Somehow we ended up with way too many birds – roos, spent layers, a broiler that we should’ve butchered a couple of months ago. Selling eggs at the market is an expensive hassle, feed isn’t cheap (especially for roosters who aren’t earning their keep by producing eggs), I’m sick of all those cocks picking on our young hens, and I’m even more sick of the chorus line of morning crowing.
We have always butchered our birds ourselves but this time there were just too many. So, at the suggestion of a friend we contacted Lehman’s in Leetonia and trucked ’em down there earlier this week to meet their maker.
27 birds total.
That total included a number of roosters we hatched earlier this year along with plenty of old laying hens. Not even the bantams were spared. We thinned the flock by over half.
I owed two stewing hens to my pal Marcella who graciously bartered with me on IOU earlier this summer for a peck of tomatoes. I sold two to a co-worker. And my in-laws took two since my father-in-law very kindly delivered and retrieved the birds. 5 birds are in the fridge and I’ll deal with them this weekend. My plan is to make some stock to can and a big Sunday dinner of chicken and biscuits. Mmm….gravy…..
Not roasted or fried. No, these birds will not work for those dishes. But soups, stews, coq au vin, and chicken and biscuits – that’s where these babies will shine. And that’s perfect winter food anyways.