Processing Day 2011

We began processing the 7 Cornish Cross with 4 people at 7:30 am. Processing was quite a bit messier than I had planned for in my head.  Next time I want to have a kill cone set up over the compost pile so that the heads and blood can go straight into it and the mess is restricted to two areas, the kill zone and the processing zone. None of us were particularly interested in the hassle of plucking in order to save the skin. Instead we just cut the skin off . We finished cleaning and packing the birds into the fridge about 9:15 am. Two people processed and two were helpers to the processors.

My neighbors ended up with 4 whole chickens weighing from 4 pounds 5 ounces to 5 lbs 3 ounces. The roo was too big for my freezer bags so I ended up quartering him and removing the ribs and backbone (to avoid puncturing the bag) which brought him down to 5 pounds 5 ounces.

The two birds I kept I cut into thighs/ breasts and wings/misc pieces and ended up with 5 bags each weighing right around 1 and a half pounds. That’s actually more meat than I would like in a package, but I’ll make do.

The remaining pieces, that went to make stock, weighed in at 3 pounds and 12 ounces. All together I weighed 39 pounds and 5 ounces of usable chicken parts today. I didn’t weigh the hearts, gizzards or livers though, as most of that is going to friends.  We got about 5 and a half pounds on average from each bird.

We spent about $119 on chicks and feed, which makes our cost per bird about $17 or about $3 per pound of bone in, skinless, organic meat; not including electricity or water costs to cool the birds during our hot, hot July.

Raising our own meat birds hasn’t saved us any money, but we have gained knowledge and know exactly where our meat came from. The next batch of meat birds I raise will either be from S and G Poultry or J.M. Hatchery.

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