Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chicken Harvest Photo Gallery

I used to be a vegetarian. For about a year my lips never touched meat and this was all due to ethical convictions. Back in my high school days my eyes were opened to the industrial meat factory methods. Horrified, I determined to completely forsake the consumption of meat. It took over a year for this conviction to soften but I was still forever scarred by the inhumane treatment of animals in CAFOs. In fact, it wasn’t until this past year that my comfort with eating animals was completely restored. When animals are treated respectfully and are raised in a healthy environment, I am at peace with the process. God has instituted a principal in this world that in order for one being to live, another must die. I accept this. My faith is in a Being who commanded his people to “regard the life of his animals”. I believe this obligation is placed on a caretaker from egg to slaughter. There is a way to slaughter an animal while still respecting them. This is why we raise our own meat.

This past Saturday, we slaughtered and processed our meat birds. Everything went very smooth. We did about 75 birds in about 3 hours. Julia and Eden helped me load up the crates and place them in the van. (This poor van is such a work horse!) From there I went down to a friend’s house in Deer Isle. He generously loaned us his equipment for the day.

Cones allow them to bleed out completely. The knife goes into their brain first, instantly making the bird unconscious ("brain dead"). Then their throat is slit and are allowed to bleed out.


Plucking drum! 4 birds in 20-30 seconds.

Cleaning them out and organizing the giblets.


Hearts and livers.

Necks and feet.

The next afternoon, we cut up some of them into parts: legs and thighs, breasts, wings, and carcasses for soup stock. The freezer is now jammed full of meat. In the end, our portion turned out to be 38 birds. This should carry us through until next year’s birds.


  1. This might be a stupid question....What are you planning on doing with those chicken feet? I have never considered them a usable part of the bird. I agree Home grown food whether it is meat, veg or grain is always better than mass produced. Ryan

  2. Ryan, soup stock. It adds richness of flavor and gelatin (good for your joints).

  3. Josh,

    This is exactly what was done for all the meat to in the old country- As my mom and dad will say. Also this is exactly what I want to do, and can't wait. I simply want to live off the land and eat what I grow. Thank you for sharing, it was awesome!!!!!


  4. Oh man, Freddy. We have too much in common! Awesome.