Didn't notice before, how good our chickens taste.

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Asia-Off-Grid, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Yep.

    4 vote(s)
  2. Nope.

    2 vote(s)
  3. Would love to, but not enough land.

    2 vote(s)
  4. Cannot, due to local gov'ment restrictions.

    2 vote(s)
  5. No. It is easier to shop at the grocery store.

    2 vote(s)
  6. I'm still working on getting to that point in my life.

    1 vote(s)
  1. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018


    First, if there is a more appropriate forum, please feel free to move this thread there.

    During the time I have been an active member of this site (had joined sometime before really becoming active), we have gone from living in the city full time, to spending a lot more time at the farm. Some of our completed projects have helped accomplish this. This includes temporary container housing, wireless internet with an outside antenna, an outside covered kitchen added to her little farm house, and a proper western toilet constructed - along with a bum gun.

    Being able to spend more time there has allowed us to focus more on filling in the (rice fields) land (for our future home construction). Completed outbuildings - a barn, chicken houses, a duck house, a shelter for beehives, and expanding the farm house the "Boss" built several years ago, have all helped as well.

    Well, now that we are spending more time at the farm, we are also eating better meals. They are also more nutritious, contain no chemicals, no drugs, etc.

    Our birds, for example, eat exactly what we feed them and nothing more. We do not free range our chickens, which does cost more in feed. But, recently, I noticed just how much better they taste. To me, the added cost is definitely worth it!

    Early in the day, I heard a chicken screaming like mad. However, it didn't last long. I stepped outside, away from my computer desk and inquired if someone were killing one of my precious fowl. Naturally, the Boss denied any wrong doing and lied, telling me it was a chicken she bought at the market - just as she should. :D

    A while later, the dinner bell rang. In came a plate of freshly cooked chicken, complete with side dishes. Anyway, I paid very close attention, for a change, to the taste of that bird. I hadn't really done so for a long time. But, that meal was so much better than the chicken - heck, it was much better than anything we buy in the city, meats, fruit, veggies, fish, etc. It was so good, that I cannot wait for my next "purchased at the market" chicken. :)

    Spending more time at the farm now - about 3 weeks plus there per month, and one week (or less) in the city, is the single best decision we have ever made, aside from moving to this part of Cambodia (nearer to her family and her farm). I feel much healthier while at the farm. It offers fresh air, cooler temperatures (no buildings and concrete / asphalt roads to absorb so much heat during the sweltering year-round summer days), light winds, and a much more peaceful setting.

    I hope many others here are raising their own livestock. I cannot wait to expand ours even more.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Home grown fresh is always the best tasting. I remember my folks buying a whole steer and having it butchered. Best steaks, burger and roasts I ever ate, plus some cuts I had never heard of, like liver and heart. Neck bones for soups, It was so good, I remember the taste even now. My grandparents had a 1/3 acre garden on their two acre lot and I still remember the cucumber, radish, fresh corn, raspberries, green beans and peas, cabbage, chard, and others. There were also three apple trees and there is nothing like picking fruit right off the tree.

    Just couldn't talk the wife into property...
  3. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    My sister lived in a semi-rural area for many years, and ste and BIL raised their own chickens, and had a milk goat. They brought my parents and me all the eggs we could eat. They sold excess goat milk. But sis couldn't bring herself to butcher the chickens. Each had a name, and were "pets". The parents and I consider chickens livestock. I'd have no qualms in butchering them for meat, once their laying days were over.
    We raised chickens when I was young, and I wrung and cleaned my share.
  4. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    We have a 186 acre ranch that i lease to my neighbors for running beef. We also have 2 acres dedicated to growing our own foods. We made a deal with the neighbors for first cut of the season, so we get a full cow, two pig, and two Reindeer! We also trade for things we cannot grow and this makes things rest easy and saves money too!
  5. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    True that, for sure!

    In our case, I am the one who doesn't want to kill any of the livestock. But, the Boss will look at any / all of them and start licking her lips.

    It's great, honestly. What most westerners seem to have lost, people in Third World countries still carry on.

    Chan can kill, dress and cook a chicken at the drop of a hat. She will do what most men and women in the US now, especially the younger generations, wouldn't consider doing. A hard day working at the farm would kill most younger western folks. They focus on their cell phones and shopping at malls, while here, they focus on living. If they don't work at the farm, they won't be eating.

    Her nephews one about 20, the other about 10, do tons of work every day and without complaining. They know they have a responsibility to the family, especially their grandparents, who are aging quickly. The younger one, obviously, attends school in the mornings and carries out his responsibilities after school.

    Being on a retirement visa here now, I can't work. I could be fined or jailed here for doing so. So, as much as it kills me not to work, I am forced to watch, adult beverage in hand, while I delegate authority. :D
    Motomom34, 3M-TA3 and Dunerunner like this.
  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I looooooooove to barter. Not so common in the city. But, at the farm, we trade a lot with others.
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Yea, we have quite a trade network going on! It's a really good way to get to know every one around your A.O. too!

    Top secret, we have several large herds of Elk and Deer that visit, and once every now and then the neighbors and I will cull a few out of them, thus giving another source of meat and keeping the herds healthy! We do not take any while on our lands, we track them a few miles away and take what is needed then! We also avoid interfering with the other predators so that they also get a share and we have a very healthy environment this way! We avoid killing the predators as they're needed for several reasons, and worse case, yet another source of food!
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    The wife wants to raise chickens but I'm not there yet, got enough to do, but some day soon we will. We do buy eggs from the neighbors and totally different than from the store.
    Dunerunner, Asia-Off-Grid and Ura-Ki like this.
  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    I grew up raising chickens and rabbits, big garden too. My grandparents had a dairy farm, with a large orchard and garden.
    These days we live in town so we’re limited to owning a few chickens that live at a friends. This is very convenient, we help pay for feed,etc and get all the delicious organic eggs we can eat! We live in a food wonderland and get out to the farmers markets often.
  10. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Well, at least you have visitation rights. :D
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    No comparing home grown anything to store bought.

    We raise our own egg laying chickens, (got 20 right now) and 25 or so Cornish Cross for meat each year. Buy the Cornish day old chicks, usually at Tractor Supply store, then raise them for about 8wks to 6-7lb birds (they grow insanely fast) on feed and pasture. I built a couple mobile pens, moving them daily on fresh grass.

    On processing day, I use a homemade 'whiz bang' plucker to remove the feathers after scaulding and they all go in the freezer in two days....usually take the bigger ones one day (males i'm guessing), and let the 2nd bunch grow another week or so.


    Generally raise 2 per year. Raise to about 300-350lbs, then home butcher and in the freezer they go. I built a room on the back of the garage to butcher, including a walk-in cooler. Cure my bacon/hams in stone crocks with a brine mix, sure turn out good.

    Put one steer/cow up about every 18mo. Slaughtered a big one (about 1300-1400lbs) first week of Nov, have all of it cut except the two loins...like for them to hang about a month, will cut them next week. Quarters weighed right at 200lbs each, probably yields 500lbs of cut beef (I de-bone most of it)


    Seawolf1090 and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  12. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    If you ever get a moment, and are willing to post them, I would like to see photos of that.
  13. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Killing cone. Putting them in puts them pretty much to sleep, then slit jugular and bleed them out.


    Scalding pot: 30-45 seconds @ 145 degrees.



    Whiz Bang plucker: Things work GREAT.....get your scald correct and under a minute, you have a near perfect plucked bird, skin intact.



    The design for it (I bought the plan book and some of the parts....had the motor, barrel already) calls for the whole bottom to be cut out of the barrel and just let the feathers/water run all over the bottom pulley/etc. I didn't like that, so I cut a slot in my barrel, then fashioned a chute out of some aluminum trim coil stock so my waste shoots out it into a bucket.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Then I took the bottom aluminum plate (one of the bought parts) and mounted some of the rubber fingers downward so they 'sweep' out the feathers into the chute.
    Bottom plate, upper side:
    Bore some 3/4" holes:

    Use pair of channel lock pliers to pull the fingers into hole. Mount the plate just above the barrel bottom so the down facing fingers sweep it.

    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
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