incubator and see if we can get any free meat to hatch from the eggs.
A couple questions have come up about this late-meat-project so I thought I'd answer them here.
Q: Don't you have to butcher meat chickens at 9 weeks?
A: Friend, the only thing you have to do in life is grow old and die. You can butcher your meat chickens whenever you want. Personally, we don't buy the "grow 'em out fast" route. We let them take their time for no other reason than the high protien feed is ridiculously expensive. We grow our meats out on corn and milk. Sure we get more fat but that's kinda how we like it.
Q: But aren't old meat chickens tough and gross?
A: We've never had a meat chicken that was not tasty and delicious. The only time we've had "slightly tough" meat was when we did not let the meat rest a couple days in the fridge. As for gross.. meat chickens in general are gross. The longer you wait the more likely they are to have that "great muscle disease" and yes... that is very gross.
Q: How do you get eggs from meat chickens?
A: Just like regular chickens. The only reason that most folks don't see this is because they butcher the creepy meats so young.
Q: But I thought meat chickens couldn't breed?
A: I tell you the truth, there is nothing so horrible to watch as a a meat roo trying to get funky with one of the fatty ladies. It just doesn't work out. While the meat roos don't lack enthusiasm, with their oversized breasts and bad physical coordination, they just well... just no. So we bring in the big guns. Yep. We have a posse of regular big roos who like what the meat girls have to offer. I am too immature to go on any further about this. I'll let you know, tho, if any of the eggs work.
Q: I thought you didn't like to butcher in summer?
A: We don't! Ugh! It's horrible! Hot, sweaty, and stanky. Plus our garbage guy hates us. Seriously I ran out there and apologized to him after a recent butcher experience. We just chose the coolest day possible and got out there early. I'd love it if we had a walk in cold room for non-winter butchering. I know a guy who is working on this and am waiting to see how it turns out.
So smell ya later, meat chickens, thanks for the eggs. And now I'm going to run right out and get that pen shoveled out. I have a lot of hay to take up and it's going right in this spot.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Do you have fatty meat chickens left? Did you butcher last weekend?