Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Meat! Oh yeah.

Today we finally got time to deal with the old hens. We processed eight of them, and also two rabbits. Dan was just refreshing his memory for when we do the whole batch of bunnies, which should be soon. We were so thankful that our good friend Lisa could come over and give us a hand with the slaughtering and cutting up of the hens. We haven't, up to now, butchered enough to remember what we're doing, so we were really glad to have a knowledgeable person present.
One of our old hens weighed in at seven and a half pounds before processing, and we found a strange surprise inside her. Over a pound and a half of yellow fat in her abdomen. Yucky! That's what gluttony gets you I guess. She's always been the "boss" and the first one to get anything good. Also, just as I suspected, she was a faker. She had no eggs in her at all, but usually spent some time on the nest each day and left bragging about...nothing. She never left an egg behind, just faked it. She did dress out nice and plump though.
We found a lot of egg yolks inside most of the hens. I forgot to take a picture of that, but I have a whole bowl full in the fridge, and I plan to feed them to my family for supper with some fried potatoes. Does anybody do that? I really don't know if I'm crazy for doing this or not, but I'm going to try it.

In this crock pot there are all the hearts and gizzards as well as the backs, ribs and necks, and the two rabbit rib cage sections. There are also garlic, onions and pepper corns. It smells wonderful in here! I'm getting hungry.

The rest of the meat; breast sections, legs, wings and thighs, fit into eight quart jars, and I canned them. I think some of the meat floated up and pushed the lids up a bit, releasing some of the broth. Bummer, because that stuff is good. I'm looking forward to making a good soup soon so we can try the chicken. It looks like it got nice and tender from the canning.

Tomorrow it's off to get my newest goat! Milking tomorrow night if all goes well! :) I'm also learning to draw blood so I can do that myself. It really pays for me to learn to do all I can since there's not a large animal vet anywhere within a 3 hr. drive of where I am. This way I'll be able to send blood in to the lab myself to test for disease or pregnancy. These tests are very inexpensive provided I can draw the blood and send in the paperwork myself.

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend! Happy homesteading, homeschooling, homemaking...Happy "home" and all that means for each of you!


  1. Thanks for the scrumptious looking pictures! I just processed a bunch of chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings) a few days ago and we had Chicken, chicken & more chickens & it was wonderful!

    Nothing more fulfilling (pun intended) than your own homeraised dinner!

  2. Oh, that looks wonderful. Jealous now!

  3. Oh how I wish we were processing chickens this year but we just got too late of a start with all the moving drama. :( My boys have always found the processing part so interesting. They always thought all those egg yolks inside were so cool. :)

  4. I've not yet canned chicken meat. Always divide it up into serving size portions and put in the freezer but now that I finally have a pressure canner (yay!), I'm thinking I'll be doing that. I think I enjoy and use the broth I get from stewing the old hens (and roosters!) as much as the meat. I use the broth in all our soups . . . which I will be able to can now, too, instead of freezing!!

    Several years ago, we were caught in a time bind when a bunch of our old chickens needed to be dispatched. Ms. L took all of them, and got them ready for the freezer. She kept half of them for her work and it was a super arrangement for both of us. Is she a hard worker, or what??

  5. What a productive day! That pressure canner sure is nice, I can't wait to be able to do that myself. Drawing blood isn't that bad, the biggest help you can have is your assistant! I used to do it sometimes when I worked at the vet and making sure your extra set of hands holds the animal correctly will make it a breeze!

  6. Mama Pea-
    I think you're talking about Papa Pea's good friend's wife, L? Yep, she's quite an amazing and strong woman, and really hard worker. She could do me in any day!
    My Miss L was a different one, but also amazing and a hard, and very competent worker. :)

    Mama Tea- Those egg yolks are cool. My kids totally agree.

    Erin- You're right, it is pretty easy, and it does matter how your assistant holds the animal. Thankfully, I had a great teacher/goat holder. I'm all set to draw blood! :)

  7. Oops, just goes to prove you should never assume! You're right, we were speaking of two different gals. Silly me to assume there wouldn't be two Miss Ls in the Land of the Hoves!!