So, as mentioned previously, I’ve quit eating confinement-raised animals this year. And as also previously mentioned, I’ve been buying chicken from Family Friendly Farm over near Oriole, MO. This spring I put in an order and put down a deposit on 30 chickens, half a hog, and a turkey. Yesterday was the first day I was scheduled to pick up some of the chickens, so I drove to Oriole with a cooler or two, and pulled up at the farm.
First thing I saw were the puppies — their dog had a litter early in the spring, and they’re trying to sell pups. We don’t need another dog.
Although I must admit the mother does a great job of watching over chickens, etc.
Anyway, after I’d parked, Matt came out and we went to his processing shed, where I helped him bag 15 chickens. They’d slaughtered them on Friday morning. Matt tells me they had five people working, and killed, gutted, plucked, and iced down 350 chickens in a morning. I had planned to come then, as Matt said I could have as many chicken livers as I wanted for free if I would fish them out myself, but I had to teach a workshop and couldn’t make it.
Anyway, I got my chickens ($2.10 a pound, including the discounts for pre-ordering and picking up on scheduled day), and loaded them in the car. On the way out I took a few pics of the newest batch of chicks, now about 2 or 3 weeks old.
Yeah, they’re awfully cute, and here I’m planning to eat them. Still, they are running around loose in a nice grassy place, so I think it’s ethically preferable. My friend Sarah, who is a vegan, says my current eating habits are worse than just buying Wal-Mart chickens that have been raised in boxes, because I’m just trying to assuage my conscience. I say she’s killing defenseless plants all the time, and it’s just kingdom chauvinism.
I took my chickens home and froze 4 of them whole for roasting later. The other 11 I cut up and froze in bags of sorted pieces — boneless skinless breasts, thighs, drumsticks, a big bag of wings, and several large bags of backs, necks, and bones for making stock. Tonight we’re going to have Hannah’s favorite, chicken puff pastry.