Tuesday, 24 April 2012

More than one way to Skin a Chook

Well this is not for the faint hearted. However as a small holding owner rearing and killing your stock for food is a fact of life.For us plucking has proven a long process. So my other half suggested we attempt to "skin" our birds. An option that as brought to his attnetion over a blog. So I guess here I am passing thsi knowledge on, should anyone else be consider plucking too much work.
Personally (fore personal preference, diet and health reasons)I skin our chicken to cook, so it seemed a logical suggeston that we eliminate the process of plucking feathers and then removing the skin, to just removing the feathers with the skin.

To do this first you will need to kill and hang (and bleed) your bird- order is your preference. Then(using a sharp knife) cut the skin (and not the meet) just above the knee joint (well below if it is upside down). Then run the kife along the groin. Then just pull the skin away, using the knife to release any connected tissue.

First hatchlings at Maes-y-Delyn

Easter Monday was very exciting for us at Maes-y-Delyn... as we awoke to the tiny chip of feathery feet! As we recently purchased an incubator and had inherted a working rooster we attempted the process of rearing chickens of our own.
We had hopefully placed 30 eggs (having been told 1:5 were good odds). To our surprise 17 successfully hatched (from 20 fertilised eggs)! Unfortunately 3 didn't make it out, but we had 11 yellow and 6 black babies!
WE have kept one of each (yellow and black). We hatched a further 4 (that our Sussex was detern=mined to sit on) and sold the remaining 19. 6 going to a local home. 4 to the family we bought our pup from adn the remainder to a local produce store.

So now we have cleaned and reloaded the incubator with 40 more... guess we'll wait and see.

Ok so we're 1/3 into 2012

So we're over a third the way through the year and yet again I have failed to keep this blog upto date. And what a busy year it has been so far.

The wet season has come (and should I dare breath it) gone. The tanks are full but my veggie patch and the piggies grazing are long lost.
I attempted my first concrete pour (not on my own, but with Matt), but successful laid the foundations for the pigs new bed/shed. High and dry shelter for them to escape the rain... though they have thoroughly enjoyed the mud!

We have also purchased a lovely little Saddleback- Berkshire cross to rear, as ours are only just at breaeding age (with no current signs of action), so pork supplies of our own seem along way off. She has settled in well, and am trying to maintain a distance and unemotional connection to her (though she's making it difficult).