And so it ends! (The first batch anyway.) #Realfood
The earliest email I can find referencing it is from November 2010 - so it seems its been about 8 months that we've been involved with the "Chicken Cabal," and now our first batch of chickens is done.
We did a "trial run" of 20 birds on Tuesday the 7th, and another batch was done Friday the 10th, and the main batch was Saturday the 11th. We were at the Tuesday run and the Saturday one.
The Tuesday run, being a "trial run," went a little slower, but it was very educational. I learned I really shouldn't be doing the evisceration job. It's a pain, and requires some fine motor skills I just don't really have. Lizz did kick-ass at it, so much so, she got to do it for the "full run" on Sat, and she enjoyed it. For Saturday's run, I was put on "final finish" - bagging, weighing, and putting them on ice. This required me plunging my hands and most of my arms into a barrel of ice most of the time. Fun! :D Seriously though, after 20-30 minutes, I was mostly numb and it wasn't bad. The core workout from bending and straightening for 3 hours was good though!
Anyway - we got the run done in basically 3 hours (for close to 100 birds). Assembly line style - one "team" doing the capturing, killing, scalding, and plucking, then another doing the evisceration and final finish stuff. We had a very cool (and efficient!) system; very cool to see in action.
I think, maybe, the coolest part of all this was meeting some very, very cool people, and learning things about them that I would never have guessed. She has a tattoo, and wants more? Whoa. :D
I'm trying hard to convey how cool and interesting and educational this was, but I think really the only way this works is "preaching to the choir" - and you either already get this, or you think it's completely insane that people would process their own meat in "this day and age."
Hopefully you're one that thinks it's cool and worthwhile - and hopefully next batch will go even more smoothly!