Yes we are! Done with meatbirds for the year. Ahhhhhh.... that's so nice.
Hubby and I finished up on Saturday, processing the last 16. It was a long day. More than once I found my mind drifting to next weekend's fiber festival, and thinking "Won't it be nice NOT to have to do this next weekend?" Oh yes, it will.
Out of the 35 we had, many have already been sold, but we have quite a few in the freezer for us for the winter. Our grand total for this adventure? 195.81 pounds of chicken. An average of 5.59 pounds per bird. Not bad.
The interesting thing about this batch was that it was a week between last processing and this processing, and the birds were remarkably different. Feathers that came off easily last week, didn't this week. Body cavities which were roomy-ish last week were unbelievably tight this week. The birds were near 11 weeks old--3 weeks older than I like. In retrospect, it was lucky they all made it to this point without incident, but they were too old. What a hassle getting them plucked. I finally skinned the last one, just because it was way too stubbly, and I just couldn't be bothered. Chicken soup, anyone?
I went to their pen yesterday and cleaned out their waterers and feeders in the stream. I admit, I was a little misty-eyed over it. I had come to like this batch. They were incredibly active-- most of the time they were in the garden in front, or mooching food off the layers on the other side of the yard. They actually went into their houses at night (ish), and they were feisty as all hell. But, what are you going to do? They were meant for a different destiny, and have gone to chicken happy land.
And I am glad to say that we're done for the year. Next year? We'll see. If the price of feed goes up the way it's starting to, we'll have to reassess. Ugh.
Well, 'till next time!