Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well I almost "chickened" out. I had spent 15 minutes wiping down the counters with bleach, getting together all my utensils, trash can with a large bag, comfortable chair, table with a cover, garden hose and squirt nozzle, previously sharpened hatchet...everthing I might possibly need.

In the kitchen, the canning jars were ready lids ready, previously made broth warmed and ready, canner with water in it ready.

I had on my old clothes and my rubber gloves and was standing with a chicken in my hands and almost could not do it. My heart was sad. Who could I pay to do this for me? Then I realized that if I was going to eat meat, I needed to take responsibility to kill them on my own. This way I would know for sure that it was quick and clean.

Yesterday I had been wondering how to kill a chicken by myself w/out being able to ring it's neck. (tennis elbow) I knew I had the hatchet but that was a two person job. If only I could hold it's head in place and stretch out the body. So I improvised. I got two large nails and hammered them into the killing stump close together. Then I bent one slightly so that there would be room to slide the chickens neck between them. It worked very well. The chicken was held and he did not panic.

Just before I killed the first one a thought crossed my mind which has been there before. "Don't mourn those who die fulfilling their destiny". The destiny of this chicken is to be food. Mine, or some other preditor. He fulfilled his destiny today along with 5 of his brothers.

No pics..sorry too messy. And I am tired right down to my sore fingers. But I am listening to my canner hissing with 6 quarts of chicken meat and 1 pint of hearts and livers.

I forgot to weigh the meat but I only took the breasts, thighs and drumsticks and the hearts and livers. I know people say gizards are good to eat but I just can't. I might in the next group take them and can them in pint jars.

The thighs and drums I put in quart jars with the bone in. The breasts were huge so I de-boned those and canned them skinless/boneless.

I added 1/2 teaspoon of salt in each jar, filled it to 1" from the top with warm broth and washed the rims and added lids.

I am canning at 10 lb of pressure for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

When the pressure goes down I will heat up quart jars of broth and can 8 qt of those. If that is not all the broth I will do another batch.

Then I will see how much day light I have left.

ps...the chickens do have fluid around their hearts. It will be good not to let them live much longer. I have 19 more to go!


Farmgirl Cyn said...

I am trying to sell my flock of 9 hens and 1 rooster on craigslist. They have slowed WAY down in laying, as in, 1 egg every other day. Not sure why. They are only 2 years old, but for some reason they are losing a lot of feathers right now. Not a good time to be molting with Michigan's winter weather here. I could butcher all of them, but it would not be tender meat, only good stewing meat. I don;t envy you at all...


Farmgirl that is a bad time to molt up there. Mine just stopped here a couple of weeks ago and I started getting eggs again. My granny said that old hens make the best chicken and dumplings. I think it would be hard to butcher my old hens though...the first flock anyway. The new hens who haven't started laying yet think I am Satan so it won't be hard for them.

Faith said...

That's how we did it, quick and painless for the chicken. Although my parents managed to hold the chicken with one hand, get them settle down and whack them without the nails. But I think your idea is good. While you are just getting used to it, the nails make sure the birds do no suffering. And that's our goal - to survive, and do it without causing suffering.

You did an awesome job. Thanks for the info on canning the meat, as well. More freezer space available this way.