^^This is what happens after I say “okay” when we’ve been doing this:
I don’t have many photos today, but what I do have is a bath tub full of meat.
I am defrosting my dog freezer today so I can fit all the meat in it. And there is so much meat! Cariboo and elk and deer and lamb and … oh my!
The reason I have so much meat is because I have so many fewer chickens. But let me explain.
Last week whilst cleaning out the eatin’ chickens, I picked one up for fun (yes, our definition of “fun” is a little different out here in the stix) and was startled to learn that it weighed about as much as Springaling. Mutant chickens! I did some on the spot math and realized that I have been threatening to eat these things for about 5 months, which is 4 months longer than I should have been squawking about it. Ridiculous.
So I marched back into the house and put an advert on Craigslist that basically said “come get 4 giant mutant roosters for X amount of money, or come slaughter and dress them and leave with 2 of them for yourself. But I’m keeping the feet.”
I got a surprising amount of replies. Several people offered to come and get them, though all of them tried to lowball me. And then I got an email from a woman who said “We have been killing chickens all our lives. We will come out and slaughter them and dress them for you, and take two home. And if you let us have all the feet, we will bring you some other meats for your dogs.”
So this wonderful couple came out to my farm and showed me how to slaughter and defeather and cut up chickens for eating. They were super nice people who had emigrated here from South America about 40 years ago, and had obviously done this many times, as they had a whole little set up with a propane stove to heat the water to dunk the chickens in for defeathering, and a little blowtorch to burn off the pin feathers and even a machete for the, umm, deheading. They really DO run around with their heads cut off you know. One of them even chased me, which skeeved me out more than a little … how did it know where I was if it had no head? *shudder*
It was a really interesting thing to watch, and now I wish I had photographed it for you all and blogged it (okay, not for *all* of you, as I am sure several of you are making this face right now:
It’s definitely the face my mum was making back up at the house, as she didn’t want to see the chicken slaughter). Alas, it was getting dark when they came over. You know a dude has mad skillz when he can accurately cut off chicken feet at the correct joint in the dark.
So anyway, not only do I have two HUGE chickens’ worth of meat in my people freezer (they dressed out bigger than the TURKEY I was cooking for dinner that same day. It was my belated Christmas dinner, since my parents are back from their tropical Hawaiian holiday), these nice folks also brought my dogs a ton of meat. They also hunt, and have agreed to become my regular supply of deer and moose bones for the dogs. Score!
Mmmm …. meat.
I love the barter system – I really think we as a society should engage it in more often. I didn’t mind raising these chickens, and then for a little bit of work, two families have lots of meat to eat. And I got an education in how to process meat chickens, and I am thinking of raising some more later this year.
But later this week we are trialing in agility. It’s Dexter’s last trial before his Big Operation on Tuesday. I am quite nervous about the whole thing. I have a great vet, but those testicles are really MIA and who knows how long he’ll be under with vet hands poking around his insides looking for them?
YOU’RE nervous?!?! Run away! Run away!
Quick! Get him! His testicles are running away!
Today is a little bit of a sad day for me. It’s four years ago today that my Briggsy Bubba left on his journey to the otherworld. Sometimes it feels like I can scarcely remember him; my dog family has changed so much in the last four years. Other times it feels like just yesterday he and babyTweed were wrasslin’ in my living room:
Tweed has now been alive longer than I ever knew Briggs.
I’m going to live FOREVER.
He just might too. In a few short months Tweed will be 12 years old. You’d never know it to look at him, he still runs and plays like a five year old.
I’m a little kid at heart!
So in honour of my big Red Dog, today is International Extra Hug For Your Bestest Dog Day.
Briggs. Bah. I coulda taken him.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Hopefully I’ll have some agility video for you by Sunday.
Baby Tweed and his chubby puppy tummy are just too much! I can’t believe Briggs has been gone that long…seems like just last year he passed. That means I have been enjoying your blogs for at least that long and want to thank you for brightening my days and inviting me into your life with the dogs.
Shoot, now I want to leave work to go hug my bestest pooch.
Susan Bassett says
I know – it seems like the bestest dogs were just here a minute ago….. Have fun doing jillitteez! The surgery will be fine – it is the “keep him quiet” afterward part that is difficult!!!
Tweed’s a little roly-poly charmer. And I know it’s hard to think back on your Big Red Dog, but it’s touching to read about someone who’s a lady after my own insofar as dogs are concerned. Cheers to your Briggs, and to the whole 3 Woofs clan. I’m thinking of you…and of mutant chickens.
Great pictures, as always! I’m curious what the couple plan to do with the chicken feet, do they have dogs, too? I never knew chicken feet were in such demand.
Oh TWoo … Briggs would have had your liver for lunch, you little twerp. LOL!
Four years since the Red Dog departed, six years since the Sander Dog shuffled off this mortal coil. Who put time on fast-forward?!
We’ll keep all paws crossed here for Dex’s surgery, hoping the vet finds the missing balls right inside, in a little waxed bag along with the giblets, a la a Butterball turkey.
Sounds like a great deal with the chickens. Raise them up, then have someone else butcher in exchange for some of them. My mom has been doing something similar with rabbits- she raises them and uses the poop on her garden (because apparently rabbit poop is amazing), then has someone butcher them when the cold season comes along and makes it harder to feed the rabbits, the people who butcher them keep a few rabbits, and the rest of the meat gets sent to my dogs.
And I even have a butcher day tomorrow. A contact that I get organs and such from when they butcher had a ewe die from a prolapsed uterus, and asked if I want to pick her up for my dogs. It’ll be my first time butchering all by myself (I did two sheep before, but with a few experienced friends, and they were shetlands, so much smaller). I anticipate having a bathtub full of meat in my near future as well, since a bathtub is really the best place for everything while the freezer gets totally cleaned out and rearranged for all the meat to fit back into.
I can’t believe I’ve been following your blog for over four years! It’s been a journey not to be missed; thanks for the photos, the laughs and a few tears.
Here’s to Briggs and best wishes to Dex for his big days ahead!
I am proud of you for doing in those chickens. Not many people (probably me included) would have the guts to really see and experience the food they eat.
Chicken feet are supposed to have the perfect balance of meat, fat and edible bone. Some raw-feeding guru said that. And it is really easy for me to toss a chicken foot into a bowl and declare the bone requirement has been met for the dog eating a yummy raw meal out of that bowl.
Gosh I can not believe its been 4 years since the Red Dog passed. What a wonderful stately old man he was! Best of luck for Dex and his nut-nip.
Oh man, I couldn’t stop laughing at the mental picture of you running around being chased by a headless chicken. Disturbing!
I heart the Three Woofs clan. :-)
I would hug my dog, but he is snoring away (loudly). Love this post. I laughed out loud
Katharine Swan says
I was somewhat sad and horrified at your description of the Twilight Chicken Massacre, but Picture of Baby Tweed made up for it.
I can’t believe it has been four years!! That was right around the time I started following this blog.
Hope Dexter’s missing “marbles” are quickly found :)
Tweed, today is my 52nd birthday, and I am also aiming for the “perpetually immature”!
That photo of Briggs and Baby Tweed is insanely adorable.
*raises a glass to Red Dog’s memory*