|My biggest chicken, which was 6 pounds!|
|A freezer full of hard work and gratefulness!|
When I first started urban farming I thought that maybe I could butcher my food myself. However, I just can't do it so I contacted a local German Baptist butcher who did this for me. I was told when I made my appointment that I could drop my chicken at 8:30 am and pick them up later that day at 1 pm. You have to pull their food away from them 12-15 hrs before butchering so their crop will be empty, but you can give them water until you load them that morning.
So, I did just as I was told to do. I pulled their food last night and let them have all of the water that they wanted before loading them into my car. I didn't have a chicken crate, so I folded down the seats in my CRV, laid down cardboard, and loaded them into a wire dog crate. Thank goodness we only had the 15 chickens because that crate was packed full! I thanked each chicken prior to loading it in the crate. I thanked it for being my dinner and for nourishing me and my family. I hope that they understood how grateful I was to them.
When I arrived at the butcher I explained that I didn't have a clue what I was doing, and was reassured that I would have the hang of this in no time. The receptionist told me to drive my chickens around the back of the building and that a gentleman would help me unload them there. I drove around and was greeted by a young man who helped me put my chickens in plastic crates and loaded them on a cart for me. After I unloaded them, I went back to the front of the building and explained how I wanted them packaged and got my pick up time worked out. The lady said I was welcome to watch through a large picture window that they have. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take a peek. It was a very clean facility with everyone wearing nets over their hair and protective coverings for their clothes. I watched the entire process and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
I left for several hours and came back to pick up my chickens after they were chilled. These are the pictures of my finished product. I am very proud of how pretty they are! All of my chickens dressed out at 4-6 pounds, which is a pretty nice weight. I can't wait to eat one just to see if all of my hard work was for a good reason. I will keep you all posted!