Friday, June 15, 2012

Tonight I'll be dreaming chickens...zzzz

Today we had chickens both coming and going.  The postmistress from the Farmington post office called us a little after eight this morning to tell us that our order of chicks had just arrived.  I could hear enthusiastic cheeping in the background.  Usually a hatchery will email the day before chicks arrive to make sure someone is able to go pick them up that day, but we'd heard nothing.  Surprise. I asked Tammy to please babysit them until I got down there. 

Bruce and I got the Cornish chickens herded into three cages and loaded into the trailer for the trip to town.  It was still cool outside and chickens were calm and mellow about the whole thing.  They took off down the hill, while I got the place prepared for the new arrivals and then went down to pick them up.  I was very OK with having such an excellent reason not to have to go with Bruce. 

This is what 21 vacuum-sealed chickens in the fridge looks like.  I'll admit that they don't look too appetising this way.  They came back from the processing plant cleaned and plucked, but there was still plenty to do.  In reading up on preparing chickens for the freezer, I read so many lurid accounts of salmonella poisoning that I washed and disinfected everything I could lay my hands on in the kitchen.  Then we got to work.  Bruce was in charge of the vacuum-sealing part, and I cleaned the gizzards.  And the hearts.  And the livers.  And, finally, the chickens themselves.  It wasn't the happiest work in the world, but it was interesting.  I now know a lot more about chicken anatomy.

When we were finished, we packed them into the fridge and will freeze them in the morning.  We left one chicken unsealed so we could try it out for dinner, but we're both too tired to cook.  A can of lentil soup for me and then I'm headed off to bed. 

The baby chicks were well babysat by Tammy.  All thirty of them (what was I thinking?) arrived healthy and active.  I dipped each little beak in water to make sure they knew how to drink and left them to it.  They spent the remainder of the afternoon alternately bouncing around and falling asleep (sometimes in mid-bounce). 

Definitely a chicken sort of day.

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