|some of the lucky survivors|
We decided to process 5 of our roosters that we decided not to keep for breeding and 3 heritage Bourbon Red turkeys.
After selecting the roosters to be processed based on breeding characteristics, we put them into crates and pens for the night. Early the next morning my husband took them to a local processor and they returned to us a few days later.
We chose to get the birds processed whole with one chicken and one turkey left fresh and the rest frozen.
|Dominique chicken, male|
We cooked the fresh turkey for Thanksgiving and it turned out great- extremely flavorful and juicy! The rest of the processed birds we have in our deep freeze. One bird can make several meals, and the carcass will then be used to make stock. Nothing is wasted!
|turkeys and chickens in our deep freeze|
|fresh turkey ready to roast|
Though it was still hard, we did not let ourselves get attached to these birds (maybe except a little to the turkeys...) as we have to groups hatched in the past. Now our reduced flock is much more manageable and we are one step closer to accomplishing our homesteading goals. We are also trying to progress in good poultry keeping and animal husbandry skills. And I can't help but think this is something our farming ancestors would have done long ago, a little differently of course, and that we are continuing some of those traditions :)
Do you process your heritage or dual-purpose birds for meat?