Off With Their Heads!

Most people are aware by now how much healthier it is to raise and eat your own food than it is to rely on the industrial scale, factory farming and most people already know how delicious and nutritious free range, organic meat tastes, but here’s a quick reminder of why it’s important to not support factory farms:

Factory farms contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every single day, factory farms feed animals routine, low doses of antibiotics to prevent disease in filthy, crowded living conditions. In fact, 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are for agricultural uses.

Overuse of antibiotics creates conditions that fuel the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When these antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread to humans through our food supply, via animal to human transfer on farms, or through contaminated waste they can cause serious or even deadly antibiotic-resistant infections in people. Over two million Americans suffer from an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and 23,000 people die. The FDA has known about the misuse of antibiotics since the 1970s but has not required factory farms to stop this dangerous practice.

For us, the thought of ever going back to eating store bought meat literally turns our stomachs.

We give our meat birds a good life before it’s time to hack off their heads, pluck their feathers and either freeze them or marinade them for a few days before we cook them up with some sauteed onions, delicious homemade mashed potatoes and gravy and some steamed asparagus or broccoli on the side.


It’s time for us to fill the freezer with pheasant, Muscovy duck and quail so the hubs fired up the scalding pot this morning and started getting everything set up to do the dirty work.

He really loves the chicken plucker I bought him. It makes the job sooo much easier but it only really works with the chickens and pheasant and makes the whole process go so much faster (we still have one Cornish cross chicken left and a dozen or more of each of the other birds to butcher today).

We’d like to get a duck plucker but they are a bit out of our price range at the moment so for those we just pull the breasts, thighs and organ meat out and share the latter with the pups.

Who are more than happy to participate in the clean up part!

I swear they know what’s coming as soon as they hear the wheels on the plucker move as it’s being pulled out of the shed.

They have a clear view from their pens of the area behind the poultry pens where we set up the executioner’s block and they just love to watch the whole process, baying like a crowd of bloodthirsty peasants demanding the head of the king (or queen).

The smell of blood really gets them all fired up. πŸ˜†

This morning I swear Tonka and Sassy were acting out the beheading of Marie Antoinette on my bed with Tonka pretending to be the guillotine…

Okay, I know by now you’re probably thinking this is really disturbing how flippant I am about the whole thing but 1) this is a homesteading blog and 2) it really is just part of daily life for most of us on the planet. Living in cities and urban areas where our meat is discreetly processed isn’t the norm even though it feels that way to us in the west.

I highly encourage anyone reading this to consider raising your own food if you aren’t already, or at least supporting local small, organic farmers. πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Off With Their Heads!

  1. my nephew raised turkeys for a few years (not sure anymore since he’s a new dad). But my SIL helped participate in their prep for sale at Thanksgiving. Once was enough for her. Don’t think I could do it either. In general I could go vegetarian if it weren’t for my husband. I think it’s fine, however. That’s how my great-grandparents etc. did it on their farm!

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