Another trip to Family Friendly Farm

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.

Puppies at Family Friendly Farm

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.

Chicks at Family Friendly Farm

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.

4 Responses to “Another trip to Family Friendly Farm”

  1. K says:

    Speaking as a vegetarian, I prefer your approach.

    I have occasionally been told by vegans that my milk and yoghurt habit is as bad as eating meat. Which it possibly is, since I’m sure my milk comes from vast dairy warehouses, not nice little farms where the cows wander at will and are allowed to feed their own calves until weaning time. Still, what to do? Our housing association specifically forbids keeping goats in the back garden, and there’s definitely no room for a cow there…

    Flippancy apart, though, I’m not sure I could commit to going vegan. Yet I know hardly any old-school vegetarians any more; everyone either eats meat or is vegan…

  2. Allen says:

    FFF has milk too, but I can’t handle lactose and therefore drink lactose-free milk, which isn’t available from your local wandering-at-will type dairy.

  3. K says:

    No, I suppose not! (As it happens, I’ve been avoiding cow’s milk this week too – as an experiment – and am surprised how difficult this has made meal-planning.)

    Wildly OT: I came across this picture – don’t know where it’s from – and thought you might appreciate it.

  4. Allen says:

    Great pic. The dean of the college of Sci and Math here collects chemistry sets — he’d love this.

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