Saturday, July 11, 2015

Last kid of the season

 Here's Ivory, the last kid to be born for the year.  She was born on Thursday at 11:55 am.  A nice, mid-day birth on a warm sunny day.  She is less than an hour old in this photo.  She is Lupine's first kid.  Lupine is a great mom, has plenty of milk, and keeps Ivory super clean.  I think Ivory is the cleanest baby out there.  She has a tiny brown spot on her left back leg, and I think Lupine thought it was dirt for a long time, it was wet from her licking it after everything else was dry. :-)   Now the kidding is all done and I can just enjoy playing with them.

I'm half-way done with the chicken butchering.  There is only so much killing I can do in a day.  I do have the entire process down to 20 minutes from start to finish.   I did an experiment with the meat, too.  I have discovered that chilling the meat for 12 or more hours does make a difference on tenderness.  I've had two of the breasts, and I chilled one for 24 hours, and the other one I ate a couple of hours after butchering.  The chilled one was much more tender.  I cooked them the same way and everything, so the chilling does make a difference.

It sure would be nice to get some rain!  Today was supposed to be numerous showers and thunderstorms, but nothing is happening.  It's cloudy, but there aren't any storms happening.  It's after noon now, too, so it's time.  If it's going to be cloudy, it needs to rain, otherwise it needs to be sunny so I can run the dehairing machine.  Since I'm having to water the garden every morning, if there isn't any sun, the batteries don't get charged fast enough to run the machine, too.  Oh well, I'll do some spinning and needle felting I guess.

Time to get to work.  Have a good day!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Butchering the meat birds

I did it, I butchered one of the meat birds this afternoon all by myself, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I used the killing cone Colin made when they were here three years ago, a razor blade to slit the throat, and it was all over and in the fridge cooling in 45 minutes.  I watched a few youtube videos on how to humanely kill a chicken and went from there.  I thanked the bird for providing it's meat for me, and that was it.  I don't have a really sharp knife around here, I don't seem to be able to get them sharp to save myself, so I used a straight edge razor blade, the kind that goes in paint scrapers, and that made it quite easy and probably pretty painless for the bird.  It didn't struggle or squawk or anything.  It was all over in less than a minute.  One down, 11 to go.  It is nice being able to raise one's own meat.  They have a good life here, free ranging all over, eating organic food, and enjoying the great outdoors all day, every day.  So much better than the factory farms!!!

We went from record setting heat on the 4th to cool, somewhat rainy weather today.  I actually have the wood stove going!!  It was just a little too chilly in here today without the sun shining and temps in the high 40's this morning.  It never did warm up in here till I started the stove.  First I cleaned it out thoroughly, cleaning the chimney, then under the stove part, and then the fire box.  Now it's totally safe again.  The soot was starting to build up in the chimney, and the ash was getting somewhat deep everywhere, so I did a good cleaning on it.  Now it will be good till this fall.

I am on baby watch now.  Lupine is due any day.  She is my unplanned pregnancy this year.  I wasn't planning on breeding her till this fall, along with the other does her age, but she squeezed through the fence and got in with Spot 5 months ago, and now is about to be a mom.  I hope she does okay with it!
  The other kids are doing great.  I'll post a picture or two one of these days.

Have a great day!!