Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Meat and Potatoes

With alfalfa at $300 plus a ton we decided to buy more grass bales this year. The grass hay cost us $100 a ton. We also downsized our cattle herd, because the price is good, and I felt our land had been grazed a little too hard in the last few years. Although, really it is the 9 horses that often seem hardest on it. Our goal is to get to 6 horses before the winter rains, but it is hard letting go of the horses.
I dug some of the potatoes this week. Some of the vines hadn't died down yet, so I will have more digging in a week or so. We love fresh potatoes and we keep them in our basement, so they store pretty well too. I did discover that the beds planted with seed potatoes did about 3 times better than the potatoes that I saved.

Still butchering chickens. A few weeks ago, one of my joints in my right hand became inflamed and it still is hurting. It appears to be arthritis! YIKES. It has really slowed my down with the chicken harvest. I do about 4 chickens every other day or so. My hand can't take anymore. Aspirin helps, but geez, I don't want to be popping those everyday.

This year I ordered some special chicken freezer bags and found that submerging the filled bags in water takes most of the air out.

A few years ago while we were in Mexico we bought barbecued chicken that were split down the breasts like this. They were great, so some of our chickens I prepared this way. It really made it easy to clean the insides.

I always soak my chickens in a little salted water for about 10 or 15 minutes as it helps remove blood and makes them look extra clean.

I couldn't resist posting one grisly photo.

I actually string up a line and hang about 4 chickens at a time on it and then thank them for their life as I quickly cut off their heads. It is the hardest part for me, but then I think that every piece of meat any of us eat was once living and was killed. I feel that it is important for meat eaters to think about this and appreciate the life that died to give you nutrition and to also make sure and not waste it.

If you are interested< Check out this post for more detailed instructions on home butchering of chickens.


  1. Excellent post, especially the last part. I love that you do for yourselves, and every harvest you are grateful for. It's a very wonderful thing.

  2. As I read you post I got to thinking.

    They gave their lives just so we can keep living.

    Those poor potatoes.


  3. Hi TJ, Your hike pictures are fun, love the buck eye in bloom. This is a great post,the last part is so true. Sometime I think the people outside farming/ranching, don't realize that we care very much about the animals we raise. When the kids were all in college, I raised butcher steers and the hardest thing was to stand there while they were put down. I would always ask God to make it quick.

  4. Yep, when we buy chicken at the grocers it's easy to forget that it was a living bird at one time.

    Good post.


    PS to Bill: Great line about the potatoes.

  5. Hey! I love your sign "Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park"! That is only 3 hours from us. But I gotta ask...did you buy it or ...ya know... =)


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