Monday, August 10, 2015

Meat On Wings (Raising Meat Part 2)

It Doesn't matter where you buy poultry (waterfowl in the case of ducks) meat or if its from an organically fed source, free range, or factory farmed. All of the chickens, turkeys, and ducks raised and sold for meat are of what is called hybrids. These are animals that grow extremely fast, so fast that you have to limit them on how much they are allowed to eat or they will die of what they call "flip". Flip is when the animal has a heart attack and flips over on its back and dies. If these animals are not butchered at a young age, they will continue to grow till they can barely walk, and then they usually die of a heart attack in the end. Their heart just cannot keep up with their growth, just like a person with gigantism

The fact of that these animals grow so fast is what really concerned me. The hatcheries all state that they grow fast do to being of a special crossing of different breeds that when combined grow very fast. Well I can tell you that my mom has raised heritage breed chickens for MANY years, and has produced an awful lot of crosses. Now I have observed that the cross bred animals are usually a lot healthier and hardier than the pure bred birds, but what she has never had pop up is a fast growing or giant bird

I just don't believe it. I am a digger, I will dig for information if I don't believe what I am being told, and that's one reason that I love the world wide web. You wouldn't think that you could find such information online, but its like that saying that "The easiest place to hide something is in plan sight". I started out finding this blog post/ article on Freedom Rangers  The guy that wrote the post goes on to say that the parent stock comes from Hubbard Hatchery, so I looked them up. Their "About Us" page sounds rather scary to me. What is this Multi-species thing about?! Two chickens from two different breeds are still the same species.  but I wanted to find something even more blatant. Under their Hubbard History page you will see all the yucky companies they are linked with. It says that in March of 2005 they became part of Group Grimaud. So I clicked over to Group Grimaud. They are a "We are the solution to world hunger" company. They have a little Q&A book on their website here is pages 22 and 23 it says that they "offer a wide range of products to large operators producing animal proteins who are also multi-species". Again what is this multi-species? Am I misunderstanding this?

Do your own research, and  draw your own conclusions. Have you ever heard of Belgian Blue Cattle? They are quite freakish too.  I don't like these companies playing God with the animals. You hear all the time about  things like "Oh they made sheep that glows in the dark from some gene they took out of a jellyfish and inserted into the sheep". Well now I guess they are easier for the coyotes and wolves to see huh. I don't trust any of these companies playing with animals or plants genes and especially not human genes. I think they are trying to ruin what God created.

Now getting back to raising animals, we have raised the Cornish Cross chickens, and we had one of the white broad breasted variety of turkeys in the past. But they are just scary, and sad. My mom decided to get some of the true Cornish chicks. They breed true and take a normal 6 months to grow. Same as any other NORMAL chicken. They are supposed to be a very meaty animal. Unfortunately the ones that she ordered weren't of very good quality, so we are going to have to find a nice big rooster to improve them.

A few months back I was wanting to get some nice big meat ducks. We already had ducks of the laying type, but I wanted a larger variety for meat. I was looking at Metzers to see what they offer for meat ducks. Something that wasn't going to be a freak variety and would breed true. Ducks grow pretty fast anyways. Well only about an hour or two later my dads friend showed up with some ducks that he had asked my mom a while back if she would be willing to take for him. He had a elderly relative that had these ducks on their property and they wanted him to remove them. When my mom had asked him what kind he said "black ducks". So she assumed they were Black Cayuga's. When we went out to see what he brought, he had cages of  black and white pied Muscovy ducks!

I was totally shocked. These are nice big meat ducks, and I hadn't even thought about this variety since most hatcheries don't sell them. It was such a wonderful blessing! And they don't quack! AND they aren't real big on water like the other ducks.

One of the ducks made a nest and hatched out a bunch of ducklings. One day I walked by the orchard and spotted her walking around with 6 ducklings. So cute! We let them be, she was doing a good job, but after a few days there were 5, then 4. So I brought the duck and babies up and put them in a chain link dog pen I had just set up for the rabbits. Perfect timing.

They have been doing great, growing good, and I think the mother feels safe being separated with her babies.

On to the turkeys. My family likes turkey meat. I'm not a big fan. Although I do prefer my turkey on a plate, because I just can't stand them out in the yard. They have to gobble over everything you say, and they poop a really big chicken poop! Don't ever wear sandals around them, they think toes are worms, and they have a thing about wanting to show off to legs if your wearing shorts. Weird creatures. But my parents wanted to get turkeys again. My Mom decided on some White Midgets this time. They breed true, and are a smaller breed. Hopefully they will be an OK fit around here.

Last but not least everything comes to an end, and for all the birds that get eaten around here its the guillotine. My dad made this gizmo for my mom. He didn't like having to chop the birds heads off with the ax. It bothered him, and my mom didn't think she could handle an ax and holding the bird with the other hand, so he made her a handy dandy one of a kind chicken head cutter off'er.
When my dad builds something its usually out of metal and very heavy duty. That holds true for this gadget, and it works wonderfully.

All she has to do is place the birds neck under the blade. Then....
(Notice the block of wood on the bottom. This keeps the blade from being ruined when it is pressed down.)

She presses this watchamacallit that would be hooked to the air compressor hose, and the blade will be pressed down to the board in a split second, and held there till she lets go.

Then after some scalding, plucking, and some smelly gutting we get supper.