Homestead Blog Hop #37

Welcome to the Homestead Blog Hop

Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Well, we had another first here on the homestead this last weekend. We now have 10 completely organic meat chickens in the freezer. See how we did it HERE.

Now on to the hop…

Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, farm animals, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, anything from-scratch, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more! Basically anything related to homesteading.

Meet the Hosts!

Jen- The Easy Homestead

Jenna- The Flip Flop Barnyard

Jennifer- Homesteading on Grace

Kelly- Simple Life Mom

Amanda- Idlewild Alaska (That’s me!)

Lindsey- Chickadee Homestead

Nicole- Little Blog on the Homestead

Bonnie- The Not So Modern Housewife

Featured Posts from the Last Homestead Blog Hop

Each week we will choose three posts to feature. Each post will be shared on all social media platforms by all of the hosts! Here are last week’s featured posts:

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Dehydrating Foods Part 1

1. Dehydrating Foods Part 1 by Gentle Joy Homemaker

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Pico de Gallo

2. Pico de Gallo by Angels Homestead

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: 25 Things You Can Grow with Limited Garden Space

3. 25 Things You Can Grow With Limited Garden Space by Nancy on the Home Front

Congrats! Feel free to grab the featured on button for your post. Just right click and ‘save image as…’

Featured Post Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Guidelines for Homestead Blog Hop

1. This is a family-friendly link up meant to inspire and motivate the homesteader in all of us. Please note that all giveaways, contests, and the like will be deleted from the blog hop, as well as anything not family-friendly.

2. Link your post back to the hop. If the hop isn’t linked to your post then you cannot be featured. All featured posts will be shared on all hosts’ social media channels.

3. When linking up your post to the Homestead Blog Hop please make sure you actually link to your post and not your homepage.

4. Please link up posts that you haven’t linked to the hop before. You are welcome to link old posts from your blog!

5. Link up to three posts each week!

6. Linking up gives us permission to use your photo on social media platforms {with a link back to your post) in order to promote your post if you are featured.

***Please note: in order to maintain the awesomeness of the hop all posts that don’t meet the above guidelines will be deleted.

Well, let’s see what’cha got!

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Categories: Homestead Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Butchering Meat Chickens on the Homestead

***WARNING GRAPHIC CHICKEN BUTCHERING CONTENT***

Homesteading isn’t always roses and daisies. Today found us busy butchering meat chickens on the homestead. As happy as I am to know that we now have 10 completely organic, non-GMO, happily-raised chickens in our freezer, it certainly wasn’t easy.  And no, it did not save us any money. Not yet at least.

Butchering Meat Chickens - IdlewildAlaska

I checked prices of whole organic chickens at our local grocery store this morning. $2.99 per pound for a whole, organic, “vegetarian-fed,” young chicken. (These people apparently don’t realize that chickens are anything but vegetarians! They love their creepy crawlies!) How they kept these chickens vegetarian while free ranging them kinda makes you wonder just how much you can trust the labeling system. I’ve heard, but have not seen it myself, that in order to call chickens “free-range,” the chickens have to have access to a door that leads outside. The chickens may never take a step outside, but they’re “free-range.” Can you see why I wanted to raise my own? Click HERE for more explanation of the different labeling.

 

After reading Joel Salatin’s book, Folks This Ain’t Normal, I was ready to jump in to the world of raising our own meat chickens, or broilers. The hubby and I found a local farm that was selling meat chicks for $3 each. We bought 15. In the first week, two died. I’ve heard meat chicks can be tough to keep alive. It’s true. Joel’s book, Pastured Poultry Profits, was a big help in keeping naturally healthy chicks!

But finally butchering day came. With 13 chickens fattened up after 8 weeks, the hubby and I set up shop. We hung a 2″x 4″ across two fence posts near the coop. From those, we hung two orange traffic cones the hubby had bought from Lowes as our “killing cones”. We cut the end off of them (about 7″ or so) so the chickens’ head would hang below it. We basically used the same technique Joel Salatin uses.

Butchering Your Own Chickens with Homemade Killing Cones - IdlewildAlaska

(Did I mention this was a first time for both of us? Hence the reason I won’t be sharing any of my own videos, but those of people who know what they’re doing far better than we!)

It worked pretty well. I was the chicken catcher, and the hubby pretty much did everything else. I knew I wouldn’t be able to. I was the main one to raise them. I’ll eat ‘em, but I couldn’t be the one to “do the deed.” Thank goodness for a hubby who not only did it, but did a great job. (I’m just proud of myself for not losing my breakfast or bursting into tears!)

We decided to skin them, instead of plucking feathers. Neither of us eat chicken skin and who wants to deal with all those nasty feathers?!? It worked out great.  (Plus we don’t have one of those cool plucker machines.)

After cleaning them, we wrapped them in plastic wrap and then in butcher paper. We figured this should work pretty well, as this is how most meat comes from the butcher.

Homestead Grown Chickens - IdlewildAlaska

As to the saving money part…. No, we did not save any money. The average weight of the chickens was 3.5 pounds. (I think next time we’ll let them go a bit longer. Now we both know what they look like at this weight.) We originally bought 15 chicks at $3 each. Two died. We butchered 10 chickens. With organic, non-GMO, no corn, no soy feed costing about $35 per 50 lb. bag, and the chickens plowing their way through about a bag a week, feed was approximately $280. So with all costs added up, including the two chicks who didn’t make it, our per pound price for 10 broilers came to about $8.95. Uggg. I can get *supposedly* the same thing at the store for $2.99 per pound.

But what kind of price do you put on chickens you know were raised humanely and with love, you know exactly what they were fed, how their health was taken care of, no chemicals whatsoever were ever used or added to the butchering process (ie. carcasses soaked in bleach water)?

Plus we kept one rooster and two hens. We believe in keeping sustainable flocks. Frank, our Easter Egger rooster, has served us well and will continue to do so (no matter how much of a jerk he can be), and we hope to do the same with these meaties. As long as everything goes to plan, we hope to raise our own chicks from now on. So that $45 original investment will hopefully be well worth it, and that price per pound will start shrinking.

Categories: Homesteading Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Homestead Blog Hop #36

Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Welcome to the Homestead Blog Hop…

We got our fish! The hubby and I spent the weekend at our favorite fishing spot, dip netting for wonderful Alaskan salmon, and now the freezer is full! Woo hoo! Bring it on, Old Man Winter! See our trip HERE.

Now on to the hop…

Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, farm animals, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, anything from-scratch, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more! Basically anything related to homesteading.

Meet the Hosts!

Jen- The Easy Homestead

Jenna- The Flip Flop Barnyard

Jennifer- Homesteading on Grace

Kelly- Simple Life Mom

Amanda- Idlewild Alaska (That’s me!)

Lindsey- Chickadee Homestead

Nicole- Little Blog on the Homestead

Bonnie- The Not So Modern Housewife

Featured Posts from the Last Homestead Blog Hop

Each week we will choose three posts to feature. Each post will be shared on all social media platforms by all of the hosts! Here are last week’s featured posts:

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Crockpot Beef Stew by Gentle Joy Homemaker

1. Crockpot Beef Stew by Gentle Joy Homemaker

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam by Angels Homestead

2. Strawberry Rhubarb Jam by Angels Homestead

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Organizing and Storing Your Herbs by Stone Family Farmstead

3. Organizing and Storing Your Herbs by Stone Family Farmstead

Congrats! Feel free to grab the featured on button for your post. Just right click and ‘save image as…’

Featured Post Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska

Guidelines for Homestead Blog Hop

1. This is a family-friendly link up meant to inspire and motivate the homesteader in all of us. Please note that all giveaways, contests, and the like will be deleted from the blog hop, as well as anything not family-friendly.

2. Link your post back to the hop. If the hop isn’t linked to your post then you cannot be featured. All featured posts will be shared on all hosts’ social media channels.

3. When linking up your post to the Homestead Blog Hop please make sure you actually link to your post and not your homepage.

4. Please link up posts that you haven’t linked to the hop before. You are welcome to link old posts from your blog!

5. Link up to three posts each week!

6. Linking up gives us permission to use your photo on social media platforms {with a link back to your post) in order to promote your post if you are featured.

***Please note: in order to maintain the awesomeness of the hop all posts that don’t meet the above guidelines will be deleted.

Well- let’s see what ya got!

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Categories: Homestead Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment